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More than 100 participants attend the inaugural ceremony of the third international Vajrayana Conference at the Zhichenkhar, Langjophakha yesterday evening
More than 100 participants attend the inaugural ceremony of the third international Vajrayana Conference at the Zhichenkhar, Langjophakha yesterday evening

Vajrayana conference begins at Zhichenkhar

The third international Vajrayāna conference began yesterday evening at the new library of the Mind, Body and Sound at Langjophakha in Thimphu.

The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Techniques in Vajrayāna Buddhism.’

Organised by the Centre for Bhutan and GNH Studies and the Central Monastic Body, the conference has brought together scholars from around the world to discuss and deliberate on Vajrayāna Buddhism.

The conference is one of the first pre-consecration events of the library of mind, body and sound
The conference is one of the first pre-consecration events of the library of mind, body and sound

The president of the centre, Dasho Karma Ura said the conference is one of the first pre-consecration events of the library of mind, body and sound named in honour of the Great Fourth as Zhichenkhar.

“By the subject matter itself it is very auspicious,” he said. The consecration is expected next month.

A practitioner of Sowa Rigpa in Italy, Dr Nida Chenagtsang said Bhutan is a botanical garden for the world.

“The world has become miserable from peoples’ greed, and that it needs Vajrayana,” the co-founder of the conference said. “Bhutan being the only Vajrayana country, the world needs Bhutan.”

Citing how his concept of Buddhism evolved since childhood, Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering said a person need not necessarily be a monk to practice Buddhism.

“What I know is that whatever we do, it must all be mixed with the ingredients of compassion.”

He said that his advise to medical students was that no matter how tired they were, the 110th patient deserves the same attention as the first one they examine. “Over the years as I embraced the profession of a medical practitioner, my comprehension of the religion narrowed to one aspect – of being motivated by compassion in everything I do,” Lyonchhen said. “Today, at the helm of governance, this is the same principle that I apply.”

Vajrayāna Buddhism is referred to as the Path of Skillful Methods in reference to its diversity of means for realising enlightenment in a single lifetime.

In the next three days, scholars would present on the diverse ways in which the techniques of Vajrayāna Buddhism can be adapted and made relevant to a modern, transcultural, scientifically driven, and environmentally challenged world.

Tshering Palden

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