Level I (2013): The Rinsho Buddhism Chaplaincy Training Program

Level One (Knowledge & Study)

10 Part Lecture Series

May 8 – July 10, 2013

Tokyo University Young Buddhist Association Hall

May 8: Opening Symposium: Contemporary Society and Rinsho Buddhism

Buddhism was born 2,500 years ago. The Buddha taught about how the human mind is afflicted by the reality of birth, aging, sickness, and death. In this way, how can we seize “the present” and what should be demand of “the present”? This course on Rinsho Buddhism will consider the role that can be carried out by Buddhism in contemporary society by looking at examples of Buddhists who have become intimate with this kind of afflicted mind.


Rev. Mari Sengoku (Research Fellow, Kyoto University Kokoro Heart-Mind Research Center)

Rev. Fujio Soin (Vice Director, Association of Buddhist Priests Confronting Suicide)

Jonathan Watts (Research Fellow, Rinbutsuken Institute for Socially Engaged Buddhism)

Commentator: Kenryo Minowa (Professor, Tokyo University Graduate School)

Coordinator: Rev. Hitoshi Jin (Senior Research Fellow, Rinbutsuken Institute for Socially Engaged Buddhism)

May 15: Looking at the Problem of Aimless Youth, School Refusers, and Shut-ins (hikikomori)

Young people in Japan have no hope for the future. What do they feel about society, and why have they shut themselves off to it? We will consider what Buddhists who have a different notion of values and society can offer.

Speaker: Shigeyoshi Wada (Director, Kudakage Association for Experiential Children’s Education)

May 22: Towards a Society of Interbeing & Learning How to Connect with the Homeless

We are in an era where social safety nets are being eliminated. While continuing to connect with the homeless who are the first to experience poverty, we are trying to follow in the footsteps of Buddhists who have connected salvation in the next world to salvation in this one.

Speaker: Rev. Gakugen Yoshimizu (Director, The Hitosaji One Spoonful & Compassionate Social Work Association)

May 29: Buddhist Involvement in Terminal Care and Medical Environments

There are now Buddhists acting as “psycho-spiritual care volunteers” who have become intimate with patients near death in hospitals and hospices. Let us respond to the “life messages” that we can gain from these patients.

Speaker: Rev. Daihaku Okochi (Vice Director, Life and Rinsho Buddhists Association)

June 5: Buddhism and Disaster Aid – What can be learned from offering footbaths and listening deeply?

In 2007, after the earthquake on the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture, Buddhists and medical professionals engaged in unusual type of collaboration by volunteering to offer footbaths and deep listening to victims. From this experience have emerged many more interested in offering such services in disaster areas.

Speaker: Rev. Ga-e-i Tsuji (The Shingo Koyasan Denomination Footbath Corps)

June 12: Interconnected Religious Professionals – The Potentials of a Networking Model for Disaster Relief

At the time of the Great Eastern Japan Disaster in 2011, the Japan Religion Coordinating Project for Disaster Relief (Shu-en-ren) was launched to confront the needs of disaster victims in a flexible manner and to provide an opportunity to gather to discuss mutual experiences. The project has also been considering the potential for disaster relief that crosses religious and denominational divides and is not limited to the Buddhist world.

Speaker: Susumu Shimazono (Director, Japan Religion Coordinating Project for Disaster Relief)

June 19: From a “Disconnected Society” to a “Connected Society”: Depopulation, Suicide, and Death from Isolation

Japan has become enshrouded in the darkness of a disconnected society that grew out of the period of high economic growth, bringing with it depopulation, suicide, and death from isolation in our rural regions. To address these issues, Buddhists have opened up cafes and places to hangout in these communities, bringing back liveliness and interconnection among the people.

Speaker: Rev. Toshihide Hakamata (Director, Thinking about Our Hearts and Lives Association)

June 26: How Can Crime Be Overcome? A Prison Chaplain’s View of the Mind and Society

Prison chaplains work with those detained in prisons and youth correctional facilities. Together, we confront “the present self” and examine the darkness of the mind that has developed within. In this session, we will look into the mind and the motives that give rise to crime.

Speaker: Rev. Miyoko Fukai (Tachikawa Detention Center Chaplain)

July 3: People Driven into “Destructive Cults” & The Role of Religion in Places of Suffering

Since the demise of Aum Shinrikyo after the sarin gas attacks in the Tokyo subway in 1996, a new group of religious cults have come to menace the lives of Japanese. Amidst this situation, we would like to consider as Buddhists how to clarify the methods used by these groups and how to protect ourselves and rescue those who are dear to us.

Speaker: Rev. Kusayama Taido (Board Member, The Japan Society for Cult Prevention and Recovery – JSCPR)

July 10: The Role of Rinsho Buddhist Chaplains in Contemporary Society

It is said that our contemporary society is one devoid of spirituality. In this way, why would there be a need for Rinsho Buddhist Chaplains? While recapping the lectures of the entire program, let us consider the meaning of Rinsho Buddhism and the role that Rinsho Buddhist chaplains are being called on to fulfill.

Speaker: Rev. Hitoshi Jin (Senior Research Fellow, Rinbutsuken Institute for Socially Engaged Buddhism)

Lectures run from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. (8:30 for the opening session)

Fees: 10 lectures; 25,000 yen (20,000 for students)

Registration limited to 80 persons –> This session is now full; please re-apply in Autumn 2013

For more information on our program contact us at:

Rinbutsu-ken Institute

Tsukiji AI Building 5F

Tsukiji 3-7-5, Chuo-ku

Tokyo 104-0045

Tel: 81-3-3541-6746

Fax: 81-3-3541-6747

e-mail: thinktank@zenseikyo.or.jp


We also have a page on Facebook under(財)全国青少年教化協議会

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