About Us

Instructor Rev. Jon Turner and his family first began attending Orange County Buddhist Church (OCBC) in 1999. Two years later he joined the Ministers’ Assistant Program (MAP) there. In 2010, Reverend Turner graduated from Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS) in Berkeley, California, with a master’s degree in Buddhist Studies, and received Tokudo ordination. In 2012, he was ordained as a Kyoshi minister. After retiring from a 35 year career as a computer programmer, Reverend Turner became a fully ordained Kaikyoshi minister at OCBC in 2017.

"Throughout that time, I studied and practiced Buddhism very diligently. I have also stepped in every pothole, making every mistake one can make in understanding Buddhism. As a result, I think these experiences help me become a better teacher.”

Instructor Rev. Dr. Mutsumi Wondra was born in Kyoto and raised in a Shin Buddhist family. After graduating with a B.A in English Literature from Kyoto Women’s University, she came to the United Stated in 1981. In 1991, she began attending the Shin Buddhist temple in Los Angeles. While working for a corporation, she completed the correspondence course with Kyoto Chuo Bukkyo Gakuin. Thereafter, she received the first ordination Tokudo in 2006 and second ordination Kyoshi in 2007 from the Jodoshinshu Hongwanji-ha, Kyoto, Japan. Rev. Dr. Wondra went on to receive an M.A. in Buddhist Studies from the Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS) in 2010, and immediately after graduation entered the Ryukoku University Graduate School, Kyoto, Japan, earning an M.A. in Shin Buddhist Studies in 2012. In 2015 she earned the Ph.D. from Ryukoku University, with the dissertation “The Study of the History of Shin Buddhist Thought in America – In the Movement of Buddhist Modernism”.

ワンドラ睦:京都出身。浄土真宗の家庭で育つ。1981年、京都女子大学文学部英文科卒業後、渡米。仕事を持ちながら、京都中央仏教学院通信教育専修科を修了し、2006年に浄土真宗本願寺派得度、2007年に教師を取得。2010年米国仏教大学院 (IBS) 修士、2012年龍谷大学大学院真宗学修士、2015年同大学院博士課程修了、2018年真宗学博士。博士論文『アメリカ真宗思想史の研究-モダニズムのなかの真宗から現代へ-』

Rev. Dr. Mutsumi Wondra says, "Let's learn the teachings of Shinran (1173-1263) together and think of his message for us living here and now." She is Kaikyoshi, a full-time minister at the Orange County Buddhist Church (OCBC), and teaches Buddhism and Shin Buddhism (Pure Land Buddhism, Jodoshinshu) in English and Japanese.

インストラクターのワンドラ睦です。親鸞聖人 (1173-1263) から現代を生きる私たちへのメッセージをご一緒に学びましょう。 ワンドラ睦は、現在オレンジ郡仏教会 (OCBC)の開教使として勤めながら、英語・日本語で仏教・浄土真宗を説明します。

Instructor Rev. Ellen Hamada Crane began ministerial duties at Orange County Buddhist Church in 2009 as a Minister’s Assistant, reassured by head minister, Reverend Marvin Harada, it wouldn’t take much of her time. She progressed down the rabbit hole, enrolling at the Institute of Buddhist Studies IBS), and received Tokudo ordination and Kyoshi certification in Kyoto, Japan, in 2014 and 2018, respectively. Reverend Crane holds a B.A. from UCLA, a J.D. from Georgetown University, and is currently completing her Master’s degree in Buddhist Studies at IBS. Her varied work experience includes a career as a criminal defense attorney, an English teacher in Japan, and an elementary school teacher with at risk children. As a wife and mother of three active sons she was the quintessential PTA, Boy Scout and hockey mom. Her interests include road biking, yoga, cooking, reading, gardening, and active vacations.

“The Buddhist teachings have profoundly changed my life, and I love sharing the dharma. I hope EverydayBuddhist.org will be the portal of learning for others with the potential for reaching seekers in a meaningful way.”

