Our Guest Speaker, Pieper Toyama, President of Honpa Hongwanji of Hawaii, gave us a special Father's Day Dharma Talk. He shared seven Shin Buddhist principles through the letters written by his father while he was attending the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Pieper Toyama was born and raised on a sugar plantation on the Big Island. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with a BA in English and Northeastern University with a Masters of Education Degree. His teaching experiences include teaching in high schools and at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.
Pieper is the founding head of the Pacific Buddhist Academy. It is the first Shin Buddhist high school in the Western Hemisphere. One of the primary missions of the school is to develop students with the courage and skills to nurture peace within themselves, in their communities and in the world. Every facet of the school’s curriculum and operations is driven by the values of gratitude, compassion, mindfulness, and unconditional acceptance of others. Along with values, its peace education program is firmly based on the importance of critical and independent thinking among its students and faculty.
He is retired and currently serves as president of the Honpa Hongwanji Missions of Hawaii (state organization of Hongwanji’s 34 Buddhist temples).
He is married to Lois and has two daughters, Malia and Eily, and three grandchildren.