We send our best wishes from Bangkok and are looking forward with great excitement to INEB’s 20th International Conference in South Korea. This year’s conference will be the first in-person meeting for our network members and kalyanamitta since the last international conference convened in Deer Park, Bir, India, in 2019. It will be a joyous occasion to reconnect as we experience South Korean culture together and are inspired by closely examining the conference theme of Buddhism in a Divided World: Peace, Planet, Pandemic.
This conference will also have selected sessions available online to reach a wider audience. This issue contains the usual contents with country reports, articles on diverse topics, and other interesting information from the world of Engaged Buddhism.
Since INEB’s 20th International conference is being held in S. Korea this year, the issue focuses on the conference and our work during 2021. The conference is a collaboration between INEB and the Korean based Jungto Society. Jungto will be hosting participants at their beautiful mountain meditation center in Mungyeong, and brand new headquarters in the Gangnam district of Seoul. We deeply appreciate the Jungto team’s welcoming way and generosity that has made this conference possible. Articles include the conference concept note describing its goals and objectives, an overview of INEB’s activities in 2021, and an interview of Venerable Pomnyun Sunim by Craig Lewis of Buddhist Door Global. In the interview, Venerable discusses the conference theme, Buddhism in a Divided World. Beginning with the country reports, the Bhutan Nun’s Foundation helped organize the ordination of 144 women in Bhutan. The interview with Venerable Galkanda Dhannananda Thera of Sri Lanka contains many insights into reconciliation, the need to heal from domestic violence, harassment, child abuse, and how the government uses Sinhala Buddhists to its benefit.
Our close friend, Ouyporn Khuankaew’s article ‘Gender, Sexuality, and Engaged Buddhism’ is the first of several articles by her. Another article describes how Buddhist nuns in Ladakh, India, are demonstrating the interconnection between dharma practice, environmental education and healthcare support to confront the negative impact of climate change. These efforts are under the leadership of our friend Venerable Dr. Tsering Palmo. The Sathirakoses-Nagapradipa Foundation honors the memory of Khunying Noi – M.R. Saisawasdee Sawatdiwat, who together with her sisters donated the land on which the Wongsanit Ashram was built and continues to be a living and learning center.
Please explore the book recommendations which include 2 books about our former advisor Lodi Gyari Rinpoche, as well as recent publications by our members Linda Buckley and Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo.
We look forward to seeing you in South Korea.