Rainbow of Infinite Light: LGBTQ in Shin Buddhism Seminar

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Date: Saturday, November 18th, 2017
Time: 10 am – 4 pm (check in begins at 9:15 am)
Location: Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple, 1427 S. Main Street, Seattle, WA 98144

Ticket Price: $40 (Students $20) which includes a box lunch (vegetarian option available)

On-line registration is here. Registrations will be accepted the day of the event.

The Buddhist Churches of America’s (BCA) Center for Buddhist Education and the Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple jointly present “Rainbow of Infinite Light”, a seminar devoted to exploring the Shin Buddhist teachings related to the LGBTQ individuals.

During the day-long seminar, participants will explore Shin Buddhism’s historical and modern relationship with sexuality, gender and love. This event will include engaging speakers, personal stories and participant discussions on the topic of Buddhism and LGBTQ inclusion.

All are welcome to join us for an educational and engaging event for those interested in how Shin Buddhism offers a religious community which values inclusiveness and acceptance. This seminar is intended to inspire and deepen our understanding of the Buddha’s teachings as it relates to LGBTQ concerns.

Keynote speakers will include: Buddhist minister, Rev. Dr. Jeff Wilson of Renison University College who will present “A Queer History of Buddhism” and Marsha and Aiden Aizumi who are mother and transgender son who have spoken nationally of their personal story of acceptance, love and understanding. (Additional information on speakers below)

Local LGBTQ panelist will discuss “Naturalness, Becoming our authentic selves”, which will highlight personal thoughts on how the Buddhist teachings have supported and encouraged them.

A portion of the seminar will be dedicated to “Talk Story” sessions, where attendees are invited to participate in small group discussions on the topics of Buddhism, social justice and spirituality as it relates to those who are LGBTQ.

Registration is open to the public and we welcome all who wish to learn, share and value this topic. Early registration is encouraged! The price for registration includes a bento lunch, coffee, tea and snacks.

Donations to support our programming are welcome. Please make your checks payable to the “Seattle Buddhist Church”.

Have questions or need help with the ticket price? Email RainbowBuddhists@gmail.com and we will enter you in our assistance program. Everyone who wants to should be able to attend, regardless of income level.

Guest speakers:
Marsha Aizumi and her son Aiden Aizumi are educators and advocates for the LGBT community with a focus within the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. This is a cause they embraced from Aiden’s life experience coming out as lesbian and being bullied in high school and then later becoming transgender. Marsha and Aiden are authors of the book Two Spirits, One Heart. Marsha serves on the PFLAG National Board, while Aiden, a student at University of La Verne, serves on the PFLAG National Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Advisory Board. Marsha has founded a LGBT high school diploma program in Los Angeles, as well as a safe space training program for school district leaders. More information about Marsha and Aiden at www.marshaaizumi.com, and www.aidenaizumi.weebly.com.

Rev. Dr. Jeff Wilson, Professor, Religious Studies and East Asian Studies at Renison University College, Ontario, Canada, author of Buddhism of the Heart and contributing writer to Tricycle Magazine which published “A Big Gay History of Same-sex Marriage in the Sangha” where he states “The first known Buddhist same-sex marriages took place in the early 1970s at the Buddhist Church of San Francisco.”

Panel moderator:
Elaine Donlin, an ordained priest and a Buddhist Church of San Francisco Minister’s Assistant who has been teaching the Essentials of Buddhism since 2008, serves as Buddhist Community Clergy for several SF Hospitals, and partners with the SF Zen Center to provide Meditation and Buddhism in the SF County Jails. She is also a founding member of the Buddhist Church of San Francisco’s LGBTQQ group.

Opening Remarks and Welcome by:
Rev. Kiyonobu Joshin Kuwahara a Jodo Shinshu priest and co-director of the Buddhist Churches of America’s Center for Buddhist Education. He has been an advocate for LGBTQ inclusion in BCA temples, and has led the three prior BCA conferences on the intersection of LGBTQ and Buddhism. His article on the topic was featured in Lion’s Roar www.lionsroar.com/lets-talk-is-my-sangha-inclusive.

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