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ExO Sprint for Global Outreach: Shingon Buddhism's Exponential Impact

Community members from OpenExO ran an ExO Sprint to pioneer digital adaptation for a Shingon Buddhist Temple. Bridging cultures and embracing virtual communities, the initiative seeks to enhance the lives of individuals worldwide.

Sasha Sadovnikova
Sasha Sadovnikova

In today's era, dominated by technological advancements and the pursuit of exponential growth, traditional institutions are increasingly exploring innovative approaches to reach a wider audience and positively impact people's lives.

Our team ran an ExO Sprint for a very special client: a Shingon Buddhist temple in Japan.

Shingon Buddhism, with its deep-rooted history and profound spiritual teachings, offers a unique perspective on the path to enlightenment. Rooted in esoteric practices and rituals, Shingon Buddhism provides a tapestry of wisdom that has the potential to enhance the lives of individuals worldwide.

Kougen-ji Temple. Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. Credits:

However, the challenge lies in reaching a global audience and effectively conveying the essence of these teachings.

Adapting to the digital age poses multifaceted challenges for religions in general and Shingon Buddhism in particular.

The need to resonate with a modern, tech-savvy audience prompts a careful transition from traditional teachings to engaging digital content while maintaining the authenticity and depth of Shingon philosophy.

Connecting with a diverse global audience introduces hurdles related to cultural nuances and language barriers, necessitating innovative approaches for effective communication and understanding of the essence of Shingon teachings.

Additionally, the integration of technology, including virtual or augmented reality, online courses, and interactive content, presents challenges for Shingon temples, requiring a delicate balance between adopting new technologies and preserving the spiritual teachings' core essence.

The preservation of Shingon's authenticity in the digital space becomes paramount, as its rich esoteric practices and rituals demand meticulous navigation to ensure both accessibility and the sanctity of rituals, upholding the integrity of Shingon Buddhism.

The story behind the Sprint

It started with Jun Suto, who met Taikyo-sama, the Head Priest from Kougen-ji Temple, in person and learned about Taikyo’s openness and inclusiveness toward making healing available and accessible to everyone.

Taikyo-sama helped over 20,000 people at his temple in a remote area of Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan, over the past two decades. His willingness to explore the ExO framework and go beyond Japan to make Shingon Buddhism available to people around the world was an initial spark that brought this project to life.

Thus, Taikyo’s MTP emerged: Awaken the Individual's Unconscious Realm and Foster a Harmonious Connection with the External World (Beautifully, Joyfully).

After, Jun reached out to Fabrizio Gramuglio, who proposed to work together and build the project starting from the ExO sprint, and Gabriel Campillo. They found people interested in Kougen-ji’s cause in the OpenExO community, and the Sprint finally started in October 2023.

Inside Kougen-ji. Credits:

The Sprint

The Kougen-ji ExO Sprint hosted two teams of professionals and enthusiasts, ten people in total, with different backgrounds in business and arts. They worked under the guidance of Fabrizio and Gabriel, two Sprint coaches, for six weeks. This Sprint was a mini one due to the project’s unusual nature.

Close to the teams worked Kenmei Foxworth, a Shingon Acharya, whose profound insights on Shingon Buddhism helped teams to design the best solutions.

Each team generated two possible solutions for Kougen-ji and its mission. After the analysis and the Disruptor Session, the temple decided to proceed with one initiative based on step-by-step self-development for people based on “The Ten Stages of Mind,” a text by Kukai, the founder of Shingon, and the following ExO attributes: Interfaces, Dashboards, Community & Crowd, Algorithms, and Engagement.

ExO Sprint's coaches and teams. Credits:

Why the ExO Sprint was the right choice for this cause?

  1. Embracing an exponential mindset enabled Kougen-ji temple to adapt to the evolving landscape of communication and education. By staying abreast of technological advancements and societal changes, the temple can ensure the continued relevance of Shingon Buddhism in the lives of people around the world.
  2. An exponential approach allowed the temple to ideate virtual communities that transcend physical boundaries. These communities can serve as platforms for discussions, sharing experiences, and providing support. The sense of belonging and connection nurtured through these virtual spaces can enhance the overall well-being of individuals on their spiritual journey.
  3. The ExO Sprint encouraged Kougen-ji to innovate in their approach to knowledge dissemination. Utilizing ExO attributes, online presence and courses, and interactive content can make the teachings of Shingon Buddhism more accessible and engaging for a contemporary audience.
  4. Last but not least, OpenExO Sprint emphasized the importance of setting measurable goals and continuously iterating to achieve optimal results. Kougen-ji Temple can leverage data analytics and feedback mechanisms to assess the impact of their efforts, refining their strategies to better serve the needs of their global audience.

Next Steps

Even if the Sprint is over, the project goes on. The teams’ solutions gave a powerful boost to Kougen-ji, showing the positive impact the temple can have on people’s lives and happiness.

We will be happy to welcome new members to our team!

If you feel Kougen-ji’s MTP resonates with you or you wish to help us with your expertise, we encourage you to contact us on LinkedIn: Jun Suto and Sasha Sadovnikova.

Let’s make the world a better place together!

OpenExO CommunityExO SprintMindsetDigital TransformationSpiritualityImpactSCALEIDEASInterfacesDashboardsCommunity & CrowdAlgorithmsEngagementCommunity BuildingCase Study

Sasha Sadovnikova

Founder @How To: Community. Passionate about people's talents and diversity, I help businesses and entrepreneurs create vibrant, dynamic communities that drive success and impact.