Volusia Buddhist Fellowship hosted Central Florida’s ninth Change Your Mind Day on Saturday, January 19 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia, 116 S. Clara Ave., DeLand.
The event, which was free and open to the public, brought together leaders from area Buddhist organizations to speak about meditation and Buddhist practice.
This year’s event included a first: Rev. Koyo Kubose, the spiritual head of Bright Dawn Center for Oneness Buddhism located in Coarsegold, California, made a “virtual appearance” via the internet. Kubose is the dharma heir to Rev. Gyomay Kubose, founder of the Buddhist Temple of Chicago.
Returning this year were Michael Kane of the Natural Meditation Community (Insight Meditation), Mike Ladwig of the Ormond Sangha (Tibetan), Rev. M. Sekiyo Sullivan, Volusia Buddhist Fellowship sensei, Ven. Khai Thien, abbot of White Sands Buddhist Center in Mims (Vietnamese/Zen) and Than Chaokhun Phra Vijitrdhammapani (Thai/Theravada) and Rev. Sayo Shenpen (Boundless Light Sangha, Orlando).
Change Your Mind Day was originally established in 1993 as an international day of Buddhist awareness by Tricycle foundation. In 2004, Volusia Buddhist Fellowship hosted the first Central Florida Change Your Mind Day in DeLand. The annual event rotates to different cities each year. It returned to DeLand this year after being held in Ormond Beach, Cocoa Beach and Kissimmee. Change Your Mind Day 2014 will be held at White Sands Buddhist Center in Mims.
Buddhism is the fifth largest religion in the world and the fastest-growing religion in the United States. According to the 2008 Pew Forum Religious Landscape Survey, more than 2 million Americans identify themselves as Buddhist.