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

We are celebrating our 70th Anniversary!


On December 11th, 2016, we celebrated 70 years as the Hamilton Buddhist Temple.  We had our 70th anniversary, commemorative service with Yoshi Sensei from the Toronto Buddhist Temple presiding.  We took a group photo of all the attendees and had a special lunch, with lots of food and desserts.

Thanks to all those who contributed to this special occasion.

Thanks to all our members that have supported and sustained our Temple over these 70 years, many of whom have passed on to Nirvana.

Thank you to the Toronto Buddhist Temple and ministers, Christina Sensei and Yoshi Sensei for their continuing support and encouragement.

May the light of the Dharma continue to shine on the Jodo Shinshu faith, its temples and its members.

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JSBTC Updates: September 2016

JSBTC AGM 2016 Hosted by Manitoba Buddhist Temple

Sincere thanks and appreciation are extended to all the members and supporters of MBT for hosting such a wonderful AGM.  The organizers at MBT all did a great job to ensure a very successful AGM.  Important work was conducted over the course of the AGM and a true sense of sangha community was experienced by all in attendance.  In addition, all attendees were able to join in the celebration of MBT’s 70th anniversary. Thank you, MBT!

JSBTC Day 2016

This is a reminder that JSBTC Day is normally held at each temple in the months of October or early November.

As in recent years, JSBTC is requesting local temples to collect donations for JSBTC Day.  In order to comply with the new Canada Not For Profit Act, we are asking local temples to count the donations received, to receipt their members/donors and forward the donations with a list of the names and addresses of the donors as well as the amounts donated to JSBTC in a secure manner. Donors should write their cheques payable to their local temple indicating “JSBTC Day” in the memo area of the cheque. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

2016 Gomonshu Accession Ceremony and Shinran Shonin Pilgrimage Trip to Japan

Rev. Grant Ikuta will be leading the 2016 JSBTC Trip to Japan for the Gomonshu’s Accession Ceremony and associated pilgrimage to key Shinran Shonin sites.  Dates for the tour are October 10-23.


Officers and Directors of the JSBTC Board

Shortly after the AGM 2016 official proceedings, the following officers were appointed to JSBTC Board Executive Positions:

President:  Dave Ohori

Vice President:  Larry Wakisaka

Treasurer:  Greg Chor

Secretary:  Debra Campbell

In addition, Amy Wakisaka was re-appointed as LDC Program Director

Other Directors Serving on the JSBTC Board are:

Director: Trudy Gahlinger

Director:  Dr. Roland Ikuta

Director:  Harvey Kaita

Director:  Kent MacCarl

Director:  Laura Sugimoto

Director:  Amy Wakisaka

JSBTC Board Advisors:

Bishop Tatsuya Aoki

Rev. Grant Ikuta  (MA Chair)

JSBTC and WF AGM 2017

Our next AGM is scheduled to be held at the Toronto Buddhist Church during the period April 21-23, 2017 so please keep these dates open in your calendar!  Pre-AGM meetings for the Ministerial Association, JSBTC Board, LDC and Ministerial Retirement Fund Trustees will be held prior to the official AGM. Details will be announced in ample time prior to the AGM

Meditation and Mindfulness with Ray Nakano


Are you suffering from stress? Are you considering if meditation and living your life more mindfully could make a difference? Then you may want to attend our meditation sessions.


Ray Nakano has been leading two hour meditation sessions at the Hamilton Buddhist Temple since September, 2016.
Come out and join us!

When: Every 1st and 3rd Tuesday evening of the month from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  There will not be any meditation sessions during July and August.
Where: Hamilton Buddhist Temple located at the Canadian Japanese Cultural Centre, 45 Hempstead Drive, Hamilton
Ray Nakano has been an active member of the Hamilton Buddhist Temple and has been practising meditation for the past 8 years.  Since retiring from the Ontario Government, he has volunteered for various organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the Toronto Green Community and 350.org, an organization building a global climate change movement. Ray is a meditation facilitator with the Mindfulness Practice Community of Toronto. He is also currently working with the Earth Holder Sangha. Ray enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, playing bridge, snowboarding and is an avid wall climber.

