In Praise of Hilo’s Rev. John Myoshin (“Bright Mind”) Lang

Rev. John Myoshin Lang

Rev. John Myoshin Lang

The resident minister of Hilo’s historic landmark Buddhist Taishoji Church,  John Myoshin (“Bright Mind”) Lang is quite the destiny-builder for us Buddhists.

I grew up in my mother’s Taishoji church community, while my maternal grandparents of the Ojisan-Obasan Hanato Kazoku family of Honalo, started Taishoji’s sister Honalo Daifukuji Church.

Rev. Myoshin’s spiritual vision, practical wisdom and simple aloha welcomes all generations as they walk in Faith to find meaning and fulfillment in this short, earthly existence– and in the afterlife.

Not to mention that Rev. Lang is among our rarest pioneer Caucasian Buddhist ministers. (Rev. Ernest Hunt a century ago, a former Boer War combat soldier, is our earliest ubiquitous Anglo-Buddhist leader, who, along with dearest wife Rev. Dorothy Hunt, author of  “The Golden Chain“, were ordained for their love of Buddhism and the Japanese community in here Hawaii.)

Myoshin is Japanese for “Bright Mind” coined by Rev. Lang’s mentor/sempai Bishop Gengo Akiba Roshi, head of Soto Zen in North America.

Rev. Lang has a brief biography here:

Biography:  Born John Weston Lang in Minneapolis Minnesota March 20,1956. Graduated High school from Eisenhower High school, Hopkins Minnesota, June 1974. Attended University of Minnesota 1974-1976. Graduated from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena California with a BFA (with Honors) in Photography in 1993 and an MFA in Photography in 1997.

Spiritual Practice:  Started regular attendance at Zenshuji Soto Mission May 1993. Received Jukai-e in October 1994. Elected to Board of Directors of Zenshuji from Jan. 1995-2003. Received Tokudo Jan. 2000 from Bishop Gengo Akiba. Entered Hokyo-ji Monastery (Shinkai Tanaka ,Dochosan), (Ono, Japan) Sept 2003 until Sept 2004. Received Dharma Transmission and completed Zuise April, 2006 from Bishop Akiba. Received Nitokyoshi certification status 2006. Assigned to Zenshuji Soto Mission. Dec. 2009 reassigned to Taishoji Soto Mission, Hilo Hawaii as Resident Minister.

In bright eyed and bushy-tailed Rev. Lang, the venerated Bishop Akiba saw tremendous intellectual acumen –gray matter, so to speak — to assist in the Soto Zen mission to reach out to the world’s suffering masses.

On top of this, Bishop Akiba witnessed an easygoing personality and manner in Rev. Lang which are the seeds of friendship and peace in our fragile human nature. In person Rev. Lang is as paralyzingly captivating as they come, in every “which way” you can imagine. I disagree with holy Bishop Akiba on Rev. Lang’s greatest feature — bright heart, not bright mind — as in an amazing confluence of heart & head — resulting in truly great wisdom.