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Coming Home: A Night of Storytelling to Open Hearts & Minds


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Many cultures believe storytelling is a form of medicine. Join us on Saturday, April 28, for a healing and illuminating evening of live storytelling from a cast of remarkable human beings.

Stories include a tale of what you learn about food when traveling across Asia with your daughter; how healing unfolds after generational trauma; and a very special love story. This event is open to all and is suitable for children.

Proceeds from this event will go toward the construction of a new building for the growing Zen Buddhist Temple community. Evening includes light refreshments.

Venue is wheelchair-accessible. 6:30-8:30 p.m., Zen Buddhist Temple, 1214 Packard St., Ann Arbor, 734-761-6520.

Tickets: $10-$50 sliding scale; call to purchase.

Meet Our Storytellers

Gakwang Robby Griswold is a novice seminary student at the Zen Buddhist Temple of Ann Arbor. He believes that stories help us retain our humanity in the midst of an increasingly mechanized and isolated culture.

Jill Halpern is a storyteller, poet, playwright, tree-and-people-hugger, teacher, seeker, activist, and work-in-progress who writes and tells to love the world into being.

Sandong Kurt Iselt is a longtime member of the Chicago Zen Buddhist Temple, where he leads the children’s services. He's a former school teacher, a spouse, and a father. At the Ann Arbor Temple’s annual Peace Camp, he is famous for his stories about the Monkey King.

Eric C. Rath is a professor of history whose teaching and research focus on traditional Japanese culture, particularly food. He is the Toyota Visiting Professor in the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of Michigan.

Lori Watanabe Saginaw is a third-generation Japanese-American Ann Arborite whose parents and grandparents were targeted during World War II because of their ancestry. She is passionate about creating belonging for anyone who has been “othered.”

Roopal Shah is a lawyer and an advocate for social justice whose motto of “love through service” has taken her across continents. A founder of IndiCorps, a grassroots service organization, she most recently assisted with the cleanup after Hurricane Harvey in Houston, and spent 6 weeks on pilgrimage in India.