The Wisdom of Interbeing & The Art of Happiness

see English text below on the 11/10 public symposium

click here for a short video on the week in Japan

and the new article by Hiroshi Nagai

click here for details on the study tour and complete week in Japan

2012 INEB Executive Meeting and International Forum

The Wisdom of Interbeing & The Art of Happiness

An International Engaged Buddhist Vision for Post 3/11 Japan 

November 10, 2012

Kodo Kyodan Buddhist Fellowship


Fukushima3/11 has become a watershed; the moment when it became very apparent that the sacrifices of modern industrial development had outpaced the benefits. WhileJapanbecame the first Asian nation to achieve a high level of modern development, it accomplished this feat by dismantling its intimate rural communities and ancient cultural traditions for alienated urban life based on workaholism, consumerism, and the endless drive for growth and success. Its rich natural environment has been slowly compromised in this process with the present specter of nationwide nuclear contamination endangering life itself. For a country that has a rich Buddhist history of over 1,400 years, it seems the Buddhist values of sufficiency and harmony with others and with nature have no role in contemporary Japan, nor it seems do Buddhist priests and Buddhist temples. AsJapanhas been the leading nation within Asia of the promise of modern development, is its situation the fate that the rest ofAsiaand the Buddhist world must follow? And how about the West which is already experiencing the same dislocations ofJapan? Recently, new voices from the Buddhist world are gaining the attention of the leading proponents of industrial modernism, such as economists now learning about Gross National Happiness, scientists investigating the verifiable art of happiness in meditation, and systems theorists rediscovering the ancient Buddhist wisdom of the dynamic and inter-connected nature of reality. Buddhism may not offer an answer to all of the problems of the contemporary world, but its wisdom of sustainability and its art of happiness does offer us a practical guide to working out our present problems and charting a future course that will bring well-being to future generations. Come join us for this symposium where some of the most inspiring Buddhist leaders in these new fields of social engagement offer their insights on a new direction for our societies.

 13:00-17:00 Public Symposium

Keynote Speech: Sulak Sivaraksa (Thailand, INEB Founder)

Panel Discussion

  • Ven. Phaisan Visalo (Thailand, Director of Buddhika Network for Buddhism and Society)
  • Ven. Huimin (Taiwan, Association of Clinical Buddhist Studies)
  • Rev. Yoshiharu Tomatsu (Japan, former Secretary General of Japan Buddhist Federation)
  • Rev. Mari Sengoku (Japan, Kyoto University Kokoro [Heart-Mind] Research Center)
  • Moderator: Harsha Navaratne (Sri Lanka, INEB Chairman, Sewalanka Foundation)

Q&A and free discussion among panelists

Registration required : mail to –>
* The symposium will be held in English so there is a limit of 200 persons for the simultaneous translation of English to Japanese.

Admission: 1,000 yen (500 yen for students)

Location: Kodo Kyodan Buddhist Fellowship (38 Torigoe, Kanagawa-ku, Yokohama) Stations: JR Higashi Kanagawa; Toyoko Line Higashi Hakuraku;click on this access map


Sulak Sivaraksa (born March 27, 1933 in Thailand) has been over the years a social critic, an exiled democracy leader, a progressive Buddhist development worker, and an international voice for a more humane and spiritualized global order. He is founder and director of the Sathirakoses-Nagapradipa Foundation, which serves as an umbrella for a wide variety of social, humanitarian, ecological, and spiritual movements and organizations in Thailand, like the Spirit in Education Movement (SEM) and the Thai Inter-religious Commission on Development (TICD). He is also the leading founder of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB), which was established in 1989 with leading Buddhists the 14th Dalai Lama, the Vietnamese monk and peace-activist Thich Nhat Hanh, and the Cambodian peace leader and monk Maha Ghosananda as its patrons. In 2011, he became the 28th recipient of the prestigious Niwano Peace Prize. He is the author of numerous books, such as Conflict, Culture, Change : Engaged Buddhism in a Globalizing WorldSeeds of Peace: A Buddhist Vision for Renewing Society, and The Wisdom of Sustainability: Buddhist Economics for the 21st Century.

Harsha Kumara Navaratne is the Chairperson of Sewalanka Foundation, a leading Sri Lankan development NGO. Navaratne studied community development atSt.XavierUniversity in thePhilippines and is the recipient of two honorary doctorate degrees. Before founding Sewalanka in 1992, he served as Presidential Advisor to President Premadasa’s Janasaviya Poverty Alleviation Program and the 15,000 Village Development Program. He worked for 21 years as Field Director and Vice President in the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement under the mentorship of Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne. Navaratne is also an award-winning film maker. At present, he is serving as the Chairman of Executive Board of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) and working with religious leaders in all parts ofSri Lanka to bridge the divides created by decades of civil war.

Ven. Phaisan Visalo is the chief abbot of Sukato forest monastery in the Chaiyapume,Thailand. He ordained as a monk in 1983 after graduating fromThammasatUniversity inBangkok and founding the Coordinating Group for Religion and Society. He has worked extensively in the environmental and alternative development movement, in conflict resolution (as a member of the National Reconciliation Commission of Thailand), and in monastic reform within the Thai Sangha. More recently, he has led the Buddhika Network for Buddhism and Society in developing a network of religious and medical professionals working for more integrated spiritual and physical care for the dying. He is the author of numerous books in his native Thai language.

Humin Bhikshu was born in 1954 and ordained as a Buddhist monk in 1979. He graduated fromTaipeiMedicalCollege in 1975 with a degree in pharmacology and received his Doctorate of Letters fromTokyoUniversity in 1992. After serving as Dean of Academic Affairs at theTaipeiNationalUniversity of the Arts from 2000-2006, he has been acting as the President of Dharma Drum Buddhist College. In 2007, he helped to found the Association of Clinical Buddhist Studies to integrate medicine with Buddhist studies, develop a spiritual care model indigenous to the culture ofTaiwan, enhance the quality of palliative care for terminally ill patients, and assist in the professional education of clinical Buddhist chaplains.

Rev. Yoshiharu Tomatsu is a Senior Research Fellow at the Jodo Shu Research Institute and Director of the International Relations Section. He received his B.A. from Keio University in Tokyo (1976), a Masters in Divinity and full Ph.D. credits in Buddhist Studies at Taisho University in Tokyo (1984), and a Master’s in Theological Studies from the Harvard Divinity School (1991). Since 2005, Rev. Tomatsu has also been teaching bioethics to doctoral candidates at the Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo. He served as the Secretary General of the All Japan Buddhist Federation from 2010-2012. His publications include Buddhist Care for the Dying and Bereaved: Global Perspectives.

Rev. Mari Sengoku ordained as a minister of the Nishi Honganji (Honpa Hongwanji) branch of the Jodo Shin Pure Land denomination in 1989. She was dispatched to Hawaii in 1994 as the first Japanese female minister of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission, serving in this manner for thirteen years. She served as a chaplain at the Queen’s Medical Center and Hospice Hawaii in Honolulu from 2002 to 2004. She served as a chaplain at the Asoka Vihara Clinic in Kyoto from 2008 to 2009. She received an M.A. from the University of Hawaii in education in 2000 and from the University of Phoenix in counseling in 2002. She obtained her Ph.D. in medical sciences at Tottori University in 2010. She now works as a researcher at the Kyoto University Kokoro (Heart-Mind) Research Center and is a part-time faculty member of the International Center at Osaka Gakuin University, teaching Naikan and Morita psychotherapies and Buddhism to international students.

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