Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Note on the cancellation of the 16th European Shinshu Conference supposed to be held in Romania


On January 19th  (yesterday) I received this report from Kensho Jerome Ducor Sensei, leader of the Swiss sangha. I share it with you bellow, followed by my comments.

“On November 8th 2009, representatives of the European Shinshū Communities celebrated the 49th day memorial service of  Rev. Adriaan Peel (Ōchōin Saku Shitoku) at his temple Jikōji in Antwerpen.
They also met to discuss the 2010 ESC Conference. From this discussion it appeared that various reasons prevent from selecting Romania as the conference’s site any more.
It was then proposed that a reduced 2010 ESC Conference should be organized anyway.
Other sites’ possibilities have been explored. Due to the short deadline, the Eko-Haus in Dusseldorf would have fit pretty well, but it appeared that Eko-Haus is not willing to schedule such a conference. Eventually the meeting asked Jikōji in Antwerpen to consider holding it at its place. The meeting also affirmed that Rev. Cirlea and Romania Community should be invited to the next conference and relations with them preserved.
A few days after this meeting, Jikōji reported that it was not in a position to host this conference either.
Accordingly no other choice emerges than to regrettably cancel the 2010 ESC Conference.
Instead the ESC will gratefully accept the proposal from IABC and HIC to combine the conference with Shinran Shonin’s 750th memorial anniversary, September 2011 at Head-Temple in Kyoto.

Jérôme Ducor”

My comments:

I thank to Jerome Sensei, a person I admire and respect very much, for sending me this report. I know he has never expressed himself for the cancelation of the next Conference in Romania, not at that meeting, and not on other occasions.

That meeting on November 8th 2009 was supposed to be held for memorial purposes. At least this is how everybody was officially announced on the internet. No word of further talks about whether the next ESC should still be organized in Romania was mentioned.  
I myself was not informed that at that meeting, there will be discussions about the next ESC in Romania. So, the very person who was the main organizer of the Conference was not informed and invited to those talks! Discussions about my country and the Conference that was supposed to be held in it, were held without me or any Romanian representative being there to participate. Even if it was decided on the spot to talk about such a topic, I think the discussions should have been postponed  due to the simple reason that I was not present.

Also, as you see, that meeting and those discussions were held on November 8th 2009! And I received the official news of the cancellation of the next ESC only on January 11th 2010, two months after the decision was taken and discussions were held without my knowledge. Also I received this report on January 19th 2010, due to the kindness of Jerome Sensei. Nobody else who indeed was influent in taking the decision to cancel the Conference thought to inform me. 

I will say it clearly - I don’t agree with, and I don’t like the style in which that meeting was held.
The fact that it was held behind my back, shows lack of honor and integrity. In a normal environment, where discussions are held openly, such things were not supposed to happen, but unfortunately some still have much to learn although they are grown up people. 

However, these being said, lets go to the good part of the note, which I find it to be very important:
The meeting also affirmed that Rev. Cirlea and Romania Community should be invited to the next conference and relations with them preserved.”

This is in accord with what I wrote in my last post on the cancellation of 16th ESC:

all that happened will in no way affect my feelings of Dharma partnership with anybody. I am always opened for good relations with any Shinshu sangha from Europe or elsewhere, leaders or ordinary members, and I will always attend future events to which I am invited, working side by side with those involved in the promotion of the teaching of our school in this turbulent world “.

So, no matter what happened I think its time for all of us to move further and look to what we have in common rather that what separates us. I hope in the future, my style of writing and teaching will not be seen by others as an obstacle that must be removed at all costs, but just as a voice among many others in the international sangha. I don’t have the pretension that people agree with me, I just ask to be left alone to act, write and teach in the way my conscience dictates me, that is, in strict accordance with the canonical texts, and to do this without fearing consequences.
Is this possible? If it is, then we can go on. If not, our relations will naturaly stop. 

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