Inner Southeast is given to celebrating various kinds of diversity -- ethnic, and religious. This one focused on one of the world's largest religions

DAVID F. ASHTON - Discussion groups, such as this one at Buddhist Festival in Creston Park, provided Buddhists the opportunity to share ideas and concepts. With Colonel Summers Park under renovation, the 14th annual "Buddhist Festival in the Park" moved south in Inner Southeast this year, encamping off S.E. Powell Boulevard at Creston Park on Saturday, June 3.

"We hold this festival every year, to bring together our friends of the Buddhist community and other Buddhist communities, and get to know each other better," explained co-organizer Heidi "Enji" Hoogstra, of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Portland Chapter.

"There a lot of people here who been involved with their own communities for a long time, and welcome being able to talk to and meet other Buddhists," Hoogstra explained.

About a dozen booths were set up on the wooded hillside in the park, and Buddhists and interested members of the community wandered among the exhibits, and attended lectures and meditations, all in keeping with the theme, "Practicing peace; embracing community".

"Another important aspect of this festival is that it provides an introduction to Buddhism," Hoogstra told THE BEE. "There is very little proselytizing of practices of Buddhism; we consider it important that this is a choice that a person makes freely and willingly. So, this is a low-key way to share about Buddhism, and its various practices."

The best part of the day, for her, Hoogstra said, was being able to give back to her community. I do it because I am so grateful for what Buddhism has offered me and my life – compassion and kindness."

Find out more about the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Portland Chapter, online:

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