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柏克萊道場宗教會議報導
Report on the Faith Communities Conference at Berkeley Buddhist Monastery
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本刊編輯部

一九九七年一月三十日星期四,在加州柏克萊分支道場舉行三天的宗教會議。法界佛教總會的比丘及比丘尼,介紹新興宗教一一佛教給舊金山彎區,與會人士大部分為基督教神職人員代表。會議議題主要談基督教,但是灣區新興起的宗教團體:佛教,美洲土著的宗教,也有機會向大部分為基督徒的聽眾介紹其宗教。

本會議為太平洋宗教學院主持,在離柏克萊不遠的第一公理會寬敞的教堂中舉行。主題為「加強宗教以適應變化中之世界」,三天會議包括一九九七年ET艾爾演講,也有其他的座談會。

比丘恆實法師及太平洋宗教學院的納卡松教授,主持了一項討論會,會題:「北美洲佛教百年史,認同、同化、包容。」

星期四下午,在第一公理會教堂舉行的座談會中,法界佛教總會代表,恆實法師簡短地講了他自己如何接觸到佛教。並介紹了柏克來道場的活動及上人對該寺之期望。恆實法師並讓聽眾練習簡單的數息觀打坐。座談會在以英文誦念《金剛經》聲中結束。

On Thursday, January 30th, l997, Bhikshus and Bhikshunis of the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association represented Buddhism as an emerging faith at a three-day pastoral conference at Berkeley, California.  As most of the participants were representatives of Christian clergy, must of the conference concentrated on Christian topics. However, newer religious groups in the Bay Area, such as Buddhists and Native Americans, were also given a chance to introduce their religion to a largely Christian audience.

The conference was hosted by the Pacific School of Religion and took place at the spacious First Congregational Church of Berkeley, not far from the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery.  The theme of the conference was “Equipping Faith Communities for a Changing World.”” The three days included the l997 E.T.Earl lectures, as well as other lectures, sermons, and workshops.  Bhikshu Heng Sure and Professor Ron Nakasone of PSR headed a workshop under the heading of ldentity, Assimilation and Adaptation: 100 years of Buddhist Experience in North America.”

During the Thursday afternoon session at First Congregational Church, Heng Sure Shr, representing DRBA, gave a short speech, recalling his first encounters with Buddhism and describing the activities of the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery and the Venerable Master's vision of it. He also invited the audience to participate in a simple meditational exercise of watching the breath. The presentation was closed by a recitation of the Heart Sutra in English.

After the workshop was over, the audience was invited to visit Berkeley Buddhist Monastery. For over an hour representatives of DRBA answered questions and discussed various aspects of Buddhism. The visitors were especially interested in finding out about the life of Buddhist monks and nuns and the principles guiding their lives. All in all, the afternoon provided a valuable chance to introduce Buddhism in Berkeley and was an inspiring example of the changing, multicultural and multifaceted religious scene in the Bay Area.

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