The 28th Anniversary Celebration of the New England Peace Pagoda

The 28th Anniversary Celebration of the New England Peace Pagoda

Dennis Banks and the Lady Hawk Singers at the New England Peace Pagoda.

Several long time activists came to speak at the 28th Anniversary of the Leverett Pagoda.
Dennis Banks shared the story of how he connected with Nipponzan Myohoji, long time anti-war activists Randy Kehler, Paula Green, Francis Crowe were also present. Court Dorsey and Hattie Nestel, disarmament campaigners were there.

A large crowd came together with the overwhelming feeling of hope and determination in these strange times.

Following Interfaith prayers (Buddhist Tradition, Christian Tradition, Jewish Tradition, Muslim Tradition) we heard from several speakers about upcoming events.

Paki Wieland shared info about the upcoming Maine Drone Peace Walk

Beth Adams spoke about the men locked in Guantanamo Bay who are still on hunger strike, and upcoming actions with Witness Torture

Also an announcement was made, an update sent from Charmaine White Face and the Defenders of the Black Hills.

After writing and lobbying legislators, the “Uranium Exploration and Mining Accountability Act” has found a sponsor! Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva from the 3rd District in Arizona has agreed to sponsor the bill! This is a huge step, but by no means is the end of the road.


Our local Congressman Jim McGovern (who sent greetings from Washington where he is working with others to resolve the Government shut down) has agreed to support the bill when it is raised.

This is a hugely important time. We have to show McGovern and Grijalva that we support this bill and will see it through to the end.

The New England Peace Pagoda will continue supporting the Uranium Exploration Mining and Accountability Act, and the work of the Defenders of the Black Hills.

The 28th Anniversary Celebration of the New England Peace Pagoda





Sunday, October 6, 2013

 11 am

                                11:00 WELCOME
                   o Buddhist Sacred Ceremony begins
                  o Prayers from various faith traditions
                  o Dharma Talk by Ven. Shanti Shugei, Elder monk from Japan
                                LUNCH OFFERED
                               GREETINGS FROM SPECIAL GUEST, Dennis Banks
                                              Co-founder of the American Indian Movement
                               MESSAGE FROM DEFENDERS OF THE BLACK HILLS
                               NEWS FROM JUSTICE /PEACE EFFORTS
                               SOCIAL DANCE, led by the WAMPANOAG NATION

The crises which we are together facing both in our human society – the degradation of humanity through  war and massive impoverishment, and in the natural world – catastrophic disasters and the poisoning of water, earth, and air – all are caused  by the extreme materialism of our culture. This materialism was forcibly imposed over the spiritual civilization of the Original People of this continent.  We must return to a spiritual civilization to find the way to live in peace.


“If the minds of the people are impure, their land is also impure, but if their minds are pure, so is their land. There are not two lands, pure or impure. The difference lies solely in the good or evil of people’s minds. It is the same with a Buddha and a common mortal. While deluded, one is called ‘a common mortal’ but once enlightened, one is called a Buddha. Even a tarnished mirror will shine like a jewel if it is polished. A mind which presently is clouded by delusion is like a tarnished mirror, but once it is polished, it will become clear, reflecting the enlightenment of immutable Truth. Arouse deep faith and polish your mirror night and day.”  “On Obtaining Buddhahood,” by St. Nichiren, 13th Century Buddhist monk, founder of the practice of Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo.


“The religious faith that Native Americans have carried to this day will be the source for forging lasting peace in the times to come. “excerpt from the Dharma  talk given by Most Venerable Nichidatsu Fujii  at the culmination of The Longest Walk, July 16, 1978, Washington DC.


Remember Hiroshima Nagasaki | A Walk to Build a Non-Violent World


Na Mu Myo Ho Renge Kyo

By Jehann El-Bisi


A summary of the intention of the walk for community members of Smith College on the eve of Nagasaki Day.

“ Instead of hypothesizing potential enemies, let us hypothesize this world as a potential heaven. Instead of suspecting others as potential murderers, let us believe in the Buddha nature of others, that they are children of God. Instead of looking at others with contempt, let us hold mutual respect and venerate one another.”


