Source: The Seattle Times
On June 8, 2002 The Seattle Times reported that Buddhists in the Pacific Northwest will host an International Buddhist Festival and the third annual "Change Your Mind Day in Seattle, a nationwide Buddhist event that's also taking place today in other U.S. cities including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Kansas City. The goal will be for attendees - Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike - to change the way in which they think about the world, themselves and others... Seattle's gathering, which organizers say could draw up to several hundred people, is open to the public and will feature music, food, dance, meditation, chanting, informational tables and presentations... Roughly 400 Buddhist temples and organizations, ranging in size from a few dozen people to several thousand, are now active in the Pacific Northwest, local Buddhists say. Seattle alone has an estimated several thousand Western converts, as well as 60,000 Vietnamese, 20,000 Cambodians, and tens of thousands of other Asians immigrants and second-generation Asian Americans whose Buddhist traditions derive from Japan, Tibet, Laos, Thailand, China and others... John Roberts, a Bellevue resident who converted to Buddhism five years ago, says a major benefit of today's festival will be to expose those from disparate traditions to other practices."