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Buddhadharma : Fall 2008
mahasangha news buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly fall 2 0 08 88 This spring at Zen Moun- tain Monastery, four teens grad- uated from a Coming of Age pro- gram. Through a series of sessions with the monastery’s teachers and the fulfillment of commitments at home, including daily zazen, read- ings, and study assignments, the teens reflected on the Buddhist precepts as a way to navigate the difficult challenges facing young adults. The program culminated with a ceremony in May, in which the teens (pictured right with ab bot John Daido Loori Roshi, the program’s teachers, and young mentors) took refuge and received the five precepts. In June, Columbia University’s Center for Technology, Innovation, and Community Engagement, along with Tibet Center, presented a month-long series of eight work- shops and seminars in New York called living Peace: spiritual In May, 5,000 representatives from 600 Buddhist delegations from 74 countries met in Hanoi for the fifth international Buddhist conference. The three-day gathering began on May 15, UniTed nATion’s dAY oF VesAK (UNDV). In 1999, The UN passed a resolution to celebrate the birth, enlightenment, and paranirvana of Shakyamuni Buddha each May. The first UNDV event took place at the UN headquarters in New York in 2000. Between 2004 and 2007, the celebration took place in Bangkok. “It’s an historical event and moment of pride for the Buddhists and the whole country,” said Dr. Thich Nhat Tu, secretary of the International organizing Committee of the UNDV. The prime minister of Vietnam and Buddhist luminaries such as Matthieu Ricard and Thich Nhat Hanh addressed the conference, whose theme this year was the “Buddhist Contribution to Building a Just, Democratic, and Civil Society.” American writer and professor John Whalen-Bridge attended the conference and reported that because there were few Burmese or Tibetan monks in attendance, “coffee talk often turned to the problem of engaged Buddhism under politically challenging conditions.” Approaches to Achieving inner Peace. Religious leaders and theologians spoke about various approaches to cultivating inner peace and the relationship between individual peace and world peace. Delivering the Buddhist perspective were Robert Thurman, Columbia University professor and president of Tibet House, and Kenjitsu Na- kagaki, resident minister of the New York Buddhist Church and Buddhist chaplain at Columbia. Christian, Sufi, Islamic, Jewish, and Hindu speakers rounded out the workshops. On June 21, a gathering of Theravadan bhikk hunis (fully ordained Buddhist nuns) in northern California made history when Anagarika Suvijjana received sameneri (novice ordina- tion) at dharma creek land cen- ter, near Jenner. For many years, only Theravadan bhikkhus (monks) and nuns from other ©RoBERTFISCHER/Sol-A-KoA.CoMTMKERSTINDUEll ➤