On August 1 and 2, twenty-four persons attended, including thirteen students and alumni, four course instructors, three guest speakers, BCA officials and staff members. Participants and lecturers came from all parts of the U.S, including Kansas, Texas, Minnesota, Alaska, Japan and Canada. Saturday’s first scheduled event was a Q & A session during which participants were able to discuss with faculty members (Rev. Henry Adams, Rev. Carol Himaka, Rev. Michael Hayashi and Rev. Kiyonobu Kuwahara) the contents and goals of the two year Correspondence Course. They also learned more on how to use the website. This year, guest lecturers were Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto of the Institute of Buddhist Studies and Dr. William M. Bodiford professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Bodiford spoke about Zen history and its respective practices in Japan. Dr. Matsumoto spoke about the differences between Jodo Shinshu beliefs and their Zen counterparts. In the evening, all participants were treated to dinner at the nearby Oakland Buddhist Church’s Obon festival. On Sunday, after an early morning service, Rev. Michael Hayashi of the Manitoba Buddhist Temple, Canada gave an excellent overview of Shakyamuni’s life and teachings in the context of his times and how they support Mahayana thought. He utilized a graphic display illustrating how our egos or consciousness can help us better understand the relationship between our “real world” experiences with our “timeless/ eternal” spiritual world. At the closing ceremony it was announced that next year’s August workshop will take place in Dusseldorf, Germany. At the conclusion of the workshop Bishop Kodo Umezu presented three recent graduates with their Jodo Shinshu Correspondence Course Certificates of Completion. They were Carolene Panduren of Anchorage, Ron Ito of Oakland and Maya Togashi of San Mateo.
(Credit to Detlev Gempf for sections of summary)
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