Ottawa-Gatineau Area Hosts Men’s Conference
By Glenn Turner, Ottawa
Ottawa men's conference participants
On the first weekend of June, the Ottawa-Gatineau Area hosted a men’s group conference with SGI Canada Men's Group leader Ian Mattinson. It was a great success with 35 men and young men attending the two-day event.
This local conference, replacing the former Caledon conferences, enables more practitioners to participate. The conference included presentations, small group meetings, many conversations over coffee and much chanting. Discussions focused on unity in the district, becoming more engaged in SGI, overcoming obstacles and maintaining one's faith in the face of difficulties.
As part of his encouragement, Ian encouraged us to use the time between now and the opening of the new Ottawa-Gatineau Centre next year to train ourselves to be able to look after the new facility and take care of all who come there. He also led a Q&A session that was informative and helped everyone to move forward in their practice of Buddhism.
On the second day of the conference, the men's group transformed the scheduled World Peace meeting into a special introductory meeting (open to everyone) with explanations, powerful experiences, a performance by the men and lots of time afterwards to talk about Buddhism. Eighty-four people attended this meeting, including 12 guests.
Many of the weekend events were led by a new generation of younger men and several people said that this felt like a new beginning for the men's group in Ottawa-Gatineau.
Similar local conferences are scheduled to happen in many parts of the country for the remaining part of the year.