Current mood:  blissful
Category: Life


I had a wonderful experience Sunday that I feel has forever changed me. I am a Buddhist and my west valley division of the SGI International branch of Buddhism is the first to create an Art Department.
Sunday was our first big meeting and I was overwhelmed that so many people came out to support the creation of the Art Department, particularly Buddhists from all over California.
Our mentor, President Daisaku Ikeda, a great humanitarian, philosopher and avowed “peacebuilder” was excited about this new development since he encourages our work with youth members who are very drawn to Art.
President Ikeda loves the written word. He is an astonishing writer of philosophy, letters, poems and songs. He loves art and music. He always says the seeds of growth come from artists.
And President Ikeda loves to dance.
As one of the participating volunteers on Sunday, I was asked to give out slips of yellow paper as I greeted new arrivals. Seven of us were given different colors – mine was yellow.
I must be a real social animal because as the meeting progressed, half the room had yellow papers!
As each person arrived, they were asked to sign in and also write what their art is.
I was intrigued to see many of the children write: DANCER.
As our meeting went on, I was inspired by the stories I heard. Theater director Wayne Green came from Las Vegas to share his experience of how he rebuilt his career when 9/11 crashed and burned the entire livelihood of the theater community in Nevada.
He talked about the passion he tapped into to rebuild and his commitment to never surrender. He talked of the power of our chant, nam myoho renge kyo.
He reminded us in tough times, we must chant more. It works. I remind myself I have better days when I do it. I remind myself that being a Buddhist doesn’t mean I’ll never have problems, but it DOES guarantee I’ll handle them better.
Above all, he reminded us of our mentor’s words, to live life as if it is a splendid dance.
The women and children did a traditional Japanese fan dance as overhead, footage of President Ikeda doing the same dance in the various stages of his life played on.
I was mesmerized by his joy in the movement. I was enthralled that this great leader, who travels the world helping so many people, finds time – small moments – to enjoy his Art.
As we split off into group colors to exhange ideas, each group came up with a sentence that best describes their joint philosophy of life.
These are wonderful discussions that always provide food for thought and a new focus.
I signed into that meeting as a WRITER. I crossed that out as I left the meeting.
My name in A.J. Llewellyn and I am a DANCER.

Aloha oe,


Currently listening:
Pua ‘ena – Glow Brightly
By Reverand Dennis Kamakahi
Release date: 1996-05-21

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