Buddhist Council of the Midwest Convenes 21st Annual International Buddhism Festival

June 14, 2005

Source: Chicago Tribune


On June 14, 2005 the Chicago Tribune reported, "It was well up in the 80s Saturday at the 21st Annual International Buddhism Festival, a daylong event that filled the nooks and crannies of the Lake Street Church with meditation, chanting, lectures on the arts, wellness techniques, tea and flower ceremonies and a class in Asian kite-making... [participants] quietly made their way through a calm sea of offerings from 60 Buddhist temples, centers and benevolent associations, including workshops on 'Buddhist Basics' and 'How Can Buddhism Help Heal a World in Turmoil?'... 'The festival began as a celebration among Thai people of the Buddha's birthday, usually celebrated in mid-May,' said Rev. Tom Lane, the festival chairman. 'Now, we have added many more ethnicities--Tibetans, Japanese, Mongolians, Burmese, Cambodians, Chinese and native-born Americans.' A religion with many branches, Buddhism could have as many as 150,000 adherents in the Chicago area, according to council estimates. And that number is growing, said Bill Bohlman, president of the Buddhist Temple of Chicago, 1151 W. Leland Ave... One purpose of the festival, organizers said, was to open the door to newcomers seeking a way of understanding and peaceful living 'in a seething, suffering world' filled with 'wars and terror, economic uncertainties and environmental degradation.'"