April 2020 Shotsuki Memorial Service on Youtube

2020 New Year’s Greeting from Office of the Bishop

On behalf of the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada, I wish to thank all of you for your support and understanding throughout the year 2019.

While quietly reflecting on 2019, how quickly a year passes.  At such times, I wonder what causes us to lose sight of what is truly of value.  “What is the big picture of life that Buddhism tries to encourage us to keep in mind, as we live?”  When we lose sight of the big picture, without thinking, we just feel we know what we value, and we know what is right. But the essential point of Buddhism is very simple: What we must value most in life… is life itself. We must value this opportunity to live and appreciate this experience that we share together.

My studies for academic advancement through Nishi Hongwanji were successfully completed in June, 2019.   Earlier in the month of April, I started a program to learn Japanese tea  ceremony, “Sado” or “Chado”.   While I was learning how to make and serve green tea, I also learned about the philosophy of the tea ceremony.  There is a Buddhist saying that is closely associated with the Tea Master, Sen No Rikyu (1522-1591).  The phrase is, “Ichigo-Ichie.”  Literally, it means, “One Moment-One Meeting.”  Within the tea ceremony, it implies that our coming together in this moment happens but once in our lifetime; let us appreciate this time together.

Ultimately, in the big picture of things, it is certainly not about winning or losing a hockey game.  It is not about getting what we want or having our way.  Ultimately and most essentially, it is about valuing life and this time we have together. When our Dharma eyes are open, we cannot help but see that we must not take for granted this very moment of life we are living.  As I have often asked, “How many months of Decembers will be ours to enjoy?”  However many, that number is limited.  Realizing this, let us try to live together and work together harmoniously in the spirit of “Ichigo-Ichie.”  Let us live knowing that each day is new and fresh and at the same time, each moment may be our last.  With our Dharma eyes open, let us try to enjoy this winter holiday season, letting go of our complaints, our anger, and resentments and embrace each moment and each meeting with others, knowing that they will never come again.  In Jodo Shinshu, we would call a life of Ichigo-Ichie, “A life of Nembutsu.”

Thank you for your kindness and support throughout the last year.  We look forward to another wonderful year together.   I would like to wish everyone a very happy and healthy Holiday Season!

In gassho,

Tatsuya Aoki

Bishop, Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada



June 12 – 14, 2020, Winnipeg, Manitoba 

Williams is a Soto Zen priest and Director of the Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture at the University of Southern California. He is the author of “American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War” 

  • Tour of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights
  • Panel discussions and workshops
  • Discover the rich tradition, culture and diversity of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Service, Manitoba Buddhist Temple


Here is the poster.

President of JSBTC’s Message re JSBTC Day 2019

Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada (JSBTC) Day 2019

JSBTC or Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada Day is a special
memorial service which is traditionally held by local temples across Canada
in the months of October or November to observe, remember and honour
our pioneers of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism and all who were followers in
Canada. Our first Jodo Shinshu minister arrived from Nishi Hongwanji (our
mother temple in Kyoto, Japan) to Vancouver on October 12, 1905 and
thus the month of October is important in Canada to mark our historical

JSBTC Day allows us all to gather together at our local temples to
collectively express our gratitude to all those who spread the Dharma
Teachings before us.

As is often the case, we can think of things in relation to the past, the present and the future.
We can think of the past in terms of all those dedicated Jodo Shinshu followers and ministers
who have preceded us and remember them for all that they have done to get us where we are
now. Our present thoughts can be centred on our current ministers who guide us in our daily
lives now. For the future, let us remember to provide for our dedicated retired ministers as well
as those ministers who may be considering retirement in the future.

This year, our National Board of Directors want to ensure that a part of any donations kindly
made towards JSBTC Day goes directly to our Ministers’ Retirement Fund. Let us all remember
with gratitude those who have passed before us and share in these quiet moments of JSBTC
Day services together and also remember those in our present and future who we can help to
secure a decent and well deserved retirement. Please kindly check with your local temple for
the date of the JSBTC Day Memorial Service and let us all observe, remember and honour with
gratitude together as one common national sangha.

With Gratitude and in Gassho,

Larry Wakisaka
JSBTC President

*** Please note that due to Canada Revenue Agency and the Canada Not-For-Profit Act, we ask
that if donations are made by cheque, kindly make the payee your local temple and write
in the memo area of the cheque “JSBTC Day”. Any and all donations made to JSBTC Day are
gratefully accepted.

