Thursday, February 10, 2011

BATW: Buddhism in Italy

Our sixth installment in the series Buddhism around the world comes from a Laura, a Buddhist practitioner and blogger from Italy. Laura was kind enough to give us some background of Buddhism as it has evolved in Italy, as well as a taste of the different traditions that are found there today. Thank you Laura for the excellent post!

Though Italy sunk its roots in Christianism, it has a good curiosity for the East. Buddhism with its various expressions is represented in our country for quite a long time. The blog that I run, Buddhismo Loto (, collects news from the buddhist world, the peculiarity of it is to give curious and unusual informations which relate the buddhist world to everyday life's aspects and events.

This allows me to offer a general panorama of news from all differents traditions to the onlooker of the buddhism.

Most part of italian Buddhist people attend a school which follows the monk Nichiren Daishonin. In particular there is a little group of Nichiren Shu, which is in Italy since 10 years ago and after some shifting of the centre and some organizational difficuties, it seems have found a new centre in Piedmont or the Honmon Butshuryu Shu that, after an initial growing enthusiasm, it seems is through a period of readjustment. The Soka Gakkai too has been present for many years in the country.

Recently in my blog I considered interesting giving some space to the arrival in Italy of the school that follow the ancient tradition of the Kempon Hokke Shu ( founded by Nichiju Shonin and come down to us intact, without patriarchal contaminations or pyramid structures. Also if appeared in Italy only some months ago, has already a good website very accurate and very educational for all those interested to learn more about this old school.

Known as the orthodox Nichiren school it believes in the transmission of the Dharma through the rolls of Lotus Sutra and the authentic writings of Nichiren Daishonin. Practitioners of this school, devotees of the Lotus Sutra, follow the Nichiren's teachings in faith and devotion, striving to build a land of peace through the guidance of the Rissho Ankoku Ron, one of the five basic treaties of the same Nichiren Daishonin.

Coordinator of Kempon Hokke Shu in Italy is the Rev. Sinjyo known for his missionary work and for being the founder of Myo Edizioni ( the only record label dedicated to the transmission of the Lotus Sutra and the authentic teachings of Nichiren Daishonin. Myo Edizioni represents a reference point for all enthusiasts and believers of the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren. Its publications distributed in all digital music store are very appreciated.

The Zen tradition is also deeply rooted in the Italian territory for several years gathering many believers as well as the Tibetan tradition represented by various Sangha scattered throughout the country. There are many events organized by this tradition, such as exhibitions or gatherings of prayer.
Well known is also the tradition founded by Master Thich Nhat Hanh that suggests a conscious way of life that is manifested in the actions of all practitioners. Many are the practitioners of this tradition that brings together also people who do not have a Buddhist confession.

The Italian territory, with its beautiful scenery and the smiling people, enables certainly a way of life closer to Buddhism that the one proposed by the dogmas of other faiths


Sabio Lantz said...

Thanks Laura!
Kyle, it would be fun if at the end of these posts you slowly gathered links to sites in Italy covering the variety of Buddhism in Italy. This is a "Buddhism in Italy" post and could act as a reference for folks. Instead, this post seems "Nichiren Heavy".

Here is a Tibetan Nyingma (Vajrayāna) group in Italy, for instance. Links to Zen and any Theravadan groups would be cool too. You could label sites as "It" or "En" depending on what language they offer too.

(In all your spare time) Smile

Kyle Lovett said...

@Sabio - Yea, sure I'll get right on that, right after I win the lottery. :-)

kim said...

It certainly is Nichiren heavy and it's clear Kyle knows what he's talking about in this regard. However, for the sake of accuracy the title could have been, 'Nichiren in Italy', given the ever so brief and unresearched mention of alternative schools buddhism present in Italy.

Kyle Lovett said...

@Kim - I do not know what I am talking about because I did not write this, I only posted it from Laura Silvestri who lives in Italy.


kim said...

aaah - sorry 'bout that Kyle ;)

Spiritual Realaw said...

I live in Italy and am English. There is actually a lot of different Buddhist activity taking place over here and the Nichiran traditions are by no means dominant. I can post something else if you're interested. I'm not a blogger though, but have been practicing Vajrayana Buddhism for 15 years and have lived here for almost nine.
Matthew O'Connell, Trieste