Category Archive: News & Announcements
Thursday, August 18, 2011, 3:39 pm
The Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS) and the Sati Institute of Theravada Buddhist Studies (SITBS) announce a new, cooperative degree program.
At its meeting Friday, 12 August, the IBS Board of Trustees approved a cooperative relationship between the IBS and the SITBS, including a new Theravada Studies track within the Master of Buddhist Studies degree program. This cooperative undertaking is an important expansion of IBS’s curricular offerings, making available to students the rich resources that the faculty of the SITBS bring to the study of Buddhism. This fall term two new classes â€” Meditation in the Theravada Tradition and Readings in Early Buddhist Texts â€” are being added to the IBS course offerings in support of this new specialization.
Future plans for the program include not only additional course offerings in the textual and practice tradition of Theravada Buddhism, but also the study of Pali, one of the primary languages for inquiry into the canonic traditions of Buddhism.
For additional information about the new Theravada Studies track at IBS, please see the Sati Institute’s website, or click on the course titles above.
About the instructors:
Gil Fronsdal is the primary teacher for the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, California, and has been teaching since 1990. He has practiced Zen and Vipassana in the U.S. and Asia since 1975. He was a Theravada monk in Burma in 1985, and in 1989 began training with Jack Kornfield to be a Vipassana teacher. Dr. Fronsdal teaches at Spirit Rock Meditation Center where he is part of its Teachers Council. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University.
Nona Olivia has been practicing meditation for some 40 years. She graduated from Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s first Dedicated Practitioner Program and is a Lay Buddhist Minister, ordained by Gil Fronsdal. Dr. Olivia holds a Ph.D. from Brown University and teaches at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Monday, May 16, 2011, 9:00 am
Some 30 people, with various interest in Buddhist chaplaincy attended the first â€œBuddhist Chaplaincy Conference: An Overview of Spiritual Care Giving,â€ co-sponsored by the Institute of Buddhist Studies and the Sati Center Program for Buddhist Chaplaincy at the Jodo Shinshu Center , Saturday, May 7, 2011.
Rev. Jennifer Block, a teacher at the Sati Center, and Rev. Dr. Daijaku Kinst, IBS Pastoral Care professor, presented a wide range of material on Buddhist Chaplaincy including a definition of chaplaincy and spiritual care, the day to day duties of a chaplain in various settings, and what distinguishes Buddhist chaplains.
They also described the path to becoming certified chaplains including the graduate academic program at IBS, the training program at the Sati Center, and the role of Clinical Pastoral Education.
Rev. Rod Seeger, the retired Director of Spiritual Care Services at University of California San Francisco medical center gave a presentation on the work of the chaplain, particularly in hospital setting based on his years of service as chaplain and chaplain supervisor.
Thursday, May 12, 2011, 2:12 pm
Three Institute of Buddhist Studiesâ€™ students received their Master Degrees at Commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 6, 2011 at the Jodo Shinshu Center in Berkeley. The presentations were made by Dr. Leroy Morishiata, Chair of the IBS Board of Trustees.
The event was chaired by Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto and began with Opening Service led by Bishop Koshin Ogui, Bishop of the Buddhist Churches of America and President of IBS. Opening remarks were made by Dr. Richard Payne, Dean of the IBS, and Dr. Morishita.
The commencement address was presented by Rev. Nobuo Miyaji, Rinban of the Fresno Betsuin Buddhist Temple, who spoke on the importance of Shin Buddhist Education.
IBS graduates included:
- Linda Diane Dorse, â€œDogen in the Kitchen: Expressions of Shikantaza in Instruction for the Cook,â€ with thesis committee members Dr. Lisa Grumbach, Dr. Matsumoto, and Rev. Dr. Daijaku Kinst
- Takashi Miyaji, â€œShackles of Doubt,â€ with thesis committee members, Dr. Matsumoto, Dr. Nobuo Haneda, and Rev. Dr. Seigen Yamaoka. (His degree was accepted by his father, Rev . Miyaji.)
