2019 Selma to Montgomery Peace Pilgrimage

March 2 through 7 

​Every year we walk the National Historic Trail from Selma to Montgomery, retracing the route of the 1965 march which lead to the Voting Rights Act, passed the same year. It was a seminal moment in the history of Civil Rights, and it is a great privilege to walk in the footsteps of those brave souls.

This is no exercise in nostalgia or history. The work continues to evolve and just last year the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery [eji.org] dedicated a memorial to lynching called the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which will be the endpoint of the 54-mile walking pilgrimage. As always, we will start with the Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma [http://www.selma50.com/march-6-2016]  which commemorates Bloody Sunday when the first marchers were beaten back across the Edmund Pettus Bridge by Alabama state troopers.

We return to this beautiful but troubled area of Alabama year after year and have always found the spirit of the struggle for human and civil rights alive and unbowed.

Celebrating 20 years at the Atlanta Dojo

April 7, 2018 

Pictures from the 2018 Selma Montgomery Peace Pilgrimage can be seen by clicking the "Pilgrimages" tab above.

      We were invited to participate in the Memorial Service for Muhammad Ali on June 10, 2016 in Louisville, KY.

    Muhammad Ali wanted a multi-faith service for his memorial; his lawyer and friend who was on the committee for the service knew another lawyer who is a friend of our order; and of all of Nipponzan Myohoji members, we were geographically the closest.

    Life can surprise you.What an honor and special day it was.

Ancestors Ceremony at the Peace Pagoda

July 28, 2018

We celebrated the lives of Rev. William J. Bichsel, SJ (better known to all as Bix) and Daniel Gallagher of Hot Springs, NC, at the Ancestors Ceremony on July 28. Both were dear friends who love and spirit enriched the lives of all who knew them.

Great Smoky Mountains Peace Pagoda &

Ancestors Ceremony at the Atlanta Dojo

July 7, 2018

A Brief History of the Atlanta Dojo

            The building that was to become Atlanta Dojo of Nipponzan Myohoji was purchased at the end of 1993 for $12,000. That is the correct number of zeros, and no, the price was not reduced by way of a gift. The place was a wreck. It had been owned for decades by a woman who at one time had run it as a brothel and later as a boarding house. When she became ill, it devolved into a space for squatters and drug dealers. When we purchased it, there was no plumbing nor electricity, and every window was broken. With great energy and innocence, we believed we would have it fixed within a year. It took more than four.
            During the renovation time, Brother Utsumi and Sister Denise lived at First Iconium Baptist Church, and that was pure gift offered by Rev. Timothy McDonald and the congregation. The church’s incredible support along with the help of friends and volunteers made it possible to transform 1127 Glenwood into a temple using mostly salvaged material and Utsumi-shonin’s incredible gift for creating beauty from other’s discarded things.
            Since the dedication of this temple in April 1998, it has offered hospitality to peace walkers and activists of all kinds. Many have gathered here throughout the years for ceremonies and peace-oriented events.  Primarily it is a temple, and visitors have frequently commented on the deep quiet that pervades this space. We have no explanation for that quiet, given the location next to very busy streets. But we are grateful for the respite it offers everyone from the noise and chaos of daily life.
            Since we spend so much time now building the Peace Pagoda in East Tennessee, it is natural that people ask if we intend to sell the Atlanta Dojo. No, the loss would be too great. We’d lose memories, the multitude of offerings that built this temple, the enjoyment of its beauty, neighbors, the confidence it gave us in subsequent work. Any money from its sale would soon be gone, leaving us so much poorer if not materially then spiritually.
            Our teacher, Guruji, said dōjōs are built to emulate the Pure Land. In the sutra we recite during the ceremony, Buddha says, “This Pure Land of mine is never destroyed.” Nor is it bought or sold.

Happy Anniversary, Atlanta Dojo!

January 1 ATLANTA DOJO                                     New Year's Gathering:                                                                                                                      Prayers at 11 a.m.,

                                                                              Open House through the afternoon 


March 2 thru 7 PEACE PILGRIMAGE           Selma to Montgomery

                                                                                            Peace Pilgrimage

                                                                                            54th Anniversary

Sat., April 6, 11 a.m. @ ATLANTA DOJO              Flower Festival                                     

Sat., April 27, 11 a.m. @ PEACE PAGODA           Flower Festival                                    

May 4 through 27 @ PEACE PAGODA                 Spring Work Party                                  

Sat., July 13, 11 a.m. @ ATLANTA DOJO               Ancestors Ceremony

July 27 through August 3 PEACE PILGRIMAGE            Oak Ridge

                                                                                                            Peace Pilgrimage

​                                                                                                                  74th Anniversary


Sat., August 17, 11 a.m. @ PEACE PAGODA           Ancestors Ceremony                                         

September 7 though 22 @ PEACE PAGODA               Fall Work Party                                      

Past Event Photos

Click on the link above to view photos albums of past ceremonies at the Atlanta Dojo and the Great Smoky Mountains Peace Pagoda

2019 Schedule 

Nipponzan Myohoji-Atlanta Dojo &