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<-Back to WTN Archives Conference on Tibetan Buddhism in Europe held in Switzerland August 13-14, 2005
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World Tibet Network News

Published by the Canada Tibet Committee

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

1. Conference on Tibetan Buddhism in Europe held in Switzerland August 13-14, 2005

Tibet Bureau - Geneva

A Conference on Tibetan Buddhism in Europe was held in Zurich on August 13 -14, 2005. His Holiness
the Dalai Lama inaugurated the Conference, the first of its kind held in Europe, organised by the
Committee for The Dalai Lama in Switzerland 2005.

Geshe Jampel Senge, in his opening remarks outlined the theme of the Conference, namely, how best
to preserve the essence of Tibetan Buddhism in a changing world; how Buddhism can contribute to
help others without the intention of proselytising, and how to reach and cooperate with other
traditions on a global level.

Mr. Jampa T. Samdho, on behalf of the organisers welcomed the delegates and thanked His Holiness
for inaugurating the Conference.

Tibetan Buddhist teachers and representatives from sixteen nations across the European continent
and a guest speaker, Argya Rinpoche from the US attended the Conference. These include Dagyab
Rinpoche, Sogyal Rinpoche, Tulku Pema Wangyal, Thamthog Rinpoche, Lama Karta, Sherab Gyaltsen
Amipa, Phuntsok Tashi, Abbot of Rikon Monastery, Alex Berzin, Ani la Carola Roloff, and Martin
Kallf. Representatives from over 80 Buddhist Centres in Europe participated in the Conference.

The keynote speech to the Conference was delivered by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. His Holiness
said that the discussions should be free and frank and discuss everything so that we can find
remedies, if necessary.

His Holiness called for communication, cooperation and common responsibility to make the
Conference meaningful. He also gave hearty support to revive the Bikshuni vow and donated CHF
50,000.00 as a pilot fund to realize this goal and suggested that perhaps the western nuns should
take the lead by exploring ways to do more study and research in consultation with Buddhist
leaders in some the Asian countries where Buddhism is the major religion.

He also suggested reaching out to our Muslim brothers and sisters across the globe. His Holiness
said the Tibetans had isolated themselves from the rest of the world in order to preserve the
things that were most dear to them but what happened was the opposite: it undermined the very
basis and so today we are faced with a very critical situation in our Tibetan history of losing
everything. So it is not always wise to remain in isolation.

His Holiness also agreed with the suggestion by one of the speakers, that the Buddhist centres in
the west could do a better job in supporting the cause of Tibet after all it affects the very
survival of Tibetan Buddhism.

Some of the teachers gave their personal opinions with rare frankness and unbridled enthusiasm.
Three groups were created to discuss in depth about the theme of the conference and other relevant
issues. The atmosphere of the whole meeting was open, clear, committed and very friendly.
Everybody put in their best efforts and on August, 14 morning, the three groups reported their
findings with a Tibetan and western scholar so that both perspectives received equal attention.

What came up during the group discussions was the need to stay connected with each other and have
this kind of conference in future to bring an understanding not only among the centres themselves
but also among the four different traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.

There was also a suggestion for the need to form an International Tibetan Buddhist Organization, a
world body which will foresee the progress of Buddhism around the globe and also act as a watch
dog to keep the purity of Tibetan Buddhism.

Articles in this Issue:
  1. Conference on Tibetan Buddhism in Europe held in Switzerland August 13-14, 2005
  2. East-West wedding (CD)
  3. China plans world's highest airports in Tibet (AP)
  4. Qinghai-Tibet Plateau moves towards northeast (PD)
  5. Singer and dancer of Tibet - Look Who's Coming: Techung, Tibetan musician

Other articles this month - WTN Index - Mail the WTN-Editors

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