- Victoria Rose Pinto, â€œShinnyo-en: â€œAn Early History,â€ with committee members, Dr. Payne, Dr. Grumbach, and Dr, Jerome Bagget
Takashi Miyaji is currently attending Ryukoku University, Kyoto, in the Department of Shin Buddhist Studies, and Pinto will be attending the University of Southern California and working for her doctorate in the Department of East Asian Studies, Religion, in the fall.
Dr.Morishita, representing the IBS Trustees, publically announced the appointment of Dr. Yamaoka as the H.E. Kosho Ohtani Chair for Shin Buddhist Studies. Dr. Yamaoka is a Core Faculty member of the IBS and also a Core Doctoral Faculty member of the Graduate Theological Union.
Monday, May 09, 2011, 9:00 am
“Making Sense of the Blood Bowl Sutra: Gender, Pollution, and Salvation in Buddhist Sermons from Early Modern Japan,” was the Institute of Buddhist Studies’ Spring Numata Lecture topic presented by Dr. Lori Meeks of University of Southern California.
Dr. Meeks explained that sometime during the late fourteenth and early fifteenth century, several variants of an indigenous Chinese sutra known at the “Blood Bowl Sutra” were transmitted to Japan. The short sutra scripture teaches that women are fated to fall into a special hell known as the “Blood Pond Hell” in retribution for polluting the earth with the impurity of their reproductive blood.
By the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, temples throughout Japan actively promoted the cult of the Blood Bowl Hell as a means of saving women. Dr. Meeks presented two early modern commentaries on the text in an effort to understand how priests presented the teachings to a new audience of lay men and women.
Dr. Meeks received her Ph.D. in East Asian Religions from Princeton University in 2003. Her research focuses on the social, cultural, and intellectual Histories of Japanese Buddhism, in particular, clarifying the roles of women as consumers and practitioners of Buddhism in the Heian and Kamakura periods.
Audio and video of her talk can be found on our podcast.
For more information about past and future Numata Lectures, please visit our News & Events page.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011, 9:47 am
â€œBuddhist Chaplaincy: An Overview of Spiritual Care Giving,â€ a conference with Rev. Jennifer Block and Rev. Dr. Daijaku Kinst, will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Jodo Shinshu Center in Berkeley. The event is co-sponsored by the Institute of Buddhist Studies and the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies.
Rev. Block serves as a Director of Public education for the Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco and founder of the Buddhist Chaplaincy Training at the Sati Buddhist Center for Buddhist for Buddhist Studies. Dr. Kinst is the coordinator and primary professor for the Buddhist Chaplaincy Program at the IBS.
This event will provide information to chaplains who provide spiritual care and support in places such as hospitals, hospices, prisons, and a wide variety of other settings. In recent years, Dharma practitioners have been exploring chaplaincy as an opportunity to practice engaged Buddhism, and for some, as a vocation and profession.
This event is open to the public. Donations are welcome.
For more information, please visit our website or the Sati Center.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011, 9:00 am
“We are not alone.” These four words greeted the more than seventy attendees to the First International Conference of Other-Centered Approaches. This historic gathering marked the initiation of a movement that has the potential to illuminate the human condition with the light of Buddhist psychology.
This conference was like a nursery for a sapling that had endured a long sea voyage and was being prepared to be planted into new soil. The presentations by five keynote speakers provided various perspectives of the other-centered approach. An other-centered approach is a shift from a focus on self-esteem enhancement, to an understanding of the self as defined by our relationship to others.
The opening remarks by Caroline Brazier presented evidence that our present western society embraces the focus on self-centeredness. According to the Buddha, this illusion of a substantial, independent self is the cause of much of our suffering. The other-centered approach is not so much a negation of the self but instead offers a more realistic image of a connected, interdependent person: i.e., I am not defined by my inner thoughts of myself, but instead, I exist as an integral part of everyone and everything. Naikan theory, ecology, and love were some topics which demonstrated that this experience of interdependence can result in a grounded, healthy and happy individual.
The 2,600 year history of Buddhist psychology validates the effectiveness of this perspective. Much of the language, customs, and culture of the East have been heavily influenced by Buddhist principles that remind us of our relationship to and gratitude for all those around us.
