Black History : Coming Home – Honouring our Ancestors

Sun, 4 October 2020 19:00 – 20:30

We come together to honour our Afrikan/Black Ancestors during Black History Month in the UK . We come home to our bodies, our minds to honour, heal and celebrate. We come home to remember the evolution of human life – our motherland -Africa

Coming Home, is the theme of a series of 4 different events, is a reminder that racial healing and justice is part of every day life. We have gathered Buddhist and Mindfulness teachers of Afrikan descent from South Africa, UK and USA to honour our ancestors, our heritage and our contributions which has contributed to the culture, wisdom, wealth and development of countries around the world.

This is the launch event will honour our ancestors in a formal ceremony and will held by Myokei Caine-Barrett, Ven Dr Pannavati, Ven Bhante Budharakkhita, Sister Peace and Sister True Moon of Clear Grace with prayer, meditation, love and compassion.

Please offer donations for the time and commitment of the teachers. Use the link to donate in advance: paypal.me/BaTDANA

Each event is different, hosting different guests, themes which relate to our everyday living and will include meditation, talks, prayers, music and opportunities for you to engage in.

Myokei Caine-Barrett currently holds the position of Bishop of the Nichiren Shu Buddhist Order of North America. She is the first woman and first American to hold this position. She is also guiding teacher and priest of Myoken-ji Temple in Houston, home to the Nichiren Buddhist Sangha of Texas. Myokei Shonin received priest ordination and dharma transmission from Ryuoh Michael Faulconer Shonin and is a lineage holder in the Nichiren Shu Order. She received final ordination in 2007 at Kuon-ji Temple at Mt. Minobu in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan by Archbishop Nissho Uchino. Myokei Shonin is the first American woman and first person of African American-Japanese descent to have completed this ordination process. Myokei Shonin currently volunteers with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as clergy to two prison sanghas. weekend trainings for Healing Warrior Hearts, a Texas for Heroes project designed to truly welcome veterans home.

Myokei Shonin is also engaged in mindful conflict management and is a graduate of Lee Mun Wah’s Stir-Fry Seminars in Berkeley. She has worked with the Center for Healing Racism in Houston for over 25 years to heal the disease of racism. She has been published and featured in several publications such as Nichiren Shu News, Lion’s Roar, Tricycle, and Buddhadharma. She is included in The Lamp: Stories from Twenty-five Centuries of Awakened Buddhist Women.”

She has been a panelist and speaker at Harvard Divinity School’s 3rd Conference on Buddhism and Race, Sakyadhita USA’s first conference “Diversity in the Dharma: Buddhist Women Engage Race & Exclusionary Politics in America”, Women in Buddhism at the 2018 Parliament of World Religions, and the 2018 and 2019 ITZI Conferences on Buddhism and Therapy. Myokei Shonin is also a member of the Faith Leaders Coalition of Houston, the North American Buddhist Alliance, the National Association of Buddhist Advocates, and the Association of Buddhist Clergy.

Ven. Bhikkhu Buddharakkhita was born and raised in Uganda, Africa. He first encountered Buddhism in 1990 while living in India, and he began practicing meditation in 1993. In June 2001, he started formal monastic training, and in November 2002 he received higher ordination under the late Venerable U Silananda at the Tathagata Meditation Center in California. He has continued his Dhamma study and meditation practice for eight years under the guidance of Bhante Gunaratana at the Bhavana Society, West Virginia.

He is the founder of the Uganda Buddhist Center in Uganda and has been teaching meditation in Africa, Europe, Brazil and the U.S. Besides spending time at the Buddhist Center in Uganda, he is the founder of Bodhi Education Foundation, Inc., in Maryland. His book, Planting Dhamma Seeds: The Emergence of Buddhism on African Soil, tells the story of his religious work in Africa.

Ven. Dr. Pannavati, is co-founder and co-Abbot of Embracing-Simplicity Hermitage and Co-Director of Heartwood Refuge. She ordained in the Theravada and Chan traditions, she remains a disciple of Great Master Kuang Seng, continues Vajrayana empowerments and teachings with beloved Rinpoche Zhaxi Zhouma and received transmission from Roshi Bernie Glassman of Zen Peacemaker. Dr Pannavati founded My Place and housed 85 youth over 4 years. She has adopted many “untouchable” villages in India, approximately 30,000 people live in these villages. She ordained the first Tamili bhikkhuni and visits each year to encourage and promote spiritual well-being and socio-economic development.

She is a recipient of the Outstanding Buddhist Women’s Award; received a special commendation from the Princess of Thailand for Humanitarian Acts as she assisted Venerable Dr. Lee in guiding the first 50 Thai Bhikkhunis ordained on Thai soil with Thai monks witnessing and convened a platform of Bhikkhunis to ordain the first 10 Cambodian Samaneris in a Cambodian temple, witnessed by Cambodian abbots including Maha Thera Ven. Dhammathero Sao Khon, President of the Community of Khmer Buddhist Monks of the USA.

Dr Pannavati remains committed to advocacy for social justice, the homeless, sick and disenfranchised, those who are marginalized, abused, neglected and unloved. She lives the Dhamma.

Sister Peace is ordained and received teacher transmission of the Lamp from Thich Nhat Hanh into the Order of Interbeing . She has been part of the Plum Viallge monastic community since 2007. She has been honoured and recognised by the British Library as one of the most respected daughters of the Buddha living today. Sister Peace did not arrive at Buddhist practice by a straight path. Born in Washington, D.C., and educated in Catholic schools, she graduated from Georgetown University and built up a successful nail salon business. Deeply involved in the local political scene, she joined Anthony Willams’ campaign for mayor of Washington, and a year later she was working in his administration. She featured in “Walk with me” following the lives of monastics and her work in Prisons. Her recent high school pilot program “Grounded: Me and the Light Education Initiative” was featured in Sunday’s Daily Memphian. Reporter, David Waters, spent nearly six months following our program. She is working on a Grounded Summer Ambassador Program, supporting and collaborating Students from East High School (Memphis) to creatively explore “Be What a Bullet Can’t Be”.

This curriculum will be deployed again at East this fall with a goal of engaging youth across digital platforms. In addition, this same body of work will be used in the Shelby County Juvenile Detention Center and there is the prospect of this work being used in the first site outside of Memphis in another community that also suffers from high levels of violence.

Sister True Moon of Clear Grace received her ordination in the Plum Village Vietnamese Zen tradition headed by the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh. She is a member of the Care Taking Council for the Earth Holder Community which is a mindful Earth/Social justice initiative in the Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism.

She is also a Core member for the ARISE Sangha (Awakening through Race, Intersectionality, and Social Equity) a community of mindfulness practitioners and monastics who come together to heal the wounds of racial injustice and social inequity, beginning with looking deeply within ourselves and using the energy of compassion, understanding, and love in action. She has recently left Deer Park Monastery to take refuge in Heartwood’s intentional community and the vision of its founders.

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