Dharma Dispatch, 2-11 April 2018: World Buddhist Forum, Vajrayana International Center, and Plastic-free Supermarkets

Good morning! The China Religious Culture Communication Association (CRCCA) has announced that the fifth session of the World Buddhist Forum will be held at the coastal city of Putian, in China’s Fujian province. The announcement was made by Chen Zongrong, vice chairman of the CRCCA, at a press conference, on 8 April in Beijing. Several senior religious and political figures were present at the press conference, including director of State Administration of Religious Affairs Wang Zuo’an.

Speaking to journalists, Chen said that the themes of the fifth forum would “emphasize the positive roles of religious people in economic and social development, the Belt and Road Initiative and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.” (Xinhua) Chen also mentioned that invitations would be sent to 800 delegates from the Buddhist world, academia, the media, and political circles. Notably, a total of 300 delegates from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan would be invited. Invitees from outside of China would total 300 as well, and 200 delegates from Mainland China are projected to attend.

Speaking at the International Vajrayana Conference held in the Bhutanese capital Thimphu in late March, the prime minister of Bhutan, Lyonchhen Dasho Tshering Tobgay, proffered a new vision aimed at ensuring the preservation and development of the Vajrayana Buddhist tradition in the 21st century, proposing the establishment of an international center of Vajrayana Buddhism. The prime minister noted that regardless of where the proposed center is located, it’s underlying impetus should be to facilitate the study, practice, and preservation of Vajrayana Buddhism so that the teachings can continue to flourish across the world.

The Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza has opened the world’s first plastic free grocery aisle in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. The initiative is the result of a cooperation between Ekoplaza, a Dutch eco-conscious biological supermarket chain, and A Plastic Planet, a UK-based initiative seeking to reducing the usage of plastic packaging materials. Ekoplaza plans to implement the plastic-free aisle in all of their supermarkets, nationwide.

The plastic-free aisle contains more than 700 biological products, including sweets, snacks, fruit, vegetables, dairy products, and meat, all plastic packaging-free. Rather than disposing of packaging all together, the products are wrapped in traditional packaging materials such as glass, cardboard, and metal, or in new and innovative compostable bio-materials that look like plastic but are made from wood-pulp or sugar beet, making them completely compostable.

Dharma Dispatch is a weekly curated summary of the most important Buddhist news. See all our briefings here

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