|OCBS News July 2012|
|New Numata Chair|
|UN day of Vesak|
|Buddhism in southern Burma|
|Recent talk in London|
The ninth United Nations Day of Vesak and the second International Association of Buddhist Universities Conference, United Nations Building, Bangkok and Mahachulalongkorn University, Ayutthaya
by Sarah Shaw
This year the annual conference to celebrate Vesak, normally held at the United Nations building in Bangkok, was combined with the International Association of Buddhist Universities conference, postponed because of last year's floods. It was considered a special event, as the ‘celebration of 2600 years of the Buddha’s Enlightenment’, and so the panels of speakers were larger than usual.
From the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, guest speakers at the United Nations Day of Vesak were Venerable Dr Khammai Dhammasāmi and Dr Sarah Shaw. The IABU, a new organisation which is chaired by the Most Venerable Professor Doctor Phra Dharmakosajarn, rector of Mahachulalongkorn University held a meeting at the United Nations building led by Venerable Dhammasami who is the Executive Secretary. The academic conference for the International Association of Buddhist Universities was held at the Mahachulalongkorn site in Ayutthaya, and speakers from OCBS included Geoffrey Bamford and Sarah Shaw. There were four panels around the theme of ‘Buddhist Philosophy and Praxis’: Buddhist Philosophy and Meditation Practices, Buddhist Philosophical Views, teaching Buddhism in new lands, and Buddhist Psychotherapy.
There was an additional seminar on Buddhist texts and commentaries in traditional and contemporary contexts. Academics from around the world attended the vast conferences, held at the two sites, and the proceedings went on for four days. For a link to all the papers, see the ‘Buddhajayanti’ conference website:
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