Dharmavidya has returned to The Buddhist House after travelling to the Big Island of Hawaii to give teachings and meet the members of the Amida sangha there. He was was present for the inauguration of Amida USA as a church registered in the state of Hawaii, conducted an admission ceremony, and led a seminar on Buddhist psychology.
After leaving Big Island, Dharmavidya visited the state capital Honolulu on the island of Oahu where, as the guest of Clyde Whitworth, he had joyous reunions with leading Pureland Buddhist author Al Bloom, and with Jodo-shu priest Yubun Narashiba, and also met a number of new friends including the remarkable Rose Nakamura who runs the Project Dana charity.
Dhamavidya will now be in UK through the up-coming period of retreats, until mid-December. He also has a book launch for his new poetry book on 11th November at The Grange in Malvern
Dharmavidya is currently in Japan visiting Shinto and Buddhist sites and giving lectures in memory of the 800th anniversary of the death of Honen Shonin and offering support to people affected by the recent national disaster.
Dharmavidya is paying a visit to Amida Delhi where Sahishnu is working with Suvidya and other Indian Amida members leading English teaching and Buddhism classes for children from some of the poorest areas. The establishment of an Amida sangha here led by people from impoverished groups is a big step forward. This visit by the head of the order helps to build morale for this group working very much at the coal face of the "Buddhist revolution".
Buddhism in India is a socio-economic and political force as well as a religious one. Dr Bimrao Ambedkar who died in 1956 was the leader of the untouchables at the time of Indian independence. He fought hard to end the caste system and led his followers into conversion to Buddhism as part of this movement. We are continuing the work of this great bodhisattva of the modern age.
Amida Buddhists work in India without salaries, helping the poorest of the poor. Because of the respect that this work has gained among the deprived people, a number have themselves become Amida Buddhists. This development is a big step forward as it means that the work in India can be more self-sustaining. It also means that the Amida sangha internationally has the benefit of the voices of these people who know from hard life experience why the principles established by Shakyamuni are of such importance to the future of the world.