The 4th International Conference on Vajrayana Buddhism with the theme “Modernity of Buddhism” is being held in Thimpu, Bhutan under the auspices of the Centre for Bhutan & GNH Studies (CBS) and the Central Monastic Body of Bhutan in close collaboration with International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), India.
Eminent practitioners, teachers, scientific researchers, academics and independent scholars are discussing the central theme at the four-day conference. The Keynote address was delivered by the Hon’ble Prime minister of Bhutan, His Excellency Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering.
A 17-member delegation of IBC is participating in the Conference. Members of the delegation include experts on Vajrayana Buddhism. The delegation is led by Ven. Dr. Dhammapiya, Secretary General, IBC.
The Conference brings together about 400 participants, including 250 internationals representing 26 countries. A press release from the CBS stated that Modernity of Buddhism is another way of saying that most of the insights into Buddhism can be explored as being timelessly relevant or to say that it is not antiquated.
The broad theme of the Conference enabled diverse contributions through papers, panel discussions and practice workshops. Speakers addressed ways in which Vajrayana Buddhism had developed across time and geographies and the ways in which its philosophy and practices can actively contribute to global wellbeing and transformation as the world emerges from the pandemic.
The Conference examines the ways in which Vajrayana Buddhism continues to creatively adapt to the modern world. Some of the papers included: Connectivity, compassion, and social engagement in Buddhism; Learning “how to be” for a truly sustainable civilization: Rediscovering the Buddhist virtues of contentment of the joy of “simply being”; Mindful awareness as the foundation of the Buddhist path, and a way to bridge ancient wisdom and modern psychology; Global adaptations and evolving forms of Vajrayana Buddhism in the West; Redefining values and priorities in a frantic world: the power of Buddhist reflections on living, growing, aging, dying, and beyond, and Women and yoginis in Buddhism. These were just a few areas of presentations and discussions among many others at the Bhutan Conference on Vajrayana Buddhism.