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Her Holiness Shinso Ito Receives Standing Ovation at Premier Women’s Conference

Her Holiness Shinso Ito receives standing ovation from over 5,000 women at Women’s Conference on Oct. 25th.
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More than 30,000 women from all walks of life gathered at the 2010 Women’s Conference hosted by California First Lady Maria Shriver and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, at the Long Beach Convention Center from October 24 – 26.

During the Opening Session on the 25th, Her Holiness Shinso Ito, spoke to a packed audience of over 5,000 people. Her Holiness is the current head of the Shinnyo sangha, and for the Shinnyo practitioners, she is the central teacher and role model, a living embodiment of the enlightened qualities of loving, kindness, compassion, and wisdom.

As Her Holiness stepped onto the stage a roar of applause and a standing ovation welcomed her.  Her quiet strength and warmth enveloped the hall and it was palpable that she made an instant connection with everyone in the theater. When she started speaking, her gentle voice transported everyone to a place of serenity and tranquility.

Her Holiness spoke with great poise, the story of her mother that gave her the strength and inspiration to choose her path as a spiritual leader.

“She (my mother) saw every facet of life as an opportunity to practice her beliefs and demonstrated Buddhist values with every action……In her daily life she put others first, exemplifying Buddhist principles,……she taught others to put themselves in others’ shoes and learn and grow in the process. She taught me:  Constructive solutions never come from hate or resentment.  As a leader myself, I expect much from women’s leadership in this century. As architects of change let’s work together to transform our planet and nurture wise and compassionate leaders for a hopeful future.”

She concluded her speech with her mother’s words:
“The challenges we face are those we can overcome. Now is the time.”

In total, more than 165 world-class speakers gathered with more than 30,000 attendees that were educated, inspired and empowered to be Architects of Change in their own lives, within their communities and around the world. This year’s conference overarching theme was “It’s Time,” as an opportunity to come together and transform ourselves and our communities as Architects of Change.

“The goal of The Women’s Conference was to transform women inside and out – and then empower them to help transform our world as Architects of Change,” said Shriver. “We bring the world’s greatest voices, hearts and minds in one place to deliver this simple, yet profound message – that we are the leaders we have been waiting for.”

Other prominent female speakers were First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, former First Lady Laura Bush, and Jill Biden wife of Vice-President Biden.