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Venice Hongwanji Hosts ‘Coping with COVID-19’ Seminar

The Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple Sangha Initiative hosted a special livestream event on August 24 entitled, "The Dharma and Coping with COVID-19” that attracted a diverse group from over 15 BCA temples.

This was the second topic of the VHBT Sangha Series and featured Rev. Candice Shibata of the Buddhist Church of Stockton and focused on dealing with mental well-being and how Jodo Shinshu teachings can help guide us as we deal with the challenges of COVID-19, including returning to a more normal state.

Rev. Shibata began her presentation with a discussion of mental health and mental illness, sharing some of her own experiences and feelings and how she dealt with her own challenges.

In her discussion of how culture can impact mental health, Rev. Shibata drew an analogy to the Four Noble Truths and the path we all take when working through mental health issues. She also provided detail on how the pandemic has affected young adults at a much higher rate. Finally, Rev. Shibata discussed the role of the temple, and how to identify situations where ministers need to recognize potential mental illness issues that need referral to qualified professionals.

The event was recorded and can be found on the Venice Hongwanji YouTube channel at

The Sangha Series was made possible in part by a grant from the Southern District Buddhist Womens’ Association and is being produced by the Sangha Initiative, a group of younger adults (aged 20-45) at VHBT that develops and hosts events and programs for the entire Sangha while focusing on engaging our younger adults and families.

The Sangha Series was led by the efforts of Monica Belli Haley and Michelle Orne, with the guidance of VHBT Resident Minister Rev. Kory Quon.

The next event is expected to discuss how Jodo Shinshu teachings can help us deal with addiction issues.

The Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple is committed to promoting a culture of diversity and inclusiveness. The temple has adopted the following hashtags that we will use as a constant reminder that everyone is welcome to our temple and activities: #MinnaNakayoshi & #EveryoneTogether.


“The Dharma and Coping with COVID-19” can be seen on the Venice Hongwanji YouTube channel at



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