Engaged Buddhism Presentation at the Burlington Central Library on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

On Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018, Ray Nakano will be giving a talk on Engaged Buddhism at the Burlington Central Library located at 2331 New St. in Burlington from 7 to 8 pm.

Insights into the teachings of the Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh, global spiritual leader, poet, and peace activist will be presented.   Learn mindfulness exercises to tap into your best self.


JSBTC Day 2018 Message from JSBTC President Larry Wakisaka

On behalf of the JSBTC Board of Directors I would like to extend my personal greetings to all JSBTC Member Temples, their congregants, supporters and friends of the JSBTC. Many parts of our Kyodan across Canada experienced very hot temperatures this past summer so perhaps the Fall season will be more seasonal with somewhat cooler temperatures which hopefully will bring out the full spectrum of autumn colours in their full glory for all to enjoy.

The Autumn season also typically signifies that JSBTC Day is soon upon us. This is a day when we all do our best to pay our respects and to commemorate all those who have preceded us in spreading the Dharma. Each Temple in our Kyodan normally selects a day either in October or in early November to celebrate JSBTC Day.

I would encourage everyone to consider attending their local Temples to honour all those pioneers of our faith so that they will be honoured and remembered for many more years to come for all their significant contributions.

Our JSBTC Board continues to work hard to provide the most benefits possible in support of the local temples, their respective memberships, to support the Office of the Bishop and our hard working Bishop Aoki, with our Ministerial Chair Rev. Grant Ikuta and, of course, all our dedicated Ministers who all work so hard to share the Dharma Teachings with all of us.

Our National Board sees Bishop Aoki, Rev. Grant and all our wonderful ministers working incessantly to walk the path of the Dharma with all of us so it is incumbent upon us to ensure that they receive benefits to allow them to also live gratifying lives. Please consider making a donation on JSBTC Day to help enable us to deliver important health and insurance benefits to all our ministers, to provide educational opportunities for them and to also enable us to assist local Temples in their challenge and quest to continue to share the Dharma to our greater communities.

Our elected National Directors look forward to your attendance and support at the upcoming JSBTC Day at your local temple.

With Gratitude and in Gassho,
Larry Wakisaka
JSBTC President (on behalf of the JSBTC Board)

SAVE THE DATE: 2018 Eastern Buddhist League Conference, August 31 – September 2, 2018


The Shin Buddhist Path
Toronto Buddhist Church
Toronto, ON – Canada

Featuring Guest Speakers

Reverends Bob and Patti Oshita


Passports are required to cross the border.

JSBTC Day 2017 Message from JSBTC President Dave Ohori

On behalf of the JSBTC Board of Directors, I wish to extend my warm greetings to all JSBTC Member Temples, their congregants and friends of the JSBTC. With the extremely hot summer behind us now, the cool rains and autumn colours will be something to look forward to.

On July 10-23, the JSBTC hosted a youth tour to Japan with many interesting places to explore. The main attraction was visiting our Mother Temple Nishi Hongwanji in Kyoto. There were a total of six youth who registered from across Canada. The participants were two from Fraser Valley Temple, one from Calgary Temple, one from Manitoba Buddhist Temple and two from Toronto Buddhist Church. This year the chaperone was Bishop Aoki who took time from his busy schedule to be the tour guide for this trip. This tour leader opportunity was open to all ministers in Canada but due to their schedules no one was able to accompany the youth to Japan. Thank you very much to Bishop Aoki for putting big smiles on the faces of our Youth Delegates and for making available life long memories for the youth who attended.

Rev. Robert Gubenco, who is a member at Calgary Buddhist Temple has expressed an interest in being a Kyoshi minister in Canada. Under the supervision of Rev. James Martin and Bishop Aoki, we should have a Kyoshi minister soon to help with our extreme shortage of ministers in Canada. The JSBTC expresses our gratitude to Rev. Robert Gubenco, Rev. James Martin and Bishop Aoki for their dedication and guidance in fulfilling this need for the future of sustaining Jodo Shinshu in Canada.