-Most venerable: Nichidatsu Fujii-Founder, teacher Nipponzan Myohoji

Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki

A Walk to Build a Non Violent World

August 2 to August 6

On a beautiful morning at the Leverett Peace Pagoda, walkers set out on a five day walk. On the morning of our first day, our prayers were shared and it was mentioned that an intention for the walk to acknowledge all forms of violence be recognized. We stated that the Boston Marathon tragedy be placed in a larger socio political context of American violence as exerted in rest of the world, particularly, most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan. We culminated our walk arriving in Harvard Square in Boston to remember Hiroshima.

We walked carrying four critical messages that were shared with city officials and community members in Worcester, Watertown, Dorchester, Cambridge and Boston. The messages included:

  1. The introduction of H.R. 808 the Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2013 by Democratic representative Barbara lee of Oakland, CA. Lee states; “peacebuilding refers both to activities that target the root causes of violence as well as the broad measures used to prevent violent conflict and create sustainable peace.

She said, “This culture of violence that we live in is unacceptable. On our streets and across the globe, the pervasive presence of violence has infected the lives of millions, and it is far past time we address it as a nation…We invest hundreds of billions each year in the pentagon, in war colleges, military academies, and our national defense universities all to develop war tactics and strategies. Now we need that kind of investment in peace and non-violence here at home.”

  1. Resolution #56

Submitted by the Honorable Donald L. Plusquellic, Mayor of Akron Ohio


  1. Where as in April of 2009, President Barack Obama declared in Prague, “as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act.”

We presented: The petition to “Abolish Nuclear Weapons Now!” urging the United States to join in multilateral efforts to achieve the global elimination of nuclear weapons. The time is right. As [president Barack Obama] said in Berlin, “So long as nuclear weapons exist, we are not truly safe.”

  1. As presented from a sharing Learning The Hard Way: Reflections on the Aftermath of the Boston Marathon Tragedy, as well as signing a letter to Governor Duval Patrick at the Old South Church in Boston, on the anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki:

Where we quoted the governor as saying:

This community can heal if we turn to each other and not on each other.” We the Leverett Peace Pagoda requested that the people of Boston and the world, choose a different path of critical reflection, choosing love and not fear in our collective response to the tragedy. We spoke candidly of the violence inherent in a racist backlash for all Arab people, Arab Americans and specifically Muslim people of America and the world.

All of these issues and events are inextricably linked to what we remember on August 6 as Hiroshima Day and today on August 9 as Nagasaki day. We concluded our walk at the Premiere of the film;

HIBAKUSHA, OUR LIFE TO LIVE | A film of survival by David Rothauser

Creating a discussion: Article 9, A template for Peace

Featuring: Professor Akihiko Kimijima

And best quote, as it appeared on our walk:

“…We cannot repeat the sin.”

Abolish nuclear everything now. Please sign the petition for President Obama to attend the high level nuclear disarmament meeting at the UN on September 26, 2013. Thank you for your support to build a non violent world.

Na Mu Myo Ho Renge Kyo

Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Walking to Build a Non-Violent World
July 29, to August 6, 2013
A nine day walk from Leverett, MA to Boston, MA
Walk initiated by
Nipponzan Myohoji, New England Peace Pagoda
100 Cave Hill Rd, Leverett, MA 01054

Food for Thought in Building a Non-Violent World


4000 People Walk in Boston on Mother’s Day Walk for Peace, 2013

7 Principals of Peace to be Practiced
 From the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, Dorchester MA, an organization for those who have lost loved ones to violence and all those who support the purpose.
Love – Unity – Faith – Hope – Courage -Justice -Forgiveness –

“… you must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what  we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother.
-Chief Seattle 1854 marking the transference of Ancestral lands to the Federal Government

“… who is evil? Religion was handed down in the world for us so that evil can be converted to good rather than destroyed.”
-Most Venerable Nichidatsu Fujii 1953, Founder and Preceptor Nipponzan Myohoji

Friday 8/2 Leverett Peace Pagoda – Amherst
Saturday 8/3 amherst to worcester
sunday 8/4 worcester to watertown
monday 8/5 watertown – boston
tuesday 8/6 boston to cambridge

For more information regarding the this walk call 413-485-8469 or email us at

For the People

-Demilitarize our international relations
-Demilitarize our approach to homeland security
-End systemic poverty, a system of great violence to ward the human beings

For the Earth

-See the earth as a great mother, who, along with the whole natural world gives life indiscriminately to us all.  Let us cultivate gratitude rather than brutal exploitation of the earth.