Instructor Rev. Marvin Harada has served at Orange County Buddhist Church (OCBC) for over 30 years, is Head Minister at OCBC, supervising Minister at Sacramento Betsuin and Vista Buddhist Church, and Co-Director of Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) Continuing Buddhist Education (CBE). Rev. Harada graduated from the University of Oregon in Religious Studies, received an M.A. from the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, and went on to study in Japan, at a Nishi Hongwanji seminary called “Chuo-bukkyo-gakuin” and at Ryukoku University, where he received an M.A. in Shin Buddhist Studies.

"Over the years, I have had many wonderful teachers who have all had a tremendous influence on my ministry, like the late Rev. Haruyoshi Kusada, Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS), the late Rev. Gyomay Kubose, Buddhist Temple of Chicago, and the late Professor Takamaro Shigaraki, Ryukoku University. Presently, my greatest teachers are those asking questions sincerely seeking the Dharma, giving me great opportunities to study and reflect as well. It is one of my great joys as a minister to conduct classes on Buddhism, and more specifically Shin Buddhism.”

Guest lecturer Rev. Dr. David Ryo Matsumoto was born in Detroit, Michigan and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1976 and practiced law until 1981. He decided to pursue a Buddhist path, earning an M.A. in Buddhist Studies from the Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS) in 1984. In 1989 and 2004 he was a Visiting Research Fellow at Ryukoku University, in Kyoto, Japan, and in 2007 he received his Ph.D. in Shin Buddhist Studies.

Rev. Dr. Matsumoto obtained Kyoshi ordination in 1988 at the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha in Kyoto. He was the Resident Minister of the Berkeley Buddhist Temple from 2005-2015. He is the IBS President, the George and Sakaye Aratani Professor of Contemporary Shin Buddhist Studies, and the Director of the Ministerial Education and Certificate in Shin Buddhist Studies Programs.

Guest lecturer Rev. Jerry Hirano was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in the year of the fire rooster. He attended the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple as a child and is now the resident minister. He graduated from the University of Utah with a B.S. in Speech Communication, followed by an M.A. in Buddhist Studies from the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, California. He continued his studies at Chuo Bukkyo Gakuin (Central Buddhist Institute) in Kyoto, Japan from 1983 - 1987. After receiving Kyoshi ordination from Nishi Hongwanji in Kyoto, he returned to the United States as a Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) Minister. His first assignment was at the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin for 6 years before he returned to Salt Lake City as Kaikyoshi. Currently he is also the minister at the Ogden and Honeyville Buddhist Temples.

Guest lecturer Rev. Dr. Carmela Javellana Hirano, who grew up in the Philippines is an integrative psychiatrist, founder of Sanctuary for Healing and Integration (SHIN), and minister's assistant at the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple. She connected with Reverend Jerry Hirano, the minister of the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple, through a personal ad. They married, and she became his assistant. Doctor Hirano then studied to become a minister herself through the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, California. She traveled to Kyoto, Japan for Tokudo, or the ordination ceremony, and is a fully-qualified priest in the Jodo Shinshu tradition. Doctor Hirano's interests lie in the need for a strong spiritual dimension inspired by the dharma in her work, for herself, her patients and for the community at large.

Guest lecturer Rev. Dr. Kenneth Tanaka served as an Associate Professor and Assistant Dean at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, IBS, for 10 years and a resident priest for 3 years in a Jodo Shinshu temple in California. He then taught as Professor of Buddhist Studies at Musashino University for 20 years. He currently serves as Chairman of the Editoiral Committee of the Chinese Buddhist Canon English Translation Project sponsored by the Society for the Promotion of Buddhism (BDK). He currently serves as Adjunct Researcher at the Hongwanji Comprehensive Research Center.

His publications include The Dawn of Chinese Pure Land Buddhist Doctrine (The State Univ. of New York, 1990), Ocean: An Introduction to Jodo Shinshu Buddhism in America (WisdomOcean Publication, 1997), The Faces of Buddhism in America (co-editor) (Univ. of California Press, 1998) and Buddhism on Air: Kaleidoscope of a Growing Religion (Buddhist Education Center, 2015). His books have been translated into Japanese, Chinese, and Portuguese.

