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    Nakhon Pathom International Buddhist Conference at Buddhamonthon

    BUDDHISM :International conference gets under way today


    The International Buddhist Conference on the United Nations Day of Vesak Celebrations 2007 starts today at Buddhamonthon, Nakhon Pathom.


    The international conference will also be held at the UN Conference Centre in Bangkok tomorrow.


    Buddhist leaders and scholars from 60 countries will join the conference and activities, which will be held until Visakha Bucha day next Thursday.

    The theme of this year's conference is "Buddhism and Good Governance and Development" as well as the celebration of His Majesty the King's 80th birthday.
    Keynote speakers include the Venerable Visuddhisamvara Thera from Australia, and Venerable Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh

    The Nation

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    Buddhism meeting at Buddhamondhol in Nakhon Pathom.

    Monastic meeting
    Some 5,000 Buddhist monks from 61 countries yesterday joined the inauguration ceremony for a four-day international Buddhism meeting at Buddhamondhol in Nakhon Pathom. The meeting, organised to commemorate Visakha Bucha Day on May 31 and to celebrate HM the King’s 80th birthday this year, was chaired by Somdet Phra Putthacharn Kiew Uppaseno as a representative of the Supreme Patriarch.

    The Nation

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    Buddhism meeting at Buddhamondhol in Nakhon Pathom

    Thich Nhat Hanh, the 81-year-old Zen master, gives a speech during the four-day international Buddhism meeting at Bddhamondhol in Nakhon Pathom Sunday.

    The Nation

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    Thai Premier praises teachings of Buddha

    Premier praises teachings of Buddha

    The teachings of Lord Buddha can lead to a peaceful and just society, Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont told the International Buddhist Conference at the United Nations in Bangkok yesterday.




    He said Buddha's teachings of Dharma, or right way of living and proper conduct, can help a society to succeed according to the principles of good governance and development in today's world.

    For centuries kings of Thailand ruled the country according to these principles. They allowed subjects to voice complaints.

    Dharma has never been out of date.

    His Majesty the King's sufficiency economy principles are based on the Buddha's "Middle Path" of moderation, Surayud said.

    The United Nations Develop-ment Programme's report on the sufficiency economy theory is proof the principle is suitable for the time, he added.

    This is the third year Thailand has hosted United Nations Day of Vesak (Visakha Bucha Day) celebrations.

    The theme of this year's International Buddhist Conference is contribution to good governance and development.

    Meanwhile, higher learning is on the agenda. Buddhist universities in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thai-land and elsewhere will form an association.

    This morning, world-famous Zen master the Most Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh delivers an address on the Buddhist contribution to good governance and development.

    In the afternoon, monks from around the world join a chanting ceremony at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha to invoke blessings upon His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej in the year of his 80th birthday.

    Monks and scholars from 61 countries are participating in the International Buddhist Conference on the United Nations Day of Vesak at the UN Conference Centre.

    Five thousand monks attended its inauguration at Buddhamonthon in Nakhon Pathom on Saturday.

    Meanwhile, many participated in Buddhism Promotion Week events at Sanam Luang yesterday.

    Homage was paid to Buddha relics. Other activities included sermons, exhibitions and a drawing competition.
    The event continues until Thursday.

    The Nation

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    Temple of the Emerald Buddha

    Some of the Buddhist monks from 61 countries take part in a chanting ceremony at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha to invoke blessings for His Majesty the King’s 80th birthday in December.

    The Nation

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    Zen master: Dharma the way to end terror

    RELIGION THICH NHAT HANH AT INT'L BUDDHIST CONFERENCE
    Zen master: Dharma the way to end terror


    Also urges politicians to develop spirituality
    SANITSUDA EKACHAI

    One day after Hat Yai was hit by seven bomb blasts which raised terrorism fears to new heights, internationally-recognised Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh has an important message for predominantly Buddhist Thailand _ don't fight back with violence. Instead, be true to the Buddhist teachings that protect life, generate generosity, and promote compassionate listening and loving speech. ''Terrorism is born from hatred, anger and wrong perceptions about oneself, about other people, other nations, other religions,'' said the Zen master in his keynote speech at the International Buddhist Conference to mark the United Nations Day of Visakha Bucha.

    In order to overcome terrorism, those engaged in violence must be encouraged to share their thoughts and feelings at why they feel compelled to bomb and kill to achieve their goals, he urged.

    Deep listening to others' pain, he said, would help one realise how one's mindless speeches and actions have created suspicion and fear that people were out to destroy them as a people, a nation and a religion.

