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Level I (2014): The Rinsho Buddhism Chaplaincy Training Program

Level One (Knowledge & Study) Year II (2014)
Lecture Series


How can Buddhists become intimate with
the heart/minds of people in contemporary society?

October 15, 2014 - February 18, 2015
Taisho University, Tokyo

October 15: The Japanese View of Life and Death: An Introduction to Rinsho Buddhism
Since ancient times, the Japanese have believed in a myriad of spirits (kami), yet they were malleable enough accept and develop faith in Buddhism. From this perspective, we will try to unravel Japanese religious sensibilities and their view of life and death, while considering the role Buddhism can carry out in contemporary clinical settings.

Speaker: Prof. Susumu Shimazono (Director of the Sophia University Grief Care Research Institute)

October 29: Listening Deeply to the Heart/Mind (kokoro/citta): The Activities of the Cafe de Monk
In facing the reality of the Great Eastern Japan Disaster of 2011, many religious professionals were at a loss for words to offer from a spiritual standpoint. But what can be said about “the truth that emerges from the dark wreckage?” In this session, we will look back on the lessons learned through the activities of the Mobile Tea House for Deep Listening known as “Cafe de Monk”.

Speaker: Rev. Taio Kaneda (Supervisor of the Mobile Tea House for Deep Listening-“Cafe de Monk”)

November 5: At the End of the Journey: A Doctor Speaks about Terminal Care
Everyone will without doubt come to experience the final moments of life. At this time, what will a person come to think about and what will they find they need? This session will speak about interacting with patients at a Buddhist hospice and how to lend an ear to “the message of life” coming from such patients.

Speaker: Dr. Moichiro Hayashi (Head Doctor of the Kosei Hospital Palliative Care Unit affiliated with the Rissho Koseikai Buddhist Denomination)

November 19: What Lurks Behind the Heart/Minds of the Young
At first sight, the youth of this contemporary age seem like “good kids”. But what is at the root of the problematic behavior of those troubled youth caught up in everything from social withdrawal (hikikomori) to involvement in destructive religious cults? This session will look at these issues from counseling work done on site with such young people.

Speaker: Rev. Taido Kusuyama (Director of the Young Person’s Mental Health Consultation Center)

December 3: Emotional Security for a Society Filled with Anxiety: The Network of Buddhists for the Prevention of Suicide
The rate of suicide in Japanese society continues to be high. Why do people feel as if they have been driven into a corner and what kind of thoughts do bereaved family members continue to hold within themselves? Buddhists should turn their gaze towards the lives of these people and apply their practice.

Speaker: Rev. Mariko Yanagawa (Vice Director of the Association of Buddhist Priests Confronting Self-death and Suicide)

December 17: The Practice of Education and a Modern Version of the Terakoya Temple School: The Potential of Cooperation with Local Temples
These days problems occurring at educational facilities like truancy and bullying continue to mount. We have been directing our attention to education connected to families, localities, and this wayward generation of youth, while also working to revive “the power of place” at religious facilities. We have been studying from a cooperative model bringing together these three groups as one.

Speaker: Masayuki Ikeda (Consultant for the Kamakura Terakoya)

January 7: What Does It Mean to Be Alive? Buddhism Becoming Intimate with the Anxiety of the Young
Places to commit suicide are posted on line … The internet overflows with the bitter feelings of the young. There are Buddhists who are getting intimate with this situation by making use of social media. In a time prone to isolation and helplessness, Buddhists must carry out such a role.

Speaker: Rev. Jotetsu Nemoto (Director of the Association of Religious Professionals Confronting Life)

January 21: In an Age of No Religion: Confronting Depopulation and Isolation
Since the Great Eastern Japan Disaster of 2011, there has come the call to reconsider the primacy of economic growth and to look for another set of values. Buddhists must give rise to new kinds of karmic connections by foremost engaging with others in hands on activities to revive their localities.

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

February 4: The Role of Buddhist Chaplains: Buddhists Taking on Places of Birth, Aging, Sickness, and Death
Outside of Japan, we can find religious professionals called chaplains who provide spiritual care in places like prisons, nursing homes, and hospitals. In Japan today, there is a strong allergic reaction to religion by common people, so Buddhists who are called to such work must have strong faith and conviction.

Speaker: Rev. Mari Sengoku (Supervisor for the Naikan Center for Awakening Mind and Body)

February 18: The Mission 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, we will consider the meaning of Rinsho Buddhism, the role that Rinsho Buddhist chaplains are being called on to fulfill, and the practice they must pursue.

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


Lectures run from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Fees: 10 lectures; 28,000 yen (25,000 for students)
Registration limited to 100 persons
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
http://www.zenseikyo.or.jp/
We also have a page on Facebook under臨床仏教研究所

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