Letter to support Muslim friends

BCNY Statement to Muslim freinds 2017.3 

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February 15, 2017

Dear Muslim Brothers and Sisters,

As-Salamu Alaykum!

We have been fortunate to live for many years in an atmosphere of tolerance and mutual respect for all religions. Today the climate appears to be shifting as clouds of intolerance, discrimination, and fear rise in many parts of the United States. As Buddhist teachers and practitioners, and members of the Buddhist Council of New York, we are deeply troubled by the recent acts of violence and discrimination against members of the Islam faith and people of color.  

Across our religious traditions we share the common wisdom that hatred only begets further hatred and suffering. Our nation and our world depend on taking care of each other, irrespective of different faiths and views. 

The new Administration has already attempted to block new immigrants from Muslim majority countries despite their devastating situation at home and it threatens to create a Muslim registry. We want to assure you that we will resist policies and actions that discriminate against Muslims or people of any faith. You are our brothers and sisters. We stand with you, open-handed and open-hearted.

“Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is an eternal law.”

    (from Buddhist Sutra, Dhammapada, Verse 5)


 In Peace, 

Members and Friends of the Buddhist Council of New York

(signed by)

The Rev. Dr. T. Kenjitsu Nakagaki: President, Buddhist Council of New York.

Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara: Abbot, Village Zendo.

Sylvie Sun: Board Member, Buddhist Global Relief.

The Ven. Ocean-of-Wisdom Sakya: Abbot, Middle-Way Meditation Centers & the Middle-Way Peace Order.

The Rev. Joan Hogetsu Hoeberichts: Abbot, Heart Circle Sangha.

James A. Lynch: Official Representative, New York Branch of Rissho Kosei Kai.

Manu Won Jin Garcia-Guillén: Dharma-Teacher-in-training, Chogye International Zen Center of New York.

Sensei Ron Hogen Green: Zen Center of New York City/Fire Lotus Temple.

Linda Hoju Strauss: Board Member, Heart Circle Sangha.

Sri Mata Lalitambika Devi: Mahakailasa Ashram.

The Rev. Jody Hojin Kimmel: Zen Mountain Monastery.

The Rev. Tenku Ruff: Soto Zen Priest, NYC.

David Listen: Life Mentor.

Malik J.M. Walker: Resident Monk, Myrtle Avenue Zen Fellowship.

Ken Kessel, JDPSN: Chogye International Zen Center of New York, Kwan Um School of Zen.

Regina Valdez: Community Outreach Coordinator, Buddhist Global Relief.

The Rev. Merle Kodo Boyd: Lincroft Zen Sangha, Lincroft NJ.

Heather Harlan Nakagaki: Corresponding Secretary, Buddhist Council of New York.

John Holland: Bodhisattva Teacher, Chogye International Zen Center of New York.

Irene Woodard: Senior Teacher, Sky Lake Shambhala Meditation and Retreat Center.

The Rev. Doyeon Park: Minister, Won Buddhism of Manhattan.

The Rev. Compassion Christopher: MPO Middle-way Peace Order.

The Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi: President, Buddhist Association of the United States.

The Ven. Refa Shi: Abbot, Buddhist Peaceful Enlightenment.

Zen Master Wu Kwang Richard Shrobe: The Chogye International Zen Center of New York (The Kwan Um School of Zen).

The Ven. Doam Sunim: Abbot, Chogyesa Korean Zen Temple of New York.

The Ven. Chung Ohun Lee: Head Minister, Won Buddhism of Manhattan.

Bhante Suddhaso: Co-Director, Buddhist Insights.

The Ven. Haejin Sunim: Abbot, Taego Zen Center.

The Rev. Geoffrey Shugen Arnold: Abbot, Zen Mountain Monastery and Zen Center of NYC.

Ganden Thurman: Executive Director, Tibet House US.

Roshi Janet Jiryu Abels: Still Mind Zendo.

Sensei Gregory Hosho Abels: Still Mind Zendo.

Masayoshi Iimura: Rissho Kosei-Kai Buddhist Center of New York

Robert Kolodny: Coordinator, NY Buddhist Climate Action Network.

Leslie Joren Wagner: The Interdependence Project.

Lorna Ishin Mason, Mountains and Rivers Order, Fire Lotus Temple.

Khenpo Pema Wangdak: Executive Director, Vikramasila Foundation and Palden Sakya Centers.

Michele Laporte, Senior Teacher, Shambhala Meditation Center of NY; Profound Treasury Book Club of NY.

The Rev. Daiken Nelson: Pamsula Zen Center, NYC.

The Ven. Ashin Nayaka: Vice President, Buddhist Council of New York.

The Rev. Robert Kaku Gunn: Hoshi, Village Zendo.

Kimberly Brown: Executive Director, The Independence Project.

The Rev. Seth Zuiho Segall: White Plains Zen.

Meditation and Prayer Gathering “We Are Together!”


