The Federation of Dharma School Teachers’ League held its 70th Annual Conference online on April 24.
With the continuing COVID pandemic, it was held for the second year as a totally online event, hosted by the Southern District Dharma School Teachers’ League.
The conference program, with the theme of “Meeting the Challenges of Today’s Dharma School,” was originally planned for an in-person conference until the COVID pandemic forced a drastic change in plans and the program was shifted to an online format.
Pieper Toyama, the founding headmaster of the Pacific Buddhist Academy in Honolulu, Hawaii, was the keynote speaker.
He spoke about “Nembutsu moments” as an underlying goal of the Dharma School program from his experiences at PBA. This was followed by a question-and-answer session moderated by Rev. Jon Turner, Resident Minister at the Orange County Buddhist Church, and BCA President-Elect Terri Omori and breakout workshops discussing applications of the topics presented in the keynote address and lesson sharing among the attendees.
The Bishop’s 10-Year Service Awards and FDSTL 25-Year Service Awards were presented during the conference.
Recipients for this year are:
10 Years — Teri Futaba of OCBC and Nancy Aochi of San Jose Betsuin
25 Years — Lynda Ichinaga of San Jose Betsuin, and Loren Miyasaki of Enmanji and Linda Miyasaki of Enmanji
The evening workshops were presented as pre-recorded, 20-minute videos that the attendees can view at their convenience. Topics included use of technology, social media, and other technology tools for use in the Dharma School classroom.
The 2022 FDSTL Conference will be hosted by Northern California Dharma School Teachers League and will be held as a virtual conference, with possible hybrid participation at the district or local temple level as pandemic conditions permit.