The two hour session will include:

 Guided Sitting Meditation
 Silent Walking Meditation
 Silent Sitting Meditation
 Dharma Talk
 Sangha Sharing

Dharma talks may include the 4 Noble Truths, the 8 fold Noble Path, the 5 Skandhas, etc.
Practices may include recitation of the 5 Mindfulness Trainings, Beginning Anew, Touching the Earth, etc.

Please arrive at least 15 minutes early in order to allow time for “settling in” so the session can begin promptly at 7:00 pm.

If you have any questions please email Ray at ray_nakano@hotmail.com.




Stillness. Sitting meditation is like returning home to give full attention to and care for ourselves.  Like the Buddha, we too can radiate peace and stability.  We sit upright with serenity, and return to our breathing.  We are able to maintain a relaxed and upright position when our posture is stable.  Using the right cushion or chair will enable us to be steady by allowing our weight to be balanced and supported on three points: our buttocks and our two knees.  We bring our full attention to what is within and around us.  We let our mind become spacious and our heart soft and kind.
Sitting meditation is healing.  We realize we can just be with whatever is within us – our pain, anger, and irritation, or our joy, love, and peace.  We are with whatever is there without being carried away by it. Let it come, let it stay, then let it go.  No need to react, to run away from or to push away, to suppress, or to ignore.  We observe the thoughts and images of our mind with an accepting and loving mind.  We are free to be still and calm despite the storms that might arise in us.
We will sit for periods of 20 or 30 minutes.  If our legs or feet fall asleep or begin to hurt during the sitting, we are free to adjust our position quietly.  We can maintain our concentration and support others in their practice by following our breathing, as we slowly and attentively change our posture.
For more information on the Mindfulness Practice Community of Toronto please visit their website at

World Buddhist Women’s Convention, 2015

Logo for 2015 World Buddhist Women's Convention

Logo for 2015 World Buddhist Women’s Convention

Embraced by the Oneness of Life was the recurring theme experienced by almost 1,800 Buddhists from Japan, Brazil, the U.S., Canada and Hawaii who attended the World Buddhist Women’s Convention in Calgary, Alberta, May 30 & 31, 2015.  From the majestic and moving opening ceremony to the equally significant closing, there was music, dancing, visiting, chanting, and inspiring dharma messages bringing laughter and tears, stimulating the mind and warming the heart.

We were honored to have the attendance and participation of his Eminence Monshu Ohtani Kojun (Sennyo Monshu). “Gomonshu-sama” as he is called by Jodo Shinshu followers is the 25th generation Sennyo Monshu or Hongwanji head priest.

The keynote speakers, Reverend Nana Yanase from Japan and Reverend Patricia Kanaya Usuki, born in Canada and living in the USA, shared the dharma through music, life stories and a broad experience and knowledge of the teachings.  A panel, comprised of women from each of the Districts, touchingly described their personal pathways in and towards embracing the dharma.

Workshops themed on the Eight-Fold Path provided food for the body, mind and spirit with activities to match that included dancing, singing, writing, and exercising.  There were stimulating opportunities to learn more about music, history, art and self-reflection …all in the context of Buddhism and the Oneness of Life.

Over meals and during breaks, participants were able to meet and socialize, culminating in the dinner banquet where each table was arranged with a mix of delegates from each country.  The banquet portion of the evening included a singing performance from Reverend Nana Yanase and entertainment from the District countries.  A highlight was the joining of performers and delegates, including the Gomonshu-sama and other dignitaries in the favorite odori Tanko Busshi.  To close the evening entertainment, dancers from across Canada performed a lively zumba to the tune of The Best Day of Our Lives.

The Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada Women’s Federation, together with the temples across Canada have worked together to provide a successful and memorable experience.  Despite being a small Sangha with limited resources and spread across a large country geographically, we are grateful that all those who came from around the world to Calgary enjoyed this convention and fulfilled our hope for a memorable experience where we were truly “Embraced by the Oneness of Life”.

As with previous years, a post convention report will be published and will contain a text copy of all the speeches as well as many photos.  A DVD of the convention and a full version of the keynote speakers is planned and will hopefully be available soon.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada handed the World Buddhist Women’s Convention flag to the Buddhist Churches of America Buddhist Women’s Association who will host the next World Buddhist Women’s Convention, August 30 to September 1, 2019 in San Francisco, California.  See you there!