The Show Must Go on...
Meet Our Special Guests!
Mark Schumacher is an independent researcher who moved to Kamakura (Japan) in 1993 and still lives there today. His website, The A-to-Z Photo Dictionary of Japanese Religious Statuary, has been online since 1995. It is widely referenced by universities, museums, art historians, Buddhist practitioners, and lay people from around the world. The site's focus is medieval Japanese religious art, primarily Buddhist, but it also catalogs art from Shintō, Shugendō, Taoist, and other traditions. As of August 2018, it contained 400+ deities and thousands of annotated photos of statuary from Kamakura, Nara, Kyoto, and elsewhere in Japan. The site is searchable. LINK TO A-TO-Z PHOTO DICTIONARY = http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/buddhism.shtml
Tibetan Buddhism Practitioner
Karma Lekshe Tsomo
Karma Lekshe Tsomo is a professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of San Diego, where she teaches Buddhist Thought and Culture, World Religions, Death and Dying, Images of Enlightenment, and other subjects. She is a founder and past president of Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women and the founder/director of Jamyang Foundation, an educational initiative that supports study programs for Himalayan nuns in India and Marma girls in Bangladesh. Her publications include Into the Jaws of Yama: Buddhism, Bioethics, and Death; Sisters in Solitude: Two Traditions of Monastic Ethics for Women; and numerous edited works on women in Buddhism. www.sakyadhita.org
Peter Bolland works in the wisdom business. As a department chair and professor of philosophy and humanities at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, California he’s led thousands of students through deep inquiry into the world’s philosophical, religious, and mythological traditions. He also writes columns for both Unity Magazine and the San Diego Troubadour. A popular speaker, Bolland offers multimedia lecture presentations and guided meditation workshops throughout the southern California region. In addition, he’s also an award winning singer-songwriter and poet. Learn more at www.peterbolland.com
Shin Buddhism Minister
Rev. Dr. Kenji Akahoshi
Rev. Dr. Kenji Akahoshi is the resident minister of the Buddhist Temple of San Diego which is part of the Buddhist Churches of America, one of the largest and oldest Buddhist organizations in America. He has a Master’s degree in transpersonal psychology, which enhances his ability to convey Shin Buddhism in a modern, experiential context. He leads annual retreats on Shin Buddhism and has conducted teenage Buddhist Vision Quests. In an earlier career as a dentist, he spent 3 years in Japan as a captain in the US Air Force.
Rinzai Zen Abbot
Meido Moore Roshi
Meido Moore Roshi is the abbot of Korinji (www.korinji.org), a Rinzai Zen training monastery near Madison, Wisconsin. He is an 86th-generation Zen dharma heir, and a 48th-generation holder of the Rinzai lineage transmitted to the West by Omori Sogen Roshi, perhaps the most famous Rinzai Zen master of the 20th century.
Meido Roshi's book The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice was released by Shambhala Publications in 2018.
Soto Zen Priest
Rev. Taigen Dan Leighton
Taigen Dan Leighton is a Soto Zen priest and Dharma successor in the lineage of San Francisco Zen Center, and also an authorized teacher in the Japanese Soto School. He is now Teacher of the Ancient Dragon Zen Gate temple in Chicago. Taigen trained extensively in Japan as well as in California, living in Kyoto for two years. He is an author, scholar, and translator, who teaches online at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, from where he has a Ph.D. Taigen is the author of Faces of Compassion: Classic Bodhisattva Archetypes and Their Modern Expression, providing background for many of the Buddhist images. His other books include Visions of Awakening Space and Time and Zen Questions: Zazen, Dogen, and the Spirit of Creative Inquiry. He is co-translator of a number of Zen texts including Dogen’s Extensive Record and Cultivating the Empty Field. Taigen now works to develop accessible practice and training programs in Chicago area through Ancient Dragon Zen Gate. See: [www,.ancientdragon.org].