Pray for Peace and Compassion on Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday

Yurie Takeuchi

January 17, 2017

Over a hundred community people, led by the Buddhist leaders and interfaith leaders were gathered at Gandhi’s statue, Union Square Park in Manhattan, NY, on January 16, 2017.

Amidst an increase in violence, religious and racial bias, and hate in American society, Buddhist Council of New York has decided to have gathering to express the message of compassion and peace on the special day of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who led his human rights movement with a message of non-violence. Non-violence was demonstrated by Mahatma Gandhi, and has been practiced in Buddhist traditions.

“It is important to keep in our mind the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, namely non-violence, action of peace and compassion,” said, Rev. Dr. T. Kenjitsu Nakagaki, President of the Buddhist Council of New York in his welcome address.

The event, Meditation and Prayer Gathering “We Are Together!” was organized by the Buddhist Council of New York (BCNY). BCNY is an association of Buddhist Temples and organizations whose mission is to foster dialogue, cooperation and unity within the Buddhist community in the New York City area.

The gathering began with the warm Opening Invocation by Ven. Dharma King, founder of the International Mongolian and Tibetan Buddhist Center. It was followed by a Dharma speech by Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara, Abbot of Village Zendo.

“Dr. King is a true Bodhisattva!” said Roshi Enkyo. Bodhisattva, in Mahayana Buddhist tradition, refers a person who uses all their energy for the good of others.

Imam Muhammad Shahidullah, President of the Interfaith Center of U.S.A, offered Muslim prayer and said, “Although Trump’s policies have put much pressure on the Muslim community, I am optimistic because, the Muslim Community is joining and working together with our brothers and sisters in the African American community, Latino community, the Jewish Community, and today with their Buddhist friends to fight back against those policies.”

Later, Pastor Frank Haye, a composer, conductor and producer, and the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir, a group encouraging members to celebrate diverse cultures, sang two songs for Love and Peace.

Detective Mohamed Amen represented NYPD Community Affairs Bureau, shared his message.

The BCNY welcomed Paola Ruiz, the Borough Director for Manhattan, who brought a message from Mayor de Blasio:

“I commend the Council and everyone gathered for their efforts to celebrate Dr. King’s life and legacy as we work together to forge a brighter, more inclusive and equitable future for all.”

Monks and nuns from various Buddhist traditions, including Theravada tradition such as Thailand and Sri Lanka, Mahayana tradition such as Chinese, Korean and Japanese, and Vajrayana tradition such as Tibet and Mongolia, gave meditation, prayer and blessings for peace and harmony.

As the ceremony came to a close, all participants regardless of their religious beliefs, age, race, or gender held hands with each other and joined their voices together in a prayer for unity.

The ceremony demonstrated how the idea of compassion is related to several different faiths such as, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism and how each religion can serve to unite individuals and bring peace to the world, conveying a strong message – although different in religious belief, we are one family when it comes to love and compassion.

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Meditate NYC on September 25, 2016

Meditate NYC2016 flyer

Buddhist Council to Host Free and Public Meditate NYC Event in Long Island City on September 25, 2016

A Day of Meditation to Cultivate the Mind of Peace and Compassion

The Buddhist Council of New York (BCNY), an association of diverse and international Buddhist temples and organizations, will present its annual Meditate NYC event for experienced practitioners and those brand new to meditation. Gathering inspiring speakers and well-known teachers from the New York area, the event will be held at Gantry Plaza State Park (Center Blvd and 49th Ave., Long Island City, NY 11101) from 2:30-6pm on Sunday, September 25, 2016.  Please bring your cushion, portable chair, or yoga mat for sitting.

Mediate NYC will be a part of the, sponsored by HaborLAB and BCNY, along with its partner the Interfaith Center of New York and the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace. The event also includes free paddling, and drawing lanterns from 2:30pm – 6:00pm, speakers and interfaith peace prayers at 6:30pm, followed by a sunset floating peace lantern launch on the East River starting at 7:30pm – 8:30pm.Peace Lantens Festival 2016 flyer 3

This event is taking place on a weekend dedicated to international peace corresponding with the United Nation’s International Day of Peace. Meditation is the way to bring peace in the mind and nurture the wholesome and healthy mind, and it is proved scientifically and practiced for thousands of years in various eastern culture and religions.

Various meditation and dharma teachers from various Buddhist traditions will participate, including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Sri Lankan, Thai, Tibetan and American.

About the Buddhist Council of New York

The Buddhist Council of New York: www.buddhistcouncilny.org, is an association of Buddhist temples and organizations whose mission is to foster dialogue, cooperation and unity within the Buddhist community in the New York City area. The Buddhist Council presents the annual Meditate NYC to promote beginning meditation, and the annual Buddhist Forum addressing current events of concern to Buddhists in the local area.


Contact: Rev. TK Nakagaki, President, The Buddhist Council of New York,

646-797-7982,  tknakagaki@gmail.com

Website: www.buddhistcouncilny.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=buddhist%20council%20of%20new%20yor