David and Caroline Brazier of England, Gregg Krech of Vermont, Daijaku Kinst of the Bay Area, and Clark Strand of New York are all outstanding authorities in their respected fields. Their geographical and professional diversity speaks to the universality of this new perspective. Each had been guided to this fundamental Buddhist principle by their unique personal and professional histories. The conference format provided opportunities for other presenters and participants to share their experiences with the Buddhist approach regarding how the self relates to others. For Shin Buddhists, this other-centered focus allowed for an expanded understanding of Amida Buddha, or “Other Power.”
The truth that “We are not alone” was experienced by the selfless support of about twenty volunteers who provided meals and other necessities for the conference. The success of this conference could be measured by the gratitude participants felt for their connectedness with others.
Shinran’s words of Amida’s spiritual presence represent an insightful perspective of the nature of the self. Inspired by Shin principles, an other-centered approach can provide us with a true assessment of an interdependent self in a supportive universe. We can express this awareness with the words Namo Amida Butsu.
Thursday, February 17, 2011, 5:13 pm
The Institute of Buddhist Studies 2011 RyÅ«koku Lectures
The History of the Shin Buddhist Tradition: significant persons, moments and issues
by Professor Atsushi Hirata
Department of History
RyÅ«koku University, Kyoto, Japan
Professor Atsushi Hirata will deliver the 2011 RyÅ«koku Lectures at the Institute of Buddhist Studies. The lectures will take place on the following dates at the Jodo Shinshu Center, 2140 Durant Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011, 2:10-5:00 pm
Buddhadharma and the feudal system
Wednesday, March 9, 2011, 2:10-5:00 pm
The SangÅ Wakuran incident and its impact
Wednesday, March 16, 2011, 2:10-5:00 pm
Hongwanji and the State: the two truth theory
All of Professor Hirata’s lectures will be given in Japanese, with English translation. These lectures are open to public, without charge for admission. All interested persons are invited and encouraged to attend Prof. Hirata’s lectures.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 12:16 pm
Noboru Hanyu, on January 26, 2011, established a $500,000.00 endowed professorial chair at the Institute of Buddhist Studies to honor his late wife Yaeko, who passed away on November 1, 2002. He attributes his life long association with the Buddhist Churches of America to the support of his loving wife.
“This chair is my way of expressing my appreciation to Yae for her support and will keep alive her spirit of dana for the Buddhist movement in America,” Hanyu said.
The IBS is a graduate seminary of Buddhist ministry, and Buddhist studies. The chair will be named the Noboru and Yaeko Hanyu Buddhist Chaplaincy Professorial Chair and will be gifted through Mr. Hanyuâ€™s Living Trust. The IBS Endowment is part of the BCA 21st Century Campaign; therefore, the BCA Endowment Foundation will administer the assets of the fund. The IBS Deanâ€™s office in consultation with the faculty and Board of Trustees will determine the use of the funds.
Hanyu, a long time member of the Buddhist Church of San Francisco, while being active at the temple has been taking many leadership roles in the Buddhist Churches of America. In 2009, he was awarded BCA Lifetime Service Award for his dedication to BCA for over 60 years.
His various positions with the BCA include President of the BCSF, President of the, BCA, Chair of the Sustaining Membership Program, Chair of the BCA Ministerâ€™s Pension Program, BCA Headquarters Administrative Officer, Treasurer of the Campaign for Buddhism in America, and Treasurer of the BCA Endowment Foundation from 1965 to 2008.
“On behalf of the IBS, I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Hanyu for his generous gift. Buddhist chaplaincy is a new development, one that allows the propagation of the Buddhist teaching in hospitals, and hospices, jails and prisons, in military and university settings. Chaplains are trained to serve anyone and everyone in need, no matter what the personâ€™s religious affiliation. The purpose is to serve that individual, to make real the spirit of compassion that is the heart of the Buddhaâ€™s message.
“This is an important area of future growth for Buddhists in the United States today, and the support of the Noboru and Yaeko Hanyu Endowment will make it possible for IBS to train a new generation of Buddhist leaders, manifesting compassion in the most difficult of life situations, those of disease and death, punishment and servitude, loneliness and isolation,” stated Dr. Richard Payne, IBS Dean.
