Intl. Buddhist Conference 2020 ‘Buddhism’s Response to COVID-19 Pandemic’ on 7-8 November

Thursday, 5 November 2020 02:12 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The National Council for International Affairs of the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress (ACBC) will be organising the International Buddhist Conference on 7 and 8 November from 2 to 6 p.m. Sri Lanka time via Zoom. 

The theme of the conference will be ‘Buddhism’s Response to COVID-19 Pandemic’ and the Anusasana at the inauguration of the conference on 7 November at 2 p.m. will be delivered by Most Ven. Prof Kotapitiye Rahula Anunayaka Thero of the Kotte Srikalyani Samagreedhamma Maha Sangha Sabha and Main Secretary Pali and Buddhist Studies Division, Peradeniya University. The Government of Burma awarded the highest Honorary Degree ‘Aggamahapanditha’ award to Ven Anunanyake Thero recently.

The welcome address will be delivered by Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala, Chairman of the National Council for International Affairs of the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress (ACBC) and Vice President ACBC and thereafter the President of the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress and Vice President of the World Federation of Buddhists Jagath Sumathipala will deliver his address.  

The first session on ‘Buddha’s Teachings to Overcome COVID-19 Pandemic’ will be chaired by Justice Yasantha Kodagoda, PC, Judge of the Supreme Court of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. 

This session will cover three presentations relating to the topic. 

The first presentation on ‘The Rathana Suthraya – A Discourse to Overcome Disasters’ will be delivered by Ven. Prof. Medagampitiye Wijithadhamma Thero, Prof. of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Sri Jayawardenapura. 

The next presentation will be on ‘The Girimananda Suthraya – Ten perceptions for Healing of Suffering’ delivered by Prof. Sumanapala Galmangoda, Course Coordinator, Dean, Faculty of Buddhist Therapeutic Systems of Medicine, Dean Faculty of Graduate Studies, Chief Medical Officer, Buddhist Āyurvedic Counselling and Psychiatry, Nāgānanda Teaching Hospital.  

The final presentation ‘Coping with Pandemic and Overcoming Suffering from a Buddhist Perspective’ will be delivered by Dr. Tavivat Puntarigvivat Visiting Professor at the Thai Studies Program, Pridi Banomyong International College, Thammasat University in Bangkok on a research study undertaken by him.

Thereafter a Panel Discussion will follow and will be moderated by Prof. Chandima Wijebandara, former Vice Chancellor University of Sri Jayewardenepura, and the Panellists will be Dr. Rathnasiri Rathnayaka, Senior Lecturer, Department of Buddhist Thought Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Kelaniya; Dr. Praneeth Abeysundera, Senior Lecturer of Sociology and Anthropology Sri Jayewardenepura University, Past President All Ceylon Buddhist Congress; Ven. Senior Prof. Uturawela Dhammaratana Thero, Department of Pali, Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka; Ven. Vajiraramaye Nanasiha Thero, Patron Servant of the Buddha Bhante Mahinda, Founder and Spiritual Director of the Aloka Foundation, Malaysia, he is also the abbot of the Aloka Meditation Centre in Australia, Founder and Spiritual Director of the Australian Buddhist Mission, Inc.; and Ven. Halayale Wimalarathana Thero, President of the International Buddhist Foundation (IBF), Geneva, Switzerland.

On the second day – 8 November – the conference will be held via Zoom from 2 to 6 p.m. and the theme of session 2 is ‘Right Mindfulness and Meditation – The Buddhist Way to Overcome COVID-19 Pandemic’.

This session will be chaired by Deepal Sooriarachchi, Mindfulness Teacher Post Graduate Institute of Management University of Sri Jayewardenepura, who will introduce the theme of the session.  

The keynote address on ‘Right Mindfulness – The Buddhist Way to overcome COVID-19 Pandemic’ will be delivered by Most Ven. U. Dhammajiva Maha Thero, Chief Meditation Master Meetirigala Nissarana Vanaya.

The next address on ‘The Power of Meditation to Relieve Stress, Strain and Increase Resilience – Neuropsychiatric Perspective’ will be delivered by Dr. Kumari Galboda MBBS (Colombo), MRCPsych (UK), MSC (Colombo), PhD (UK), Consultant Psychiatrist in Old Age Psychiatry, Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, Rochford Hospital, Essex, UK.

The third address on ‘The Four Noble Truths and Noble Eightfold Path – Liberation from Suffering’ will be delivered by Ven. Bogoda Seelawimala Nayaka Thero, Head London Buddhist Vihara and Chief Sanganayaka Great Britain. 

The final address will be delivered on ‘Right Mindfulness – A Buddhist Survival Kit in the Pandemic’ by Ajahn Sujato, Co-founder Sydney.

This will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Nalaka Hewamadduma, Educator and Author, Mental Skills Development.

The Panellists will comprise Ven. Panadure Chandraratne Thero, Deputy Abbot Meethirigala Nissarana Vanaya Meetirigala; Rev. Dr. Bhante Saranapala – The Urban Buddhist Monk, Founder and President, ‘Canada A Mindful and Kind Nation,’ West End Buddhist Temple & Meditation Centre Mississauga, Canada; Dr. Sumana Ratnayaka, retired Senior Lecturer Pali and Buddhist Studies University of Peradeniya, studied at Kelaniya, Uppsala, Oxford, Lund and Peradeniya Universities, with a doctorate in the subject of ‘Mindfulness: An exploratory study of Buddhist Meditation in Sri Lanka’ and currently resident in Lund, Sweden; Ven. Rathanapala Mahawela, Asst. Lecturer Pali & Buddhist Studies University of Peradeniya; and Dr. Sunil Kariyakarawana, Buddhist Advisor to Her Majesty’s British Armed Services.

Those who wish to register could e-mail [email protected] on or before Friday 6 November.