Calgary Embraced by the Oneness of Light

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Embraced by the Oneness of Life was the recurring theme experienced by almost 1,800 Buddhists from Japan, Brazil, the U.S., Canada and Hawaii who attended the World Buddhist Women’s Convention in Calgary, Alberta, May 30 & 31, 2015.  From the majestic and moving opening ceremony to the equally significant closing, there was music, dancing, visiting, chanting, and inspiring dharma messages bringing laughter and tears, stimulating the mind and warming the heart.

We were honored to have the attendance and participation of his Eminence Monshu Ohtani Kojun (Sennyo Monshu). “Gomonshu-sama” as he is called by Jodo Shinshu followers is the 25th generation Sennyo Monshu or Hongwanji head priest.

The keynote speakers, Reverend Nana Yanase from Japan and Reverend Patricia Kanaya Usuki, born in Canada and living in the USA, shared the dharma through music, life stories and a broad experience and knowledge of the teachings.  A panel, comprised of women from each of the Districts, touchingly described their personal pathways in and towards embracing the dharma.
Workshops themed on the Eight-Fold Path provided food for the body, mind and spirit with activities to match that included dancing, singing, writing, and exercising.  There were stimulating opportunities to learn more about music, history, art and self-reflection …all in the context of Buddhism and the Oneness of Life.

Over meals and during breaks, participants were able to meet and socialize, culminating in the dinner banquet where each table was arranged with a mix of delegates from each country.  The banquet portion of the evening included a singing performance from Reverend Nana Yanase and entertainment from the District countries.  A highlight was the joining of performers and delegates, including the Gomonshu-sama and other dignitaries in the favorite odori Tanko Busshi.  To close the evening entertainment, dancers from across Canada performed a lively zumba to the tune of The Best Day of Our Lives.
The Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada Women’s Federation, together with the temples across Canada have worked together to provide a successful and memorable experience.  Despite being a small Sangha with limited resources and spread across a large country geographically, we are grateful that all those who came from around the world to Calgary enjoyed this convention and fulfilled our hope for a memorable experience where we were truly “Embraced by the Oneness of Life”.

As with previous years, a post convention report will be published and will contain a text copy of all the speeches as well as many photos.  A DVD of the convention and a full version of the keynote speakers is planned and will hopefully be available soon.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada handed the World Buddhist Women’s Convention flag to the Buddhist Churches of America Buddhist Women’s Association who will host the next World Buddhist Women’s Convention, August 30 to September 1, 2019 in San Francisco, California.  See you there!


Article courtesy of the Hamilton Buddhist Temple
Photos courtesy of the Manitoba Buddhist Temple