The Salt Lake Buddhist Fellowship, our home Sangha, started almost five years ago. It was founded by our Sensei, Christopher Kakuyo to give a place of refuge and acceptance to all those seeking the Buddha way. It was his personal circuitous journey of looking for meaning an connection that led him to its inception. The fellowship was initially inspired by the writings of Tatetsu Unno, the writer of River of Fire. River of Water a contemporary look at the teachings of Shin Buddhism, a lesser known and more devotional form of Buddhism. After attending his beautiful local Shin Buddhist temple, Kakuyo realized that he was looking for something that had the spirit of Shin Buddhism’s “come as you are” but less sectarian in its approach and more expressive of a modernist expression of its teachings.
While learning and studying, Kakuyo sensei came across a non-sectarian Shin organization called the North American Shin Buddhist Association. NASBA was experimenting with creating chapters anywhere in the world that someone was willing to lead a group. Kakuyo Sensei joined – and the Salt Lake Buddhist
Fellowship was born.
The Fellowship began by offering classes on Buddhism, especially the Pure Land tradition, in addition to offering Sangha in the Park and other activities. For years many have come and gone and brought there life experience, insight, openness, and compassion to the fellowship. Whether they are here or not all of them are still part of the living heart of the sangha. Kakyuo Sensei has also grown as a teacher and a friend – helping to create a sacred space where everyone is welcome regardless of practice, experience or who they are.
Since the founding, Kakuyo Sensei has since completed the Bright Dawn Lay Ministry program – the sangha has become an Independent lay-led, non-discriminating, trans-sectarian Sangha influenced by the Pure Land Buddhist tradition and the teachings of Gyomay and Koyo Kubose of the Bright Dawn Lineage. With our move to Millcreek, we have been able to offer more to the community. We now provide weekly Wednesday evening workshops and classes, and newly added 12 Step Recovery group from a Buddhist perspective and extended times for our Sunday gatherings for more visiting time, annual summer retreats and winter workshops, Intro to Buddhism courses and a Buddhist Traditions course.
In 2017 we started fellowships in Utah Valley and in Sanpete Valley, and thus the Utah Buddhist Fellowships were born. All the fellowships support all the different expressions of Buddhism, whether secular or more religious expressions. All are welcome and welcome to practice together being respectful of one another and each of our unique paths.
Summer Retreat 2017