An American Buddhist nun, a bhikshuni collecting histories from Buddhist monastics; compiling the first 160 year history in the USA.
Sangha Walks is a first ever attempt to archive in digital media the history of Buddhist monks and nuns in the USA since the last 160 years.
How we are doing this: A Buddhist nun will be travelling to and contacting those traveling to and from temples, monasteries and hermitages throughout out the USA for one year collecting or to record digitally mementos, historical records, and later collate web media and sites into one larger site during the year. Presently 396 Sangha members are online through social media on Facebook are able to provide digital media, histories, archiving material in their native languages and some in English about their histories and their resident temples in the USA.
Travelling monks and nuns
usually an invisible type of traditional Buddhist Sangha will be connected to this project by referral and be asked to journal their history's online. Ven. Bhikshuni Shian Pei is such a nun and has just finished travelling with permission, the 50 states by herself, relying on donations at each stage only having to spend one night outside, we just met and are collaborating on translating her journal here in Chinese and she showed me some of her artifacts which included a timeline record with notes for each state, local news articles featuring her. http://mypaper.pchome.com.tw/9999666333 her facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000936498267&sk=info .
We have an elder Rev Heng Sure in his 70s he is teaching Buddhism to the public in form of puppetry, radio, music with his own compositions similar to American Folk being feature on talk shows worldwide and in multiple languages also from the Midwest. These are only some who have started recording their history and travel extensively to break down cultural barriers improving public awareness of Buddhism and it's potential impact in their daily lives.
Suco trained in the Mahayana Vietnamese tradition, she is also active in local schools teaching young people the strategies and complexities of mastery of the game GO. She is very active among her peers in Maine preferring to provide community activities for the local population. She is fun, a bubbly personality filled with wisdom and experience. She is one of our treasures in the USA.
Sangha in America how many do you know?
Dalai Lama? Is he the only monk you know? No of course not! There are 1,000s perhaps 10,000s in the USA. Many more Americans are full members of the Sangha than you realize not all are just overseas guests in our country. Perhaps if you just got to know some of our personal accounts and learn a bit about traditional Buddhism separating the books with reality of people you can see then you maybe more likely to understand our Buddhist culture, improving your understanding improves your tolerance, helping you have the curiosity to seek us out and the wisdom to benefit from such an encounter.
Buddhist record keeping is a little different
Buddhist temples started early in the late 1800s. And record keeping was and is the same through dharma categories. Like donations for example there are money, fruit and flowers, dry goods, fresh vegetables, oil for cooking, oil for lamps, household items, utilities, medicine, musical instruments, dharma items, dharma services, dharma books, and Sangha robes. Some are regular, some are 1st. and 15th of the month, birthdays, memorials, and some are annual events.
Collection is documentary film in media and in artifacts by and from Sangha to be shared.
A formal collection with smaller cultural packets is to be made available for tours, rented to educational and teaching organizations. Tours with small fees hosted by monasteries will be coordinated and published and they will set the fees and manage the cultural packets by managing rental charges associated with them. Any money collected will maintain the collections and contribute to the online catalog web cost. All online access is to be free and open to the public.
A directory is being formed online with contact information about the curators for each dharma place and Sangha contact member. Monasteries with museums or historical books will be featured as long as they include timeline histories and pictorial histories within the USA and include founding histories of the site and original founder with as much documentation as they can provide.
This documentary film Sangha Walks is pan media and meant to mix media types to accommodate varying degrees of technical access of Sangha members or lack thereof.
It's ideal is to set up online access to the archive to make it globally accessible as a previously undocumented part of US History.
Please donate to help us document history in the making.