Rev. Zenji Nio Wows Washington Elite With Rousing Speeches

A Greco-Buddhist statue, one of the first repr...

A Greco-Buddhist statue, one of the first representations of the Buddha, 1st-2nd century CE, Gandhara. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Washington, USA, April 20th:  Rev. Zenji Nio who has been dubbed the “foremost Buddhist expert in the world and the only contemporary expert from the world’s oldest Buddhist lineage” by the Indian Express as well as “the most sought after chaplain of the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games” by the National Post is bringing his trademark style of combining soaring British motivational speaking with rare Buddhist expertise to America’s capital.

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Speaking before an elite Washington audience at the inauguration of the Lotus Temple in Fairfax, Virginia, Rev. Nio chanted recitations of the key scriptures related to the Supreme Buddhist Divinity Kannon/Kwan Yin; the Buddhist Savior Amida, the historic Buddha Shakyamuni and the great sages of Nalanda - all from his own memory in meticulous Sanskrit - a rare feat that is quite unprecedented even among noted Buddhist scholars of today. These ancient Sanskrit chants were accompanied by eloquent translations in his posh English accent in order to bridge the gap between the mainstream and the monastics. Thereafter Nio wowed the crowd of scholars, diplomats and spiritualists by highlighting how the very best values that America strives for can all be found in the historic Buddhist scriptures which is why even Albert Einstein dubbed Buddhism “the religion of the future" and the one religion most compatible with scientific advancement.

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Rev. Nio passionately spoke about the Buddha’s original teachings on what has today become "true American values" including equality for women, liberation of slaves and the oppressed, peaceful pluralism and the role of science in spirituality. Nio also pointed out how Buddhist rulers from King Ashoka to Prince Shotoku Taishi remain the role-models of good governance even today in a powerful speech that was very inspirational. Nio will soon be giving another keynote address on the Lotus Sutra before America’s leading scholars and monks at the inauguration of the International Buddhist Association of America close to the White House and has been invited to join its Board of Directors.

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Rev. Nio recently set a record at America’s largest sporting event - the Pan Am & Parapan Am Games where he spiritually coached a record number of athletes including over 50 medalists from 41 nations teaching them Buddhist meditational techniques used by the likes of Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant.  In fact Sports Canada - the official Sports wing of the Government of Canada stated that “Nio had made an impact unseen at any other major sporting event.”

Further, Nio has given raved about speeches that have been praised by several influential leaders -from Canadian cabinet ministers John McCallum, Chris Alexander, Jason Kenney, Joe Oliver, Paul Hellyer and Jean Augustine to President Obama’s spiritual adviser and Martin Luther King Jr.’s protege Gerald Durley who said “Rev. Nio is exactly what America needs today. His whole new approach to Buddhism can resonate with the youth for whom the mysticism of monks just doesn’t cut it”.

Rev. Nio is also the abbot of the Pan Am Buddha Relics Motivational Temple & Museum in Toronto which has been visited by the Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne and Lt. Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell on behalf of her Majesty the Queen of England. In addition, Rev. Nio’s unprecedented Asian art exhibit “Enlightenment” was dubbed “the most successful Asian Art Exhibit in Canada” by the Indian Express and sponsored by the Government of Canada, inaugurated by Cabinet Minister Chris Alexander and Consul-General of India Akhilesh Mishra and praised by Japanese diplomats as well as Lt Governor David Onley, then Head of the Royal Ontario Museum.

The Government of India has recognised Rev. Nio as the Head of the oldest Buddhist lineage in the world and the Caretaker of Lord Buddha as well as the supremely sacred stupa relics of the historic Shakyamuni. In addition, Rev. Nio is the only Western-born expert to head numerous ancient Buddhist temples that have been declared Heritage Temples of National Importance by the Government of India and given the same signage found at the holiest Buddhist temples of Nalanda, Bodh Gaya, Vulture’s Peak and Sarnath. However, despite these historic credentials, Rev. Nio is revolutionizing Buddhism for future generations by presenting it in a cool new manner for today's mainstream demographics and youth while still maintaining total authenticity to the scriptures written by his ancient ancestors from his own linage. Rev. Nio is also one of the only non-Japanese Buddhist leaders selected to serve as the Abbot of a landmark Buddhist temple and museum in Tokyo to be launched before the 2020 Olympics - a project that will also highlight the close historic ties between India and Japan.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of India Pranab Mukherjee have often stated that reclaiming India’s Buddhist heritage is a national priority for India whose very national emblem is a tribute to the Buddha. As a result, Rev. Nio recently visited the ruins of Nalanda - the greatest university in history that perished in the Buddhist holocaust and chanted the original sutras in Sanskrit the way they would have been chanted over 1000 years ago. Rev. Nio is now teaching priests and monks of Bodh Gaya the original Mahayana traditions of India’s Golden Era and is the first Indian-origin leader to do so in recent history. Rev. Nio has also been cited in a United Nations report as “an authentic voice for the majority peoples of Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea that still follow the Mahayana traditions started by his ancient Indian ancestors”.

Rev. Nio currently heads the World Buddhist Council that involves distinguished Buddhist scholars and monks from Oxford University to the Jogye Order of Korea and he has also represented Buddhism at the World Parliament of Religions in the US popularised by the great Swami Vivekananda. Despite these peerless qualifications, Rev. Nio is known to publicly refer to himself as “nothing more than a lowly servant of Buddha who wants to reflect the Love, Light and Compassion of the Blessed One to all who stagger in the darkness of negativity and despair from all over the world.”