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The 23rd International Lotus Sutra Seminar

June 2018

Since 1994, Rissho Kosei-kai International has held a conference called the International Lotus Sutra Seminar, aiming to deepen and share Rissho Kosei-kai's teachings and interpretation of the Lotus Sutra. This year, the 23rd International Lotus Sutra Seminar was held at Rissho Kosei-kai headquarters in Tokyo from June 13 through June 16. Dr. Dominick Scarangello, an international advisor of Rissho Kosei-kai, arranged and moderated the entire seminar, which welcomed ten scholars from around the world, including Rev. Dr. Munehiro Niwano, President of Gakurin Seminary.

 The theme of this year's seminar was "'Found in Translation': Transpositions of the Lotus Sutra." Each scholar gave a 10-minute presentation and received a 30-minute response from another scholar; this was followed by a 40-minute discussion with all the scholars. Seminar participants also took a Rissho Kosei-kai facility tour, which was guided by Rev. Koichi Saito, Director of Rissho Kosei-kai International.

On June 14, participants visited Shibamata Daikyoji Temple located in Tokyo's Katsushika City. The venerable priest explained the characteristics of the temple, and also the participants experienced shindoku (a Japanese reading of the Chinese characters in a sutra) by a monk, which provided a good opportunity to understand other aspects of the history of Buddhism at the temple.

On June 15, participants visited the Suginami Dharma Center to attend a religious ceremony for a memorial service and joined a Dharma Circle (hoza) with the members of Suginami Dharma Center. After the ceremony, Rev. Kuritomi, minister of the Center, used the lunch period to hold a Q&A session with the participants and answered many of their questions. The participants said they were able to observe how Rissho Kosei-kai members awaken to the Buddha nature within themselves and apply the teachings to bodhisattva practice in their daily life.

In attending the seminar and Rissho Kosei-kai events, participants were surprised at how Rissho Kosei-kai members think of others first, willingly devote themselves to others, and respect the Buddha nature of others. The reason why members are able to practice the teachings is because Rev. Nikkyo Niwano, Founder of Rissho Kosei-kai, always taught members to embrace and treasure each encounter and the person right in front of us. It was our great honor and pleasure that the participants were able to recognize how Rissho Kosei-kai members are practicing the teachings of the Lotus Sutra in their daily life. We hope that such precious teachings will be disseminated to every person throughout the world who needs true liberation and happiness.

Rissho Kosei-kai International held a two-week Leaders Training Seminar July 6-18 in Tokyo and the Founder's birthplace, in Suganuma, Niigata Prefecture.
Rissho Kosei-kai International held a two-week Leaders Training Seminar July 6-18 in Tokyo and the Founder's birthplace, in Suganuma, Niigata Prefecture.

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