Rev. Yoshi (Yoshimichi) Ouchi was assigned to Toronto Buddhist Church last year. He has been working closely with TBC, Rev. Christina and Socho Aoki in adapting to our Canadian culture. He has shown great enthusiasm and he is a true gift to us by being a new minister of the JSBTC. We are very proud in welcoming him in joining our Sangha.

I’m sorry to announce the resignation of Rev. Christina Yanko who is a resident minister of Toronto Buddhist Church. She will unfortunately be leaving JSBTC on Dec 31, 2017. Her husband Dave is an American citizen and he has been called back to the USA for active duty (which he cannot refuse) with the U.S. Coast Guard. I know it was a difficult decision for Rev. Christina to make but we all understand that it is very important to keep the family unit together whenever possible. I am going to miss her wonderful Dharma talks and her glowing smile. Thank you Rev. Christina for the wonderful experiences which you have provided to our Sangha during your appointment in Canada. Many members will be missing you and your family. We wish you good luck and safe travels for you and your family.

The JSBTC Board of Directors appreciates the JSBTC membership for your support for all our Ministers and Bishop Aoki. The JSBTC is a representative of all Jodo Shinshu Temples across Canada and we wish that all members understand that we all have a voice. The Board has been working hard to ensure the health and well being of our ministers and to spread the Dharma of Jodo Shinshu to everyone

In Gassho,

Dave Ohori
JSBTC President (on Behalf of the JSBTC Board)

Living Dharma Centre Virtual Book Club Update

March 24, 2017

Thank you for following our past discussions on Sensei Jeff Wilson’s book Buddhism of the Heart: Reflections on Shin Buddhism and Inner Togetherness. We hope that the readings and comments have sparked thought and reflection within yourself as well as reconnecting to some of the basics of Shin Buddhism. Our thanks go to Sensei Jeff for writing such an easy to read and approachable book!

Our next title for the LDC Virtual Book Club will be Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. We will be starting this title on April 28th and we will complete it by May 28th. This book is widely available in paperback, audiobook and ebook format.

From a Good Reads Review:

“Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl’s theory-known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”)-holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.”

Please join us by emailing Barb MacCarl at: bm.livingdharmacentre@gmail.com to be included in the discussions.

An Update on How the LDC Virtual Book Club Works

Hello everyone!

We are planning the reading and review of a book for the winter/spring 2017 time which will be “Buddhism of the Heart” by Jeff Wilson (ISBN 0-86171-583-7). Jeff Sensei is a Buddhist Scholar who teaches at a Canadian university. This book is insightful, thought provoking and quite humorous in spots.

Buddhism of the Heart: Reflections on Shin Buddhism and Inner Togetherness
by Jeff Wilson, Foreword by Taitetsu Unno

For a book preview please see:  http://www.wisdompubs.org/sites/default/files/preview/Buddhism%20of%20the%20Heart%20Book%20Preview.pdf

We will be starting this session on January 21, 2017, so if you would like to be involved with this book, be sure to pick up a copy, available through Chapters or Amazon  (also available in Kindle and Kobo versions) or from your local temple.

After feedback from the last book review, we have decided to use a Private “Google Group” to facilitate this next session. We believe this should make it easier for everyone to respond to and review everyone’s responses.  As this will be a private group, it will require you to have a “Google account” (with Gmail address) to participate.  There’s no charge to set up a Google account and Gmail address.

  • If you already have a Google account and have already provided us with your Gmail address, there’s nothing further you need to do until you receive your invite to join the group – Jan. 21st.
  • If you do have a Gmail address but didn’t provide it, please send it to:  bm.livingdharmacentre@gmail.com and to dorothy.gigliotti@gmail.com
  • If you do not have a Google account, please set one up at:  https://accounts.google.com/SignUp   and provide us (bm.livingdharmacentre@gmail.com and dorothy.gigliotti@gmail.com) with your new Gmail address.

Dorothy Gigliotti is assisting Barb MacCarl with the set up of the Group.  Please include her in any correspondence regarding your set up.  Dorothy can also be contacted, if you need further assistance to set up your Google account or participation in the group, by emailing her at dorothy.gigliotti@gmail.com.

Once you’ve set up a Google account and sent in your new Gmail address, the next step is to look for a Google group invite, which will be sent to you by email.  Follow the instructions to connect to the group and your journey will begin!!

This is a brand new year, let’s learn, grow and make the most of it together!


Barb MacCarl

Books and Education

Living Dharma Centre