The International Buddhist Congregation (IBC) of Rissho Kosei-kai held a retreat July 28-29 at the Ome Retreat Center, in a western suburb of Tokyo. A total of 163 adults and children took part - Vietnamese, Bangladeshi, and Ugandan residents of Japan; members of the Yamagata Dharma Center in Yamagata Prefecture; and IBC members.
Under the motto "Many in Body, but One in Spirit," the purpose of the retreat was to foster friendships among the participants regardless of nationality, teach them about Buddhism in their own languages, and encourage practice of the teachings in daily life. All the programs, including sutra recitation, were conducted in English and Vietnamese.
On July 28, after orientation, seven programs were held, including sports events, chanting the O-daimoku, and training for the Oeshiki-Ichijo Festival, to be held in October. Training for the festival included practice in twirling matoi (traditional Japanese firemen's standards), and playing Japanese drums, bells, and flutes. While making friends, the participants also learned more about Rissho Kosei-kai's activities.
On July 29 the participants separated into two groups to hear lectures - one in English by Rev. Katsuji Suzuki, an IBC minister, and one by Rev. Tadao Goto, an IBC consultant, interpreted into Vietnamese. The participants learned about the significance of the faith in theory and practice and affirmed their way of practice in daily life.
In the program for elementary school children and junior high school students, the young people enjoyed sports, hiking, and a watermelon bust. They also learned about the character of Founder Nikkyo Niwano and his hopes for world peace, by watching a video titled "Shakyamuni Buddha and Rissho Kosei-kai."
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