The World Buddhist Conference will be hold in September 2010 inKuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The World Buddhist Conference is organized by three leading Buddhist organizations in Malaysia – Buddhist Gem Fellowship, Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia, and Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia. This conference is a unique opportunity to explore how basic Buddhist concepts can change the way we look at life so that we can experience true happiness in our everyday life. The selection of speakers from around the world, representing all three Buddhist traditions (Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana) allows to tap into their deep knowledge and practical experience in guiding us to maintain peace and harmony. The official website of The World Buddhist Conference is http://www.wbc.my
Speakers list include:
THICH NHAT HANH
One of the best known and most respected Zen masters in the world today, poet, and peace and human rights activist, Thich Nhat Hanh (called Thây by his students) has led an extraordinary life. Born in central Vietnam in 1926 he joined the monkshood at the age of sixteen. The Vietnam War confronted the monasteries with the question of whether to adhere to the contemplative life and remain meditating in the monasteries, or to help the villagers suff ering under bombings and other devastation of the war. Nhat Hanh was one of those who chose to do both, helping to found the “engaged Buddhism” movement.
His life has since been dedicated to the work of inner transformation for the benefi t of individuals and society. In Saigon in the early 60s, Thich Nhat Hanh founded the School of Youth Social Service (SYSS), a grass-roots relief organization that rebuilt bombed villages, set up schools and medical centers, resettled homeless families, and organized agricultural cooperatives. Rallying some 10,000 student volunteers, the SYSS based its work on the Buddhist principles of non-violence and compassionate action. Despite government denunciation of his activity, Nhat Hanh also founded a Buddhist University, a publishing house, and an infl uential peace activist magazine in Vietnam.
After visiting the U.S. and Europe in 1966 on a peace mission, he was banned from returning to Vietnam in 1966. On subsequent travels to the U.S., he made the case for peace to federal and Pentagon officials including Robert McNamara. He may have changed the course of U.S. history when he persuaded Martin Luther King, Jr. to oppose the Vietnam War publicly, and so helped to galvanize the peace movement. The following year, King nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize. Subsequently, Nhat Hanh led the Buddhist delegation to the Paris Peace
In 1982 he founded Plum Village, a Buddhist community in exile in France, where he continues his work to alleviate suff ering of refugees, boat people, political prisoners, and hungry families in Vietnam and throughout the Third World. He has also received recognition for his work with Vietnam veterans, meditation retreats, and his prolifi c writings on meditation, mindfulness, and peace. He has published some 85 titles of accessible poems, prose, and prayers, with more than 40 in English, including the best selling Call Me by My True Names, Peace Is Every Step, Being Peace, Touching Peace, Living Buddha Living Christ, Teachings on Love, The Path of Emancipation, and Anger. In September 2001, just a few days after the suicide terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, he addressed the issues of non-violence and forgiveness in a memorable speech at Riverside Church in New York City. In September of 2003 he addressed members of the US Congress, leading them through a two-day retreat. Thich Nhat Hanh continues to live in Plum Village in the meditation community he founded, where he teaches, writes, and gardens; and he leads retreats worldwide on “the art of mindful living.” Thich Nhat Hanh’s key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live in the present moment instead of in the past and in the future. Dwelling in the present moment is, according to Nhat Hanh, the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world.
He will make his first visit to Malaysia when he delivers his Keynote Address on “Living in Harmony: When Things Fall Apart” during the World Buddhist Conference on Sept 25-26, 2010 in Kuala Lumpur.
Venerable Wei Wu was born in Penang and had his studies at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree in 1973. He worked with Hewlett Packard in Malaysia as a Quality Manager before starting his own consultancy company in 1987 to serve many multi-national companies including Procter and Gamble, Philips, Fiat, and Astec in Asia, Europe and the United States of America. Venerable Wei Wu was ordained as a Buddhist monk in the Mahayana tradition in 1992 and established the Than Hsiang Foundation in Malaysia and Thailand and the International Buddhist College (IBC) in Hatyai, Thailand.
He is currently the President of the Than Hsiang Foundation and the Council Chairman of the IBC with its main campus in Southern Thailand, and a new branch campus in Korat, Thailand. He is also Abbot of Tham Wah Wan Temple in Kuala Lumpur where many IBC courses are being conducted for participants in the central region of the country. Venerable Wei Wu is also very active in social welfare projects, having established homes for the poor, as well as kindergartens throughout Malaysia.
Joan Halifax Roshi, an anthropologist by training, is the Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Zen Center, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has worked in the area of death and dying for over thirty years and is Director of the Project on Being with Dying. For the past twenty-five years, she has been active in environmental work. She is also Founder and Director of the Upaya Prison Project that develops programs on meditation for prisoners. She was appointed Honorary Research Fellow at Harvard University, and has taught in many universities, monasteries, and medical centers around the world. Recently, was appointed a distinguished invited scholar to the Library of Congress and the only woman and Buddhist to be on the Advisory Council for the Tony Blair Foundation.
Her teachers included Zen master Seung Sahn, and she was also teacher in the Kwan Um Zen School. She received the Lamp Transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh, and was given Inka by Roshi Bernie Glassman. A Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order, her work and practice for more than three decades has focused on engaged Buddhism.
Venerable Tejadhammo Bhikku was ordained by Venerable Tanchaokhun Phra Visalsalmanagun in Phuket, Thailand. Bhante has a background in Western Philosophy and Theology, and has studied and taught at Silpakorn University, Thailand. Although ordained in the Theravada tradition, he has also studied with Tibetan and Mahayana teachers and has a commitment to the Dharma that he believes encompasses all traditional expressions of it.
Bhante is the Spiritual Director of the Association of Engaged Buddhists founded in 1993, and senior resident monk at Sangha Lodge, Sydney. The Association aims to foster a more active engagement of all Buddhists within the local community. Apart from teachings and retreat activities, Bhante works with those seriously ill in hospitals, hospices and their homes in Sydney. Bhante is also a founding member of the Australian Monastic Encounter which seeks to promote inter-religious and inter monastic dialogue.
Bhante does a great deal of teaching for other Buddhist groups as well as Adult Education groups in Sydney and throughout Australia. Healing Meditation practices are also taught by Bhante to groups and more particularly to individuals needing special assistance.
DAVID ROBERT LOY
David Loy has held the Besl Family Chair of Ethics/Religion & Society at Xavier University in Ohio, USA, since 2006. He has taught as professor at Bunkyo University, Japan, and at National University of Singapore. David received his B.A. from Carlton College, Minnesota, M.A. in Asian philosophy at the University of Hawaii, and Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Singapore. His main research is in comparative (East-West) philosophy, especially bringing Buddhist perspectives to bear on contemporary social issues such as terrorism and violence, restorative justice, economics and globalization, biotechnology, environmental crises, and “the clash of civilizations.”
David authored several books on philosophy including “Nonduality: A Study in Comparative Philosophy, Yale University Press, 1988”, “Lack and Transcendence: The Problem of Death and Life in Psychotherapy, Existentialism, and Buddhism, Humanities Press, 1996,”, “A Buddhist History of the West: Studies in Lack, SUNY Press, 2002”, “The Great Awakening”, Wisdom, 2003)”, The Dharma of Dragons and Daemons”, Wisdom, 2004)”, and “Money, Sex, War, Karma, Wisdom, 2008.”
David is an authorized teacher in the Sanbo Kyodan lineage of Zen where he completed formal koan training under Yamada Koun Roshi.