- East-West Exchange
The European Commissions together organized the tenth spiritual East-West Exchange held June 3–28, 2005. Invited by the Institute for Zen Studies of Hanazono University, nine nuns and monks (from England, Scotland, France, the Low Countries, Norway, Portugal, and the United States) spent some time in Zen monasteries in Japan.
As a conclusion to these visits there were two days of evaluation and reflection at the university itself. The bishop of Kyöto, Paul Otsuka, was present, together with a large number of masters and professors. Two monks who are living in Japan came to participate at this symposium: Fr. Kieran Nolan, from the Benedictine monastery of Fushimi, and Fr. David Lavich, chaplain of the Trappist monastery of Nasu. The Reverend Töga Masataka, general secretary of the Institute for Zen Studies, gave the first presentation of these initiatives of dialogue. This was followed by a celebration in memory of Pope John Paul II, presided successively by the rector of the university, for the Buddhist part, and by the Right Rev. Otsuka, who celebrated the Eucharist.
Finally, two lectures recalled the history of the ten spiritual exchanges, which started in 1979. The Reverend Yasunaga Södö described the Japanese approach and Fr. Pierre-François de Béthune presented the history of this dialogue from the European point of view.