The October Buddhist-Catholic Dialogue Meeting was held at Hsi Lai Temple on October 7, 2016. Due to Route 60 being closed that morning, the meeting was delayed for half an hour. Eight members had to take the detour when they drove from Los Angeles. Dr. Dickson Yagi joked about it, saying, “Buddhists and Catholics have a few centuries’ difference, so we have to wait patiently.” Among the 15 participants, some of them are returning members.
Kusala Bhikshu, who has worked on caring for the elderly and protecting animals, came to Hsi Lai Temple from a meditation center in Koreatown. He said, “It is refreshing to return to Hsi Lai Temple.” In addition, Ven. Chao Chu who returned from Sri Lanka joined the meeting. Rev. Noriaki Ito was from Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple also attended the meeting.
The first part of the meeting focused on recent teaching efforts. Rev. Ito presented on the World Dobo Gathering organized by Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple in August. The theme was Seeking Unity in the Midst of Diversity, and 350 participants attended the gathering. Hsi Lai Temple Director Ven. Mankuang presented on the International Peace Conference organized by Rotary Club on October 1.
The discussion was about helping to start spirituality classes at temporary shelters. The last discussion focused on the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital visit to talk with social workers to understand the need for spiritual counseling programs. Before the end of the meeting, Debra Boudreaux announced that they would hold a memorial service for the homeless community in the Sacred Heart Church on October 26. This is the first interfaith memorial service where they invited five religious representatives to pray for the homeless deceased.
Discussion on how to assist in implementing a counseling course
Group picture after the meeting