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FDSTL 2023 Conference Draws Over 100 Participants at PABT

Under sunny skies at Palo Alto Buddhist Temple (PABT), the 72nd FDSTL 2023 Conference, ”Inside Out Buddhism,” attracted about 80 in-person participants — and approximately 50 virtual participants — on April 29.

The conference opened with an encouraging Dharma message from BCA Bishop Rev. Marvin Harada and a tribute from FDSTL President Koichi Sayano to past FDSTL presidents, the late Glenn Kameda and Irene Takemori.

Rev. Candice Shibata of the Buddhist Church of Stockton presented a beautiful and meaningful keynote address. She reflected on the connections between the emotions of our Dharma School students and Buddhist sutras.

Both in-person and virtual participants interacted with two of six workshops developed and facilitated by the Bay District Dharma School Teachers League.

All participants were given the materials and resources for all six workshops: Buddhist Anger, Buddhist Disgust/Discomfort, Buddhist Fear, Buddhist Greed, Buddhist Joy, and Buddhist Sadness.

The Bay District Conference Committee was delighted to hear the conversations extend outside the workshop rooms and to see the smiles on everyone's faces at being able to meet in person again.

The conference also featured a fascinating history chat by D. Trinidad Hunt, granddaughter of Dorothy Hunt, who composed "The Golden Chain."

In her conversation with Camille Pating, a Certified Assistant at Buddhist Church of San Francisco, Hunt told the audience about the development of the Sangha in Hawaii and the dedicated, tireless work of her grandparents, Dorothy and Ernest Hunt, in spreading the Dharma.

In between all of the learning and sharing, attendees enjoyed a delicious lunch from Ike's Sandwiches, bento dinner by Suruki, and popcorn and desserts while watching Pixar's “Inside Out,” the thematic inspiration for the conference. The Hongwanji Place from Senshin Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles brought its Buddhist storefront for conference participants to enjoy.

Participants were full of praise for the conference.

"This conference was truly special,” Pating said. “I’m still processing all the information, interactions and excitement of being together in person again. I learned a lot from participating and I hope we’ll be able to continue the conversation about supporting students’ mental health and emotional well-being."

Ruth Terada of the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple said: “I’m still floating on air after an awesome conference weekend! Pure joy!”

The Federation of Dharma School Teachers League gratefully recognizes the following Dharma School teachers for their commitment and dedicated service in teaching the Dharma:

Bishop’s 10-Year Teaching Award

Rev. Ellen Crane, Orange County Buddhist Church

Imogene Imada, Gardena Buddhist Church

Doreen Suruki, San Mateo Buddhist Temple

Yuko Suruki, San Mateo Buddhist Temple

Sallie Swun, Orange County Buddhist Church

FDSTL Recognition for 25 Years of Teaching

Robert Ronne, Gardena Buddhist Church

Carol Yonemura, Mountain View Buddhist Temple

FDSTL Recognition for 50 Years of Teaching

Grace Hatano, Buddhist Church of Sacramento



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