    Through compassionate listening and loving speech, one has a chance to correct those perceptions and to reassure the other party that those actions will not be repeated.

    The practice of deep listening would also help bring to light one's own incorrect perceptions about others, which contribute to conflicts, he added.

    ''Removing those wrong perceptions in both parties is a simple but radical way to remove terrorism,'' he stressed.

    Although the Zen master was talking in the context of the US war in Iraq, his message hit close to home amid rising violence in the Muslim-dominated South against the dominant Buddhist state, and the ever-louder public demands to end the problems through violence.

    In his speech entitled ''Buddhist Contribution to Good Governance and Development,'' the master also stressed the importance of political and economic leaders developing spiritual dimensions in their lives to prevent themselves from abusing their power.

    He described their lives as driven by the craving for success and ridden with tension and anxiety, which ended up hurting themselves as individuals and subsequently their own families, communities and countries.

    The simple practice of mindfulness can help them relieve their craving, anger, and transform them into a positive force.

    It also helps cultivate politicians' capability to ease their cravings, anger and hatred and to develop insights into the natural laws of impermanence, non-self and interconnectedness.

    ''In the face of conflicts and violence, such insights will enable them to forgive, accept and to love, which will help them perform better in office in the service of peace,'' he said.

    He also urged politicians and business leaders to observe the equivalence of Buddhism's Five Precepts and apply them to modern needs. They are: protecting life which extends to protecting the planet for future generations; fostering generosity; avoiding sexual conduct which includes protecting people from sexual abuse; observing loving speech and deep listening; and adopting mindful consumption.
    He was also critical of the media in wrongly citing freedom of expression to produce films, music or other materials which planted the seeds of violence in people's minds.

    Bangkok Post

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    Buddhist conference ends with stronger links

    Buddhist conference ends with stronger links

    The International Buddhist Conference on the United Nations Day of Vesak Celebrations 2007 ended successfully yesterday, tightening relationships among Bud-dhists from different traditions.



    Ven Rassagala Seewali Thera, a member of the organising committee, said that although the activities had not changed much from previous years, more participants joined the event, which was held at the UN Conference Centre in Bangkok.

    They included foreign Buddhists from the Theravada, Mahayana and Vatcharayana traditions.

    Ven Rassagala said he was glad that representatives from at least nine traditions in Vietnam had joined the conference. Vietnam will be the host for next year's conference.

    Vietnamese monks, with monks from China, also chanted together at the opening of Monday's activities.

    Buddhist monks and scholars from 61 countries participated in the event.

    Taiwan's Most Ven Ching Hsin, who was making his third appearance at the conference, said the event was better every year. The topics for discussion were important and suitable for the time, he said. For example, higher education and promotion of Buddhism practices are crucial for the religion.

    Ven Buddharakkhita from Uganda said he was glad and honoured to join the event. It encouraged him to promote Buddhism in Uganda and other African nations.

    "There is only one Buddhist monk and 14 Buddhists in Uganda now. The monk is me," he said.

    Thailand was hosting the conference for the third successive year. The Day of Vesak (Visakha Bucha Day) is tomorrow. The conference also celebrated His Majesty's 80th birthday.

    Its theme was the Buddhist contribution to good governance and development. Promotion of Buddhist higher education was also discussed. An association of Buddhist universities was formed following the establishment of such universities in countries including China, Vietnam and Cambodia.

    Five thousand Buddhist monks joined the inauguration ceremony for the conference at Buddhamonthon in Nakhon Pathom on Saturday. On Sunday, 4,000 Thai and foreign monks as well as laymen attended the conference in Bangkok.

    When the event was held in Thailand in 2005, it was a historic occasion as it was the first time Buddhist leaders from the Mahayana and Theravada traditions had joined for Visakha Bucha celebrations.

    More Buddhist leaders and scholars participate each year. In 2005, they came from 41 countries, but the figure rose to 46 last year and 61 this year. International Buddhist conferences were also held during the celebration.


    Kornchanok Raksaseri
    The Nation

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    Buddha Monthol in Nakhon Pathom

    In praise of Buddha
    Buddhists participate in a candlelight ritual around the Buddha Monthol in Nakhon Pathom to mark Visakha Puja Day yesterday. The annual ritual was presided over by Privy Councillor Amphol Senanarong, in place of HRH Princess Makha Chakri Sirindhorn, who was performing another royal duty.

    The Nation

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