Meet The Shinnyo-en Foundation
Gaining Insights into True Leadership
Published March 7, 2012
Contributed by Andrew Flood, 2011-2012 Shinnyo Fellow at University of California, Berkeley.
My time as a Shinnyo Fellow has thus far been an incredible experience in my development as a leader and a future public servant. I have worked to discover my passions and coordinate between my mind, my heart and my actions in my own personal path to peace. I have also watched my definition of leadership transform and, in my view, mature. As a fundamental aspect of the Shinnyo Fellowship, I have spent much of my senior year deeply reflecting on the concept of leadership and its connection to service.
While leadership is traditionally portrayed as the ability to inspire others through articulate speeches and charisma, there is a much more basic and personal facet of being a strong leader. Good leadership skills lie in conviction and self-awareness. My experiences and class work have taught me that a leader understands personal purpose in his/her work and is dedicated to this mission. Furthermore, this individual must be able to commit to this passion and translate ideas into action, coordinating emotional and intellectual investment into a well-developed and organized plan.
Finally, the last and most crucial step in leadership is to share this mission with others and to encourage their involvement in the pursuit of its completion without regard to individual recognition. Leadership, at least in my experience, has usually been presented as only the last step, namely the ability to manage and inspire others in some task. However, this internal understanding of the reason “why” a leader operates the way he/she does is an underappreciated aspect of true leadership as this is the precursor to any external expression of this passion and a recruitment of followers to a leader’s cause. Additionally, understanding one’s personal reason for service allows a leader to better manage ego as a motivation for leadership, and thus he or she will seek greater responsibility for the sole purpose of devotion to the project or organization instead of as a means of recognition from others. I believe that a strong leader takes pride in his/her work, but I also realize that the ability to work with others and share successes facilitates any project and makes it much more likely to come to fruition. I look forward to continuing to develop my understanding of leadership in the future and in my career of service.
Shinnyo-en USA temples support events in remembrance of 9/11
“Light the Darkness” Interfaith Lessons from 9/11
7:00 – 8:00 PM
Jessamyn West Park, Yorba Linda (cornor of Palm & YL Blvd.)
Please Clike here to check the flyer! 911EventFlyer2011
On Sunday evening, September 11, 2011, the Interfaith Council of North Orange County (including a wide spectrum of faiths within the northern region of Orange County, California) held its 10th annual “Light the Darkness” 9/11 commemoration. Held at a local park in Yorba Linda, the community was first beckoned to the event with a beautiful prelude shared by the Yorba Linda Presbyterian Church Bell Choir. The event was then opened at 7:00 pm by a Sikh hymn played and sung by a local Sikh mother and daughter. The highlight of the event was a series of youth from various faiths in the community…Baha’i, Hindu, Islam, Mormon, Shinnyo-en Buddhist, and Sikh… sharing verses and comments associated with their faiths, appropriate for the occasion. This was followed by the keynote talk on the topic “Interfaith Lessons from 9/11” offered by Rabbi Frank Stern of Santa Ana, California. The talk emphasized the uplifting message of the evening that the wealth of faith diversity in our community is not to be feared, but rather embraced as a strength as it has been throughout the history of the United States. The event’s closing inspiration was the reading of a message from Her Holiness Shinso Ito by a local Shinnyo-en priest, followed by our traditional lighting of candles, where the interfaith youth light the candles of attendees in the first row, who turn and light the candles of those in the second row, who light those in the third row, and onward until the park is illuminated with hundreds of candles spreading out to the community.
The local Shinnyo-en temple in Yorba Linda, CA is a welcome and active member of the Interfaith Council. We were especially honored at last year’s 9th annual 9/11 commemoration when the temple’s exceptional Taiko Drummers shared a prelude/beckoning as the public arrived, and then opened the event of a moving and inspiring percussion piece.
Article contributed by Nate Haase, the President of the North Orange County Interfaith Council.