Photo credit: Seated Mr. Noboru Hanyu. Standing L to R: Dr. Richard Payne, Phung Kim Le, and Rev. Kengu Kobata. (Insert photo: Mr. and Mrs. Noboru and Yaeko Hanyu.)
Monday, January 17, 2011, 9:53 am
Rev. Seishin Kiyoshi and Mrs. Marrie H. Yamashita, members of the Berkeley Buddhist Temple, established a $100,000.00 Institute of Buddhist Studies Scholarship Endowment on December 29, 2010.
The purpose for the scholarship is to support BCA ministerial candidates studying at IBS, IBS graduates who wish to study for an advanced degree at Ryukoku University, and prospective ministers from Japan who wish to study at IBS and serve in the Buddhist Church of America.
The donation is part of the BCA 21st Century Campaign. The assets of the fund will be managed by the IBS Board of Trustees. In keeping with prudent fiscal practices, only income is to be used.
The IBS Scholarship Committee, comprised of the Director of the Center for Contemporary Shin Buddhist Studies and the Dean of IBS, will determine the distribution of the scholarship.
Rev. and Mrs. Yamashita expressed their sincere intent to support the BCA ministerial students who wish to serve the BCA. â€œThe future of Jodo Shinshu in America is dependent on the strong ministerial education that is being provided by IBS, and therefore, we wish to do our part in supporting that endeavor,â€ said Rev. Yamashita.
Rev. Yamashita was the former Director of the Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, America, Inc.
Dr. Richard Payne expressed his gratitude to Rev. and Mrs. Yamashita for their generous contribution to the IBS and the future of ministerial education.
Present at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding was Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto, resident minister of the Berkeley Buddhist Temple, and Director of the Center for Contemporary Shin Buddhist Studies, as well as, Rev. Dr. Seigen Yamaoka of the IBS faculty.
Monday, December 20, 2010, 8:30 am
The Institute of Buddhist Studies, in collaboration with the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco, initiated a series of dialogues regarding the recently published Red Book by C.G. Jung. The first dialogue was held on Friday, October 22, 2010 before an audience that filled the Jodo Shinshu Centerâ€™s lecture hall to capacity. Some 130 people were in attendance.
The program began with an opening address by Dr. Richard Payne, Dean of IBS, and Ms. Ellen Becker, MFT, C.G. Jung Institute, who coordinated the event.
Rev. Zoketsu Norman Fischer, formerly of the San Francisco Zen Center, and Dr. Richard Stein, analyst member of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco discussed the personal, religious significance of Jungâ€™s visionary experience as recorded in the Red Book.
Particularly important was the way in which these meanings were placed in the social and historical context. Rev. Fischer, who taught at the IBS in the 1990s, highlighted a difference in attitude toward states of consciousness as held between Buddhist thought and mainstream Western cultures. Where traditional Buddhism, as exemplified in the visionary dreams of figures such as Shinran, founder of Shin Buddhism, and Myoe, a Shingon proponent of the Mantra of Light, viewed consciousness as forming a continuum between the waking state and dreamless sleep, Western societies generally treat these as dualistic and opposed to one another.
The second event in the series was held Friday, November 12, 2010 at the Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco. Following greetings by Ms. Ellen Becker and Dr. Richard Payne, the speakers were introduced: Jack Kornfield of Spirit Rock Meditation Center and Dyane Sherwood, analyst member of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco.
Sharing their reflections on the significance of confronting oneâ€™s own personal fears, represented by a variety of illustrations from the Red Book, both speakers developed themes at the interface of Buddhism and Jungian thought. One such theme was the way in which manifesting in art oneâ€™s own imagery can help to transform oneâ€™s experience of the external reality. Another was the importance of meditation, contemplation or self-reflection in gaining access to oneâ€™s own inner resources. Such resources are themselves often manifest in imagery, whether in dreams or active imagination.
Buddhism provides a rich resource of such practices, and can be matched with contemporary psychological practices to develop individual growth along the spiritual path. In contrast, Jung developed his own techniques, drawing on his understanding of the importance of imagery in dreams and in religious visions.
Video and audio from both dialogues is now available on our podcast here.