Article about BRM
Flint Journal, Flint Michigan, May 4, 2002





Holiday feast
in Flint attracts
record number
of holy men

By George Jaksa, Journal Religion Writer

Flint -- The largest single gathering of Buddhist monks in Flint helped the local Buddhist community celebrate Vesak, the holiday honoring Buddha's birthday, enlightenment and death.

Three-year-old Myint Myat Naing of Flint presents a gift to Dharmananda Bhikkhu, a monk visiting Flint for the observance of Vesak, honoring the birthday, enlightenment and death of Buddha.

Participating in the Vesak are (from top) Ken Kawasaki of Flint and Lauren Weber and his wife Debra, of Midland.

Eight monks, converged on the home of Ken and Visakha Kawasaki on Flint's east side April 27 for an afternoon of chanting, blessing of worshipers, candle-lightening, teaching and offering flowers on the major Buddhist holiday. The monks arrived in the morning and had lunch before about 30 people ate at noon.
Ken Kawasaki said Vesak is celebrated during the second full moon of the lunar calendar year.The monks represented five different traditions -- those of Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Bangladesh and the United States -- and came from California, Detroit, Toronto and Perry, Kawasaki said.

In addition, a monk in training in the Sri Lanka tradition attended from the Detroit area.

The Kawasakis have been raising money for the religious needs of Buddhists worldwide for many years. They established the Buddhist Relif Mission in 1988 while teaching English in a private school in Osaka, Japan.

They closed the Japanese mission when they retiredin August 1999 after teaching for 30 years and turned full attention to the Flint-based effort upon returning to Visakha Kawasaki's home town.

Ken Kawasaki said the couple plans to move in June to a larger home in the E. Court Street area that can accommodate more worshipers.

They host regular Saturday night meditation sessions in their home.

Registered address:
9152 Luea Lane
Swartz Creek, MI 48473, U.S.A.

152/1 Riverdale Road
Anniwatte, Kandy 20000
Sri Lanka
Tel: 94-77-964-9292