To strengthen our planetary network, ZPI will feature newly affiliated groups.
Join us here at https://hive.zenpeacemakers.org to explore some of the offerings of the organizations affiliated with ZPI.
Re-introducing a long-time ZPI affiliate group:
Eternal Loving Care Temple
What is your organization’s name?
Eininji (“Eternal Loving Care Temple”) Zen Center.
What is your mission?
Our mission is to share the Dharma with wider communities while embodying the Buddhist teachings in our daily practice and building an inclusive and compassionate Sangha. One of our goals as a loving Sangha is to promote healing among the often socio-culturally marginalized communities such as the LGBTQAI, providing a safe, sacred space to facilitate the process. We hope to break down the barriers that are still present in some of the Buddhist communities and to provide a diverse, inclusive, and compassionate community to practice the Dharma for all who seek enlightenment and love, regardless of race, sexuality, economic status, etc.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (in the Copacabana neighborhood, located at the bottom of a hill near the favela of Pavão-Pavãozinho).
How many regular members do you serve? 130.
Tell us a bit about how the group was conceived?
The Eininji Zen Center was founded in 2001 by Alcio Braz Eido Soho-sensei. Since then, it has served numerous visitors and practitioners of diverse backgrounds. More recently, Eininji has been conducting training programs for meditation instructors and contemplative caregivers.
I, Rafael Mundim, am the new office manager at Eininji serving as the new contact person, and I also spearhead and coordinate an LGBTQIA+ project in my Sangha based on the Zen Peacemaker Order’s principles. The project was launched on July 28th, 2021, and serves as a safe space for the LGBT community to express their feelings and benefit from Buddhist practices. We are 20 practitioners to date. Our practice is based on the Three Tenets, the Way of Council, and zazen, all of which underpin our discussions about LGBT issues. The project also facilitates professional assistance to people in need of medical and psychological care or legal advice. Our intention is to provide sound training in social engagements against violence in our community that is informed by and rooted in the Zen Buddhist teachings.
How do the Three Tenets inform your social engagement?
Our center is located at the entrance of the favela of Pavão-Pavãozinho, which has faced many episodes of armed violence over the years, particularly between 2016 and 2017. Somehow being that close to daily confrontation and suffering enabled our sangha to sit in Not-Knowing, welcoming our own despair. Instead of moving to another location, we stayed and continued our bodhisattva training, bearing witness to the reality of our neighborhood and our city. Therefore, our aim is to raise awareness of what engaging in compassionate action means given the reality of Pavão-Pavãozinho, so that we can serve the local community. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, however, we had to close our center, but our practice continued virtually. During 2020, our sangha offered empathic listening to nurses and clinicians in the frontline against COVID19, and in June 2021, we launched our socially engaged project for the LGBTQIA+ community, one of the most affected by the pandemic.
What is the most meaningful challenge your organization faces?
Our main challenge has been to bear witness to our personal suffering in the COVID19 pandemic while dealing with compassion fatigue. Had it not been for our sense of a close-knit community, which allowed our facility to build a supporting network, our service as loving caregivers would not have been possible.
Your main website URL: https://eininji.org/
Main contact: Rafael Mundim, Office Manager: eininj[email protected]