A married couple working as a team, Mikko Rakushin Ijäs and Maija Myōsho Ijäs have successfully built a new Peacemaker community in Finland where the concept of “Engaged Buddhism” didn’t really exist before. Naming the community “Peacemakers Finland,” they continue to organize meditations and holds dharma discussions. In 2017, they facilitated their first street retreat. Then in 2018 and 2018, they held Bearing Witness retreats at the first European concentration camps, which were established in Finland to house tens of thousands of captives after the Civil War in 1918. Peacemakers Finland has also been collaborating with a local Lutheran parish to offer clown workshops with Moshe Cohen (aka Mr. YooWho). Maija and Mikko are both artists, who embody the Three Tenets in their work. In 2019 Maija and Mikko released a music video, “Happiness I Gave Away,” which encourages climate activists in their work for the future of all beings. They will share some of their artwork and discuss how arts and art-related activities have aided in both establishing and nurturing the new Peacemaker community in Finland, as they continue to spearhead Engaged Buddhist activities and manifest the Dharma in their midst. Become a ZPI Member at: https://hive.zenpeacemakers.org/ for full length videos.
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