The World Buddhist Conference
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 29, 2010
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia — World-renown Vietnamese Buddhist monk, author, poet, and peace activist VenerableThich Nhat Hanh addressed the “World Buddhist Conference” hold in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from September 25-26, 2010.
This was his first visit to Malaysia.
Considered as one of the most influential Buddhist teachers in the world today, Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh was nominated for the Noble Peace Prize and subsequently led the Buddhist delegation to the Paris Peace Talks during the height of the Vietnam War during the 1960s.
He spoke on the theme of the Conference “Living in Harmony: When Things Fall Apart”. The Conference was aimed at the ordinary Buddhists – the man in the street – who wish to seek practical advice on what they need to do in order to live in harmony – to be able to lead peaceful and stress-free lives.
The line-up of speakers at the conference includes Malaysia’s own Venerable Wei Wu from Than Hsiang Temple, Penang, who is best known for setting up Malaysia’s first International Buddhist College, and many welfare projects such as kindergartens and orphanages throughout the country.
Other speakers included Venerable Tenzin Zopa from Nepal who is a resident teacher at Losang Dragpa Center, Petaling Jaya. He is the subject of the highly acclaimed documentary “The Unmistaken Child” about his search for his reincarnated teacher Lama Konchog.
Speakers from the West included Dr Joan Halifaz, an internationally-acclaimed medical anthropologist and Zen master, Venerable Tejadhamma, a pioneer in hospice work in Sydney, Australia, Dr David Loy, scholar practitioner from the US and co-founder of Buddhist Global Relief, Venerable Thubten Chodron, a well-known author and teacher from Washington, Dr Tan Eng Kong, a Malaysian-born practicing psychiatrist and psychotherapist, and Anchalee Kurutach who has been involved in refugee work and survivors of torture for over twenty years in her native Thailand as well as in the US.
Three leading Buddhist organizations, Buddhist Gem Fellowship, Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia and Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia, supported by eight other Buddhist organizations, organized the World Buddhist Conference (WBC) from September 25-26, 2010 at the Istana Hotel, Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur.
According to Benny Liow, a key member of the organising committee, the message of the conference is encourage participants to see life in its proper perspective.
“Even if misfortunes or calamities were to affect us – be it in our business, career, or private relationships – we should not lose hope or adopt a pessimistic and fatalistic view of life. The Buddha had taught us that we can indeed remain happy in the midst of misfortunes or “when things fall apart” if we understand how our mind works and apply techniques to calm it,” he adds.