Negi/ Senior Shinto Priest of Tsubaki America Shrine
Rev. Lawrence Koichi Barrish
In 1992 Koichi Barrish, an instructor of Aiki-do founded Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja to enshrine the spirit of Sarutahiko-no-O-Kami and the spirit of Morihei Ueshiba No Mikoto (the Kami). Indeed, Koichi Barrish Sensei is no doubt a rare person who has been really trying to overcome the difficulties of understanding the true meaning of Shinto, to continue day and night Gyo (ascetic practice) and Misogi, and who has finally become a Shinto priest - as an American he is the first in Shinto history. Please follow Barrish Sensei and you all can be able to become persons of self-perfection, making your family happier and serving for the benefit of other people and society and for world peace. In Shinto we can have new days that are fulfilling (kokonotari). If you live this way you can fill up energy in each corner of your being. —— written in 1997 by the late Yamamoto Yukitaka Sendai Guji 96 Generation High Priest of Tsubaki Okami Yashiro
Nichiren Shu Priest
Kanjin Cederman Shonin
Kanjin Cederman Shonin was born in Wheatfield, NY. When he was 18, he became a Buddhist monk in the Chinese Tien Tai tradition. At the age of 23 he moved to Toronto where he met Tsukamoto Shonin, head minister of the Toronto Nichiren Shu temple. Tsukamoto Shonin gave Cederman Shonin a copy of the Lotus Sutra. Then Shami Cederman became convinced that the Lotus Sutra was the highest teaching of the Buddha. Kanjin Shonin studied with Rev Tsukamoto for 13 years. In 2007 Rev Cederman attended Shingyo Dojo at Mount Minobu in Japan where he completed his studies and became a Nichiren Shu priest. In June 2010 he attended Reidan training in Tokyo, and in November 2010 he attended Aragyo at Onjuin in Chiba, Japan. Kanjin Shonin is Abbot and head priest of 長栄山円教寺 Choeizan Enkyoji Temple of Seattle and 祥栄山円教寺 Shoeizan Enkyoji Buddhist Temple of Rochester and the 円教寺 Enkyoji Network of Nichiren Shu Buddhist Temples and Sangha World Wide.
Tendai Shu Priest
Rev. Monshin Paul B. N. Naamon
Reverend Monshin Paul B. N. Naamon is the Jushoku (Abbot) of Jiunzan Tendai-ji, of Tendai Buddhist Institute, a Tendai Buddhist temple, teaching, retreat, and meditation center, located in the Berkshire foothills in upstate New York. It is also the Tendai-shu New York Betsuin (Branch temple of Enryakuji), the Head Temple of Tendai Buddhism in North America. He was an interdisciplinary professor, in Buddhism, East Asian studies, and biomedical anthropology at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, in Great Barrington, MA. He retired from college teaching in 2016. He is the author of professional papers and articles in human biology, anthropology, Buddhism and Japanese culture, in Japan and the U.S.
Shingon Koyasan Priest
Rev. Ryuzen Hayashi
Rev. Ryuzen Hayashi is a Shingon Buddhist priest at the Koyasan Beikoku Betsuin temple in Los Angeles. Born in Kyusyu, Japan, he graduated from Shu-chi-in University, the oldest university in Japan. In Koyasan, Japan, Rev. Hayashi studied to become a Shingon esoteric Buddhist priest. Rev. Hayashi joined the Los Angeles Koyasan in 2012, the temple’s centennial anniversary.
Stephen K. Hayes
Stephen K. Hayes has spent his entire adult life in pursuit of perfection through the Asian martial arts and spiritual traditions. In 1983, he began his study of Shugendo with Japanese teachers. He was ordained as a teacher of the esoteric Buddhist tradition in 1991. He regularly served in the 1990s as personal protection escort and security advisor for the Dalai Lama of Tibet. He has studied the Sakya Tibetan practice of Vajrakilaya since 1996, visiting monasteries in Tibet, India, and Nepal to find lessons. He received the Shugendo title Dai Sendatsu “Great Path Leader” in 2014. He is the author of 23 books which translate the timeless knowledge of the East into pragmatic lessons for contemporary Western life. He spends much of the year traveling the world as a teacher, translating his background in martial and meditation arts into practical lessons for handling the pressures and uncertainties of life. http://StephenKHayes.com
Bhante Bhikkhu Ananda
Bhikkhu Ananda is a socially engaged Buddhist monk of Nepal who entered the Order of Theravada Buddhism in 1981. He mastered in Oriental and Buddhist Studies. Ananda helped coordinate the “Civic Solidarity for Peace” movement to end a decade of war (1995-2005) between the Maoist Insurgency and the State of Nepal. From 2007 to 2012, as a Member of Constituent Assembly and Legislature Parliament, he secured religious rights and reservations in the new constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. In 2007, the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) of Korea named him an “Ambassador for Peace.”.
Michael VanHartingsveldt first encountered Asian art and culture at the Royal Ontario Museum when he was eleven years old. He was enamored with the fearsome beauty of Japanese samurai armor. He holds a Master's degree in East Asian Art Business from Claremont Graduate University and currently works as a Jr. Collections Management Technician at LACMA, where he specializes in East Asian art collections. He has delivered a five-part lecture series on ‘Deities in Japanese Art’ at the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles (JFLA), where he also works as a guest curator.
Frederic Hewett is a native resident of San Diego, California and has a deep interest in Japanese culture and the history of Buddhism. His professional experience includes being a program coordinator at the Japanese Friendship Garden of San Diego, the San Diego Yokohama Sister Society, and the TOMODACHI Initiative in the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. Frederic majored in International Relations at the University of California, Irvine and studied one year at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo. Frederic is proficient in Japanese, Korean, and Mandarin Chinese. He is very passionate to learn and share as much as he can about East Asia.