Ajahn Brahm and other Buddhist Leaders at the 12th Global Conference on Buddhism

By Amos Simon

Amos Simon is an executive officer at International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), New Delhi

I recently attended the 12th Global Conference on Buddhism, which was inaugurated on 16 December 2023 at the Max Antria Singapore Expo. On this special occasion of one of the last major Buddhist meets before the end of the year, the organizer, the Buddhist Fellowship (BF) welcomed over 800 participants from 12 countries from the sangha and other delegates.

Image courtesy of Amos Simon

During the sessions, which ran for two days, Dhamma teachers from various schools including Theravada, Mahayana and the Nalanda tradition (Vajrayana) as well as scholars shared their views on “Life, Death and Rebirth,” which formed the overall theme of the conference. Ideas explored included how to live mindfully and experience the richest life possible, facing up to illness with equanimity and no regrets, and the world beyond this present life. 

Death and dying, of course, is perhaps the core concern of all spiritual traditions. The end of life could be said to be why religions exist. The meet was also an opportunity to showcase the greater understanding between different schools on a single subject critical to the Buddhist worldview. Overall, attendees facilitated a harmonious environment for a better understanding to the participants.

Day One consisted of three sessions where senior Buddhist leaders including Ajahn Brahm, Ven. Guo Huei, Ven. Thubten Chodron, Ven. Buddharakhita, amd Ayya Santini addressed the gathering on various topics of the session. The patron of the BF, Ven. Ajahn Brahm, delivered a keynote address that set the foundation and tone for the rest of the sessions.

Image courtesy of Amos Simon

Later on, the eminent Vajrayana master Mingyur Rinpoche, who has given many talks for laypeople about death and living a life of meaning and fulfilment, gave a major talk. 

The next, 13th edition of the Global Conference on Buddhism is proposed to take place either in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, or India.

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