August 6,1945, close to 100,000 ordinary citizens died instantly from the deto- nation of a nuclear bomb in Hiroshima. Tens of thou- sands died agonizing deaths in the days, weeks and months to follow. Survivors still suffer, physically and psychologically..

Drawn by a survivor from memory

The world has not heeded the call of the survivors. Nine countries have over 26,000 nuclear weapons with the USA and Russia having more than 95%. New more deadly weapons are still being de- signed and manufactured.

The survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki give message to the world

– Never Again Should Anyone – For Any Reason – Be Subjected To This Hell…

Clearly the mirror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with its inconceivable terror and grief, reveals the profound truth, that we must build a non-violent world.

As we reflect on the Boston marathon bombing and many other violent acts in the US and other countries, we see that the world has become more violent with less regard for the preciousness of human beings and more exploitation and de- struction towards our beautiful natural world.

We believe we are called- all together to work, walk, talk, listen to one another and find the will and determination to change the direction of our country, civilization.

We must devote ourselves to building a non-violent world.

dr king

Civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., March, 1967, during an anti-Vietnam War demon- stration in New York. (Photo:AFP/Getty Images)

“We must combine the fervor of the civil rights movement with the peace movement. We must demonstrate, teach and preach, until the very foundations of our nation are shaken. We must work unceasingly to lift this nation that we love to a higher destiny, to a new plateau of compassion, to a more noble expression of humaneness.” – Dr. Margin Luther King Jr. while marching against the War in Viet Nam Chicago, March 1967


“Instead of hypothesizing potential enemies, let us hypothesize this world as a poten- tial heaven. Instead of suspecting others as murders, let us believe in the Buddha na- ture of others, that they are children of God. Instead of looking at others with con- tempt, let us hold mutual respect and venerate one another.”
Most Venerable. Nichidatsu Fujii

Click here to download a pdf version of the walk flyer

March 16: Staten Island

“Sally is right about the event being special. The walk was multifaceted: was very sad, very moving, and very inspiring. One poignant moment was when Midland Avenue Relief organizer Aiman Youseff played a recording of Our Father in Aramaic – as the Buddhist celebrants bowed their heads in reverence. A graphic representation of the Buddhist concept of interbeing / interdependence. Icing on the cake – a fella from Jersey who owns Drink King, a beverage distributor, dropped off several pallets of Gerolsteiner – a type of mineral water that I drink a lot of when visiting the ancestral homeland. ” —ThomasAGood

“We had an amazing day yesterday with the Peace Walkers. As planned we met at Guyon Ave and Mill Rd (not Ave, sorry!) in the morning. Bill Johnsen led us on a walk through the Ocean Breeze and Midland Beach communities. We stopped at the community recovery centers and spoke to the volunteers and residents about the challenges ahead. Every Saturday morning Bill starts out at Guyon and Mill and makes this walk from Ocean Breeze to South Beach. Everyone knows him and thanks him for his work raising awareness of the struggles of the residents and the commitment of the volunteers.

From Midland Beach we made the walk up to Richmond Road to Clove Road to Post Ave to the Buddhist Temple in Port Richmond. Snow fell a good part of the way. The drums and chant make it easy to walk. At the temple Bhante Wimalajothi greeted us. Pat Berg brought a wonderful hot meal and her famous Peace Cakes. And we were able to rest and talk.

Thank you to the Temple, the Peace Walkers, Bill Johnsen, Tom Good and everyone who supported or walked.


3/16 Staten Island

Via Flickr:
QOTD: All we are saying is give peace a chance. — John Lennon *** Quote from The Hip Pocket Guide To Offbeat Wisdom by William Sauer

Backstory: A Buddhist “Peace Walker” from Leverett, Massachusetts, visits the storm-damaged east shore of Staten Island (March 16, 2013).

Equipment: Nikon D40x / Nikkor 18~55mm f3.5/5.6

Feb. 14 Highbridge to Washington Square Park

IMG_1225Thursday morning the walk set off from the Highbridge Community Center towards Manhattan. Local organizer Chauncey Young joined the walk for the first few blocks over the Macombs Dam Bridge.

Huge thanks to Chauncey for hosting the walk and providing rooms for each walker, dinner, and supplies to cook with. Thank you!

When the group started walking at 8:15 it was a cold, windy morning and for the first half hour or so we saw another snowfall.

The walk day was about 8 miles through the city.
In the evening the walk was met by frequent walker and filmmaker Melinda Holms who hosted everyone for dinner.