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Review of 7th World Youth Buddhist Symposium 2017: The Way to Happiness
Publisher: Date:2018-01-08 View:589

 

 

This was the first time I have attended the World Youth Buddhist Symposium and as a participant I found it a truly wonderful experience.  I am so grateful to Khenpo Sodargye and the WYBS for the opportunity to attend this event.

Listening to the speakers from many different cultural and religious backgrounds was both thought provoking and inspirational.  The speakers expounded their research and ideas on solutions to human and environmental issues on personal, community and global levels, applying both Buddhist and non-Buddhist principles to these issues.  Research studies and topics included how to help one’s self recover from depression; how to facilitate increased respect for preserving trees in a community by ordaining the trees; and a Buddhist perspective on the Universe, Earth, Ecology and Humankind.

It was also very interesting listening to the representative speakers in the Interfaith Dialogue from Christian, Islamic, Sikh, Theravadin, Han, and Tibetan Buddhism discuss the values and beliefs important to their faith, and while there were some differences, it became clear by the end of the dialogue that each speaker and their faith had one underlying value in common; that of wanting to promote peace and happiness for the world and its people and wanting to help people who are suffering find happiness.

The day trip to Wat Phradhatu Sri Chom Tong Voravihara a large Thai Buddhist temple an hour north of Chiang Mai was a truly amazing day giving participants and presenters the opportunity to experience Buddhist principles in action and generating much merit through receiving Buddhist meditation instruction from three different Masters and try it out for themselves; participating in bathing a relic of the Buddha; and in saving lives through the release of thousands of fish into a lake.

As well as the wonderful symposium program, it was also great meeting people from many walks of life with a common interest in finding out more about Buddhism and experiencing a sense of friendship and compassion to cooperate and share this earth which we all temporarily call home.  I came away from the symposium with my head full of ideas about how I could put dharma knowledge into practice for the benefit and enlightenment of all sentient beings.

 

Kris Anderson

Social Worker, Brisbane Australia

BA (psychology), MMH (art therapy), MSocWkSt
 

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