Letter from the Minister

Welcome to the Kelowna Buddhist Temple

I began my Ministry in Canada in 1979 at the Toronto Buddhist Church. This was followed by assignment to the Calgary Buddhist Temple in 1980 and the Alberta Buddhist Federation from 1982 to 1985. From 1985, I served as the resident minister of the Manitoba Buddhist Church, in Winnipeg, until 1999. In 2004, I came to the Interior Temples of British Columbia and serve the communities of Kelowna, Vernon and Kamloops.

It is a privilege to serve the Okanagan region of BC. Here we have a vibrant, active Buddhist community, and it is spiritually rewarding for me to share the teachings of Shinran Shonin with the members of the BC Interior Temples.

Western understanding and interest in Buddhism has been continuously growing over the years. Theravada Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism, Vajrayana Buddhism (Tibetan Buddhism) are known now in North America, and there have been many books published by Buddhist scholars, practitioners and followers. Often, people have searched for meaning in their lives through Buddhism. Here in the B.C. Interior Temples, we have been practicing Pure Land Buddhism since 1932. At that time, our pioneer forefathers who immigrated to Canada from Japan, requested that our Mother Temple, in Hongwanji Temple, Kyoto Japan, send Ministers, so that they could practice their faith, Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, in their new communities throughout Canada. Since then, Buddhist communities were established all across Canada. Our present membership now consists of fourth and fifth generation Canadians of Japanese origin, as well as many Canadians of non-Japanese backgrounds.

We, the followers of Shinran Shonin (1173-1263) have the important responsibility of practising the teachings, and handing them down to succeeding generations. By following the example of those who have paved the way of the Nembutsu for us, we will keep the tradition of Nembutsu by recitation of Namo Amida Butsu in our daily life. As Shinran Shonin said, “just say the name, Namo Amida Butsu, and be saved by Amida.”

Religion plays an important role in family life, in many aspects. Over the past 100 years we have built our tradition and kept the Nembutsu teachings here in Canada. Please join with us and visit our Temple, to obtain a better understanding of Buddhism. We have a number of Programs, Fund-raising and social activities. It is a privilege to share the Buddhist teachings within the communities of Kelowna, Vernon, Kamloops, as well as the smaller Buddhist Fellowship communities of New Denver, Nakusp, Greenwood, and Midway. Visitors to the Temple are welcome.

In Gassho

Rev. Yasuhiro Miyakawa (bio)