Welcome to the Inaugural
Buddhist Literary Festival
As part of Toronto’s 28th Word on the Street Festival
Buddhism is a Religion, Philosophy, Psychology and Science. But, outside of the Academy, few are aware that it
also has a rich literary history, dating back from the Buddha’s time itself, and later fl owering within the various
Inherited Buddhist traditions—Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana, written in the Classical Buddhist languages
of Pali, Sanskrit, Chinese and Tibetan, not to mention other languages—Burmese, Japanese, Korean, Sinhala
(in Sri Lanka), Thai, Vietnamese, and more. Then there are increasingly the modern-day works by Acquired
Buddhists in Western Buddhism, either adaptations of classical works [such as Birth (Jataka) tales for children],
novels, poetry, drama, and so on.
So the intent of the Buddhist Literary Festival is to educate the Canadian public, beginning with Buddhists
themselves, in this rich resource. The event expected to be held annually, and the pedagogical expectation is
that eventually Buddhist Literature will become part of the public school and University curricula. In accord
with Buddhism’s goal of social harmony and personal happiness through a minimizing of suffering (dukkha), our
literary efforts will be guided by the language-related personal ethic, “I commit myself to true speech, not false;
to healing speech, not divisive; to amiable speech, not unkind; to meaningful speech, not idle chatter.”
Our literary efforts will be guided by the language-related personal ethic, “I commit myself to true speech,
not false; to healing speech, not divisive; to amiable speech, not unkind; to meaningful speech, not idle chatter.”
11.00 am WELCOME & OPENING REMARKS:
Prof. Suwanda H J Sugunasiri: “Buddha launches Buddhist Literature”
11.30 am READINGS
Kelly Watt (Award-winner)
Camino Meditations: Towards jettisoning addiction
12.30 am POSTER TOUR
1. Night of Buddha’s Enlightenment.
2. Buddha’s Foundational Teachings.
3. Homage to the Buddha.
4. Chief Disciples of the Buddha.
5. Buddha on Economics, Social Relations, Politics and Judiciary.
6. Meditation as Empirical and Scientific Method.
7. Buddha’s Enlightenment, Nibbana and Parinibbana.
2.30 pm TALKS & READINGS
Prof. Peter Timmerman (York University)
Readings from The Driftwood Shrine by Roshi John Gendo Wolff
Reflection: “Implosion: Learning to Live in a Finite World”
Dr. Bryan Levman (University of Toronto) “Pali Buddhist Literature”
3.30 pm READINGS & PANEL
Love, Kannon: Our Pilgrimage to Tokyo
Dr. Ranjini George (University of Toronto, SCS, Creative Writing).
Lee Gowan, Program Director (University of Toronto, SCS Creative Writing).
4.30 pm READINGS (Poetry)
Suwanda Sugunasiri: from Celestian Conversations
5.00 pm FESTIVAL TOWNHALL (4 Noble Acts: Share, Ask, Shape, Volunteer)
5.30 pm BUDDHIST UNITY SONG
Please bring your own folding chairs. Thank you.