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An Essay Contest For A Training Course In Japan

International Buddhist Academy has started a training course for Shinran Followers who would like to learn the teachings deeply and acquire the capability of sharing them. Here’s an announcement regarding this training course.

In Japan, there are biannual Buddhist conventions, in spring and autumn, where students of Buddhism from all over the world get together. ​Before and after the convention, a training course is to be held in order to learn the teachings deeply, acquire the ideal lifestyle for a Buddhist and learn how to share the teachings.

If you join this convention, you will have the chance to listen to the most prominent Buddhist teacher in Japan at the 2,000 Tatami Matt Hall, which is considered the world-largest tatami-matt hall.

What’s more, you will meet many Buddhists not only from Japan but also from around the globe. You will make friends with so many like-minded people. You will learn a regular lifestyle as a Buddhist, which you can put it into practice at home. You will also learn how to share Buddhism with your friends, family, and people around you, and you will become capable to do it.

In addition to these, you will be exposed to Japanese culture, cuisine, and beautiful scenery. You will also have a chance to visit the world-famous sightseeing destination of The Great Snow Wall.

International Buddhist Academy has a scholarship system to provide for those learners who are exceptionally enthusiastic. It includes transportation and lodging fee. If you’d like to apply for this scholarship, please send us the following with the designated form:

1. Your feedback about the book You Were Born For A Reason

2. Your feedback about the movie Why We Live

3. The joy of having encountered Buddhism

4. The joy of sharing Buddhism

5. Your aspiration from now on

We will conduct a selection and decide the winners of ‘the highest award’ and ‘the outstanding performance award’, who will be granted the financial support for their transportation and lodging.

Please submit the following:

A photo of yourself holding a Buddhist book such as “You Were Born for a Reason” or "Something You Forgot... Along the Way”

A 500-word essay through which you express your joy at having met with Buddhism or your passion to share the teachings. (If you wish to write your essay in Japanese, please write around 2,000 characters.)

The due date is Feb. 28, 2018

The period to stay in Japan is from

May 9 to 20, 2018

Awards for trainees

The highest award (given to one person): the flight ticket and the costs of lodging in Japan

Outstanding performance award (given to 4 persons): $400 as a financial support

towards your air fare

Honorable mention (given to 5 persons): the costs for lodging

Prize for participation: Buddhist brochure

Selected essays from participants will be run in our brochures and on our website.

Don’t miss this opportunity! Contact the person in charge of you right away to sign up for this contest.

Send your essay to the following address:

Takahiro Katayama; t-katayama@jdss.jp

The best essay of the last year.

Mankind is in an eternal quest in finding the purpose of one’s life. The huge question is “For what reason am I here for?”

If we look around us we will realize that many are pursuing happiness and making the search for ultimate happiness, the purpose of one’s living.

This is the reason why people collectively buy material things and cling to power and wealth. However, even if life gives everything one wanted, after a while one would become dissatisfied and go searching for something more.

Because of that, one’s life will just become an endless cycle of constant search for happiness and life slowly becomes a suffering.

I, too, think that finding happiness is my life’s ultimate goal.

I spent years of my life engaged in collecting material things, achievements and people, which and who will make me happy.

However, I was never satisfied and I believe that I was never truly happy. I was in constant search for what is the next thing or the next person which and who will give me the feeling of bliss. There was always something lacking and it made me feel empty and in vain.

Last February, I received a copy of the book “You were born for a reason” and for the first time, I listened to Takamori-sensei in Toyama, Japan. With my very short exposure to Buddhism and the teachings of Shinran, I have learned so much. One of them is Amida’s Vow.

When I listened to Takamori sensei talk about Amida’s vow, how we can be carried by a great ship that can rescue us and take us to a land of salvation, a land free from suffering, I was moved. I told myself, “This is what I have been waiting for, for a long time.

I am going to board that ship. That ship is joy and I will attain joy if I board that ship.” I was so moved that I was close to tears while I was listening to Takamori-sensei.

It was like he knew what I was thinking and he was talking to me. I am very grateful to have the chance to realize that if not of Amida’s great saving power, I will still be lost, still suffering and still in vain, still in the darkest corners of life.

After that event, I have started reading more about Amida’s vow and other Buddhist teachings despite my hectic schedule. I have a long way to go to finally understand everything but I am trying my best.

I hope that I will find my peace and be saved in the grace of Amida’s vow.

There are a lot of people like me who are in search of their purpose in life and are unfortunately lost and suffering and I would like them to be enlightened just like how I was enlightened.

Knowing about Amida’s vow has greatly influenced me and has changed my perspectives in many things. When I know more about it, I will make the sharing of it to the people around me my mission and my purpose.


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