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Pacific Seminar 21st Century

June 25, 2010toJune 27, 2010

Pacific Seminar 21st Century
Shinran’s Path in America – Yesterday and Today
Exploring Nisei spirituality, temple traditions & values

Co-sponsored by the Center for Buddhist Education and the Institute of Buddhist Studies

Keynote Speaker: Rev. Tetsuo Unno

“This year, we will gather to listen to the stories of BCA’s Nisei (second generation, American-born) pioneers who helped to build the temples and maintain them for decades. Their stories and memories of their Issei (first generation, immigrant) parents — will help us to understand Shinran’s path in America,” explains Rev. Kodo Umezu, Director of the BCA Center for Buddhist Education.

The keynote speaker will be Rev. Tetsuo Unno, part-time minister at Pasadena Buddhist Temple, and popular lecturer at colleges and temples throughout the U.S. His ability to integrate Shin Buddhist perspectives in a range of educational, community and spiritual settings has inspired traditional followers and new audiences for several decades. Other speakers will include Rev. Shoki Mohri, BCA Minister Emeritus who will share his reflections on the post-World War II Buddhist experience (Japanese, translated to English, with commentary, by Rev. Unno); and Ms. Anne Spencer, Minister Assistant at the Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple, who will share her insights as a first-generation, non-Nikkei temple member. The seminar will be interactive and feature a panel of Nisei stories, a Q/A session and small group discussion, moderated by Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto, Director of the Center for Contemporary Shin Buddhist Studies at IBS; and Rev. Kodo Umezu, BCA CBE Director.

The seminar will reflect on the Nisei spiritual experience which has interwoven aspects of Japanese spiritual, social and cultural value systems; Buddhist teachings; and American ideals. Against the backdrop of pre-World War II racism and xenophobia; the exile and mass internment during World War II; post-war resettlement, the redress movement, and today, participants will discuss how various moral values — including “gaman” (perseverance), “shikataganai” (it cannot be helped); “haji” (shame) among others — influenced their lives. The Buddhist origins of some of the terms, and the changing interpretations of these terms, over time and by each generation, will also be discussed.

“We will be listening and sharing in the spirit of the Buddhist idea of ‘okage sama de’ (benefiting from the shade of those who walked before us). We are truly honored to present our guest speakers along with a panel of Nisei who will share their stories. We hope to have a good mixture of Nisei and younger generations and non-Nikkei. Everyone is welcome! And, if you cannot attend this one, we encourage you to sponsor something like this in your own community. CBE is ready to support you in any way we can,” Rev. Umezu concludes.

For more information on this event, including registration information, please contact the Center for Buddhist Education.

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