July 4th, 2013
The Amida Hawai'i sangha, located in the town of Waimea on Hawai'i Island, is a small group of about 10 or so Amida-shu practitioners.
We have been practicing together since 2006. The group now has two Gankonin to help facilitate the practice:
Shantikara Franco Acquaro and Ananda Paul Normann.
Several of the Amida Hawai'i sangha work together as the Board of Directors for Amida USA - a non-profit church established to further Amidism in the United States, particularly Amida-shu and Dharmavidya's teachings.
We are a small group in the middle of the Pacific Ocean...but we are vibrant!
This year the Amida Hawai'i/Amida USA sangha has been active with numerous enterprises:
- We gather monthly for an evening of sharing and Amida-shu practice.
- We conducted an ordination ceremony where Paul Normann became a Gankonin and received the name Ananda (Joy).
- We formed a youth service group called The Bodhi Buds.
Their motto is "Learn-Serve-Play".
These youths meet monthly to learn about Buddhism, to do a community service project, and to play!
Their recent service projects have included a trash clean-up at a beach; a weeding of the Medicine Wheel at the hospital; and a growing & gifting of jade plants to people in their lives that have shown them kindness.
- We have joined efforts with a local Catholic Church to provide after-school tutoring to immigrant children from the Marshall Islands.
- We have been invited to be a part of the local hospital Chaplaincy Team. We are now preparing to do the annual community-wide pet/animal blessing in October.
- And our Gankonin have had the privilege of providing some pastoral services to the community, which have included officiating several Buddhist services (weddings and funerals), and providing pastoral counseling.
- We have started a Facebook page and revamped our website as well.