カリフォルニア州・バークレーにある米国仏教大学院の准教授として10年間教鞭と執り、また浄土真宗開教使として3年間勤務したあと、武蔵野大学で20年間教鞭を執りました。現在、仏教伝道協会の仏典翻訳委員の会長として、また本願寺派教学センター研究員を勤めています。

出版書籍に、The Dawn of Chinese Pure Land Buddhist Doctrine (The State Univ. of New York, 1990), Ocean: An Introduction to Jodo Shinshu Buddhism in America (WisdomOcean Publication, 1997), The Faces of Buddhism in America (co-editor) (Univ. of California Press, 1998) and Buddhism on Air: Kaleidoscope of a Growing Religion (Buddhist Education Center, 2015)がある。日本語、中国語、ポルトガル語の翻訳もされている。

Guest lecturer Venerable Bhante Seelawimala is a Theravadin monk from Sri Lanka. He received his novice ordination at age 10, and full ordination at age 20, in 1968. During the past twenty-five years, the Venerable Bhante Seelawimala, known to most people simply as “Bhante,” has been instrumental in introducing the three treasures of the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha to a vast number of persons in the Western world. As one of the principal members of the Institute of Buddhist Studies educational and religious community since 1976, Bhante Seelawimala has been a true teacher and good friend in the Dhamma to all who have met him. Without question, his wise guidance and wholesome influence have impacted not only his students at IBS, but also many Buddhists and non-Buddhists throughout northern California and North America.

Guest lecturer Rev. Dr. Jeff Wilson is a professor of religious studies and East Asian studies and the Chair of the department of Culture and Languages for Renison University College, at the University of Waterloo. He has written several books and numerous articles about the interaction of Buddhism and various aspects of North American culture. Dr. Wilson has also published pioneering research in the history of same-sex wedding ceremonies. He teaches courses on religion in North America, East Asian religion, and theory and method in religious studies at the University of Waterloo. He is also highly active in the wider academy, especially at the American Academy of Religion, and do media appearances and radio interviews when he is able to provide an informed perspective on issues of religion in contemporary society.

Guest lecturer Dr. Nobuo Haneda is a dynamic Dharma teacher who combines scholarship and passion in his presentations. His perspectives and insights into Shinran Shonin teachings will offer participants an opportunity to expand their understanding and experience of Jodo Shin Buddhism.

Rev. Dr. Nobuo Haneda was born in Nagano, Japan. He graduated from the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, majoring in Russian. Having come to the U.S.A. in 1971, he received the Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from the University of Wisconsin in 1979. He served as a lecturer at the Otani University in Kyoto, Japan, 1979-1981; dean and head professor at the I.B.S. in Berkeley, 1984-1985; and a researcher at the Numata Center in Berkeley, 1987-1997. Since then he has been director of the Maida Center of Buddhism. He has publications such as December Fan, Evil Person, Heard by Me, and Dharma Breeze.

羽田信夫先生はバークレーにある毎田センターの所長として、長年において仏教・浄土真宗を教えています。羽田先生は長野県出身で、東京外国語大学でロシア語を専攻され、1971年に渡米されて、1979年にウィスコンシン大学にて博士号を取得されました。京都の大谷大学、バークレーの米国仏教大学院で教鞭を執られました。英語書籍として、December Fan, Evil Person, Heard by Me, Dharma Breeze があります。

Guest lecturer Gregg Krech has been teaching and studying Japanese Psychology for thirty years and is the author of four books including, Naikan: Gratitude, Grace and the Japanese Art of Self-Reflection (Stone Bridge Press) which won the Spirituality and Health Magazine award for Best Books of the Year in 2002, and has been translated into five languages. His book, The Art of Taking Action: Lessons from Japanese Psychology discusses the "action" side of Buddhism and Eastern philosophy. Gregg's work has been featured in Tricycle, The Sun, Counseling Today, Utne Reader, Yoga Journal, The Guardian and on National Public Radio. He is the Director of the ToDo Institute in Vermont, a member of the North American Naikan Council and Editor of Thirty Thousand Days: A Journal for Purposeful Living. He studied Shin Buddhism for eleven years with the late BCA Bishop, Rev. Kenryu T. Tsuji. He currently lives in Vermont where he rides his bicycle, writes haiku poetry and plays blues piano.