Tea House

Daily Perspectives and Stories on Buddhist Trends

Month: July 2016

15th Sakyadhita International Conference On Buddhist Women To Be Held in Hong Kong From 22–28 June 2017

Press Office

hong-kong-skyline-night-1

The University of Hong Kong’s (HKU) Centre of Buddhist Studies (CBS) will co-organize the 15th Sakyadhita International Conference with the Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women, with the support of the Dharma Nature Preaching Hall, Buddhistdoor, the Centre of Buddhist Studies Alumni Association (CBSAA), and the Hong Kong Society of Dharma Supporters (HKSDS). The conference theme is titled, “Contemporary Buddhist Women: Contemplation, Cultural Exchange, and Social Action” and will be held from the 22 to 28 June 2017 on the HKU campus.

The theme of contemplation includes sub-topics like personal introspection, mindfulness practice, meditation, and reflection on contemporary life issues. Cultural exchange incorporates interreligious dialogue, indigenous Buddhist experience, inter-generational dialogue, and Buddhist transcultural exchange, expressed through music, literature, drama, painting, social media, and the martial arts. Finally, social action takes many forms, including charitable activities, social entrepreneurship, community leadership, and other ways of transforming society.

The 15th Sakyadhita Conference will be a forum for making connections across cultures and traditions, exploring a wide range of Buddhist teachings, values, and techniques for living a meaningful life.

Proposals are now being accepted for a special presentation panel related to Buddhist Women of Hong Kong. Proposals for workshops on topics related to the conference theme are also welcome. Proposals (250–500 words in length) should be submitted by 15 August 2016. Notification of acceptance will be sent by 1 September 2016.

Final papers (2,500 words maximum) are due by 15 October 2016 as upon acceptance they must be translated into Chinese and other languages. Proposals should include sender’s name, institutional affiliation, and contact information. All proposals and papers must be the original, unpublished work of the presenter.

Sakyadhita encourages diversity and creativity. We welcome proposals from presenters of any gender, nationality, or status. We also invite proposals for short films and PowerPoint slide shows (10–15 minutes in length) related to women in Buddhism.

Send proposals to hkucbs@hku.hk, with a copy to hongkong2017@sakyadhita.org and tsomo@sandiego.edu, before 15 August.

All speakers and workshop presenters must register for the conference.  Any requests for special dates for presentations must be included with the proposal.

To know more about the past Sakyadhita Conferences, please visit http://sakyadhita.org/conferences.html.


Major Sponsor
Tung Lin Kok Yuen

Organizers
Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women
Centre of Buddhist Studies, The University of Hong Kong

Co-organizers
Dharma Nature Preaching Hall
Buddhistdoor
Centre of Buddhist Studies Alumni Association (CBSAA)
Hong Kong Society of Dharma Supporters (HKSDS)

My Difficulties with the Lotus Sutra

Graham Lock

Working Title/Artist: Lotus Sutra Department: Asian Art Culture/Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: 07 Working Date: photographed by mma 1987, transparency # 2 scanned by film and media (jn) 11_15_01

“Devadatta,” Chapter 12 of the Lotus Sutra. From metmuseum.org

I have recently been studying the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Marvelous Dharma (妙法蓮花經), usually called the Lotus Sutra in English. This sutra has been and still is enormously important and influential in East Asian Buddhism.

As far as I understand it, the sutra makes three main points: firstly, that the previous three paths or vehicles the Buddha had taught for the ending of suffering and realization of nirvana were skillful means (upaya, also translated “expedient means,” “convenient methods,” and “方便”), to be transcended by the “one vehicle” or “one way” that leads to Buddhahood; secondly, that Buddhahood is potentially available for all; and thirdly, that Buddhas transcend normal conceptions of time and space and that the Buddha we know as Shakyamuni actually became awakened incalculable aeons ago and has since remained available to teach living beings and to guide them on the path to Buddhahood. His life and seeming awakening as Siddhartha Gautama was actually just a skillful means.

What follows are my thoughts on first working through the sutra.

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A Current of Thoughts

Sherri Maxwell

Image by the authorCurrent events in the US and UK have inspired thoughts on the multitude of conflicts in the world. How do we resolve them, I wonder?

Immigrant vs citizen (Britain leaving the European Union), the 1 per cent vs the 99 per cent, black vs white, police vs civilian, and endless religious differences . . . this conflict is created by us. It is a division that doesn’t really have to exist—it is man-made.

When we label, it separates us. How can we describe ourselves without creating conflict?

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