Los Angeles Buddhist Catholic Dialogue

February 1, 2003

International Buddhist Meditation Center

Present: Ven. Karuna Dharma, Lucy Palermino, Mary Ann Gould, Dickson Yagi, Rev. Kusala, Michael Kerze.

We discussed the planning for the SBCS 2004 conference.

Lucy gave a brief history of John Main and his recovery of an ancient form of Christian meditation. Fr. Laurence, who will has been invited as a keynote speaker to the conference, carries on John Main’s work with the World Christian Meditation Community.

Mary Ann described a conference held in Belfast, Northern Ireland, concerning the violence there, in which Fr. Laurence participated. She also described an art exhibit by Fr. Moore, art about “Cries of the Earth,” that could be exhibited at the SBCS conference, and will try to talk to him about it.

Dickson Yagi talked about the largest Shingon Temple in Kuyushi (sp?) in Japan where a fire walking ceremony is performed – Dickson has participated in it. A priest with a sword runs through a huge wood fire and suggested such a ceremony might be a dramatic event at the conference.

We also noted the importance of advertising at the Religious Education Conference held in February of each year in Anaheim. Sponsored by the archdiocese of Los Angeles and the diocese of Orange, it is the largest such event in the nation and draws several thousands of individuals each year.

We shared our concerns about the escalating movements towards war in Iraq, remarking on the Pope’s statements about it and those of the Catholic bishops, and we explored issues of violence from both Buddhist and Christian perspectives.