The Japanese and Sri Lankan Buddhist communities of Winnipeg are both small, and at different stages of adaptation to life in Canada. The Japanese Buddhist community, established in the 1950s, is aging and the observance of its cultural traditions by younger members is in a state of decline. As a result, Shin/Pure Land practice in Winnipeg is threatened with disappearance. In contrast, Sri Lankan Buddhists established themselves in Winnipeg in the 1980s and nearly all consider that it is necessary to learn and practice Theravada Buddhism as part of their cultural heritage. The consequence is that Dharma practice is undertaken by the majority of community members in all age groups.
This paper looks at the kinds of challenges that these different circumstances present to community Dharma teachers and describes the approaches and strategies that Rev. Fredrich Ulrich of the Manitoba Buddhist Church (BCC), and Mrs. Radhika Abeysekera of the Manitoba Buddhist Vihara use to teach and preserve Buddhist tradition in their respective communities.
Abstract 59 Preamble 59 Introduction 60 Theoretical Considerations 61 The Manitoba Buddhist Vihara 63 The Manitoba Buddhist Church 64 Discussion 66 Conclusion 68 Notes 71