The 2022 annual EBL conference, “Dharma Friends Staying Connected,” was held virtually on Feb. 12-13.
This year’s Zoom event was a collaborative effort of all of the temples and Sanghas in the Eastern Buddhist League: Midwest Buddhist Temple, New York Buddhist Church, Ekoji Buddhist Temple, Seabrook Buddhist Temple, Cleveland Buddhist Temple, Toronto Buddhist Church, Manitoba Buddhist Temple, Albany Buddhist Sangha, Buddhist Temple of Chicago and Twin Cities Buddhist Sangha.
After a Saturday morning service hosted by Ekoji Buddhist Temple, we had the honor of welcoming Rev. Dr. Takashi Miyaji as the keynote speaker.
He shared his thoughts on staying connected during times of separation
and uncertainty through Amida Buddha’s great aspiration, the essence of Jodo Shinshu.
The newest EBL member, Albany Buddhist Sangha, hosted a Dharma School activity in the afternoon. Japanese language speakers had a late afternoon opportunity to share the Dharma with Rev. Chiemi Onikura Bly.
Then the fun began as we all went to the kitchen, computers in hand, to enjoy a “connection cocktail” and together learn how to make okonomiyaki. We chatted, we laughed, we learned and we ate. Thank you, Seabrook Buddhist Temple!
After the Sunday morning service, which was broadcast live from the Toronto Buddhist Church, Twin Cities Buddhist Association hosted a panel discussion with the four EBL Kaikyoshi ministers — Rev. Ron Miyamura, Rev. Nariaki Hayashi, Rev Yoshimichi Ouchi and Rev. Patti Nakai.
They discussed topics ranging from the current social climate to their personal influencers to how Buddhism will remain relevant.
Although the ongoing pandemic has kept us physically apart, it was wonderful to connect, learn, laugh and be in fellowship with our greater EBL Sangha.