oneGlobal Meeting of Minds

26 January 2012 - 11:18am 1 Comment

The first gathering of its kind in the history of Buddhism in India, the Global Buddhist Congregation (GBC) in Delhi held at the end of November saw the meeting of Buddhists from all around the world, including representatives from Kechara.

Liaisons Phng Li Kim, Jamie Khoo and David Lai, from Kechara Media & Publications (KMP), were invited to join the congregation as observers. KMP were also on sale throughout the congregation and saw much positive response from the 1000+ people who attended the 5-day gathering.

The Congregation was graced by many Buddhist “celebrities” and highly prominent personalities in Buddhism. Most notably, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama attended an all-faith prayer session and shared a Dharma talk with over 1000 participants at the closing ceremony of the event. There, he spoke about the importance of creating inner peace as an approach to countering negativities in ourselves and in the world. It was very much like Kechara’s own vision to creating Kechara World Peace Center, which would foster the creation of inner, outer and world peace.

The GBC also saw the gathering of Sangha from all around the world – Vietnam, Korea, Myanmar, Japan, Taiwan, India, America – as well as highly respected Buddhist scholars from both East and West. In its aim to foster greater understanding and dialogue between all traditions, the Congregation organized many different talks, where Sangha and laypeople of all traditions could share their various perspectives and approaches in the Dharma.

Li Kim, Jamie and David attended several of these talks and also had the opportunity to meet with and make offerings to many of these highly respected Sangha. More importantly however, many of the people we met were in turn, very happy to see us, noting that they had long followed H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s teachings via YouTube and Rinpoche’s blog. It was most heartening to see how connected we all are in this very big world!


Liaison David Lai making offerings to Venerable Lama Lobzang, President of the Asoka Mission who organised the Global Buddhist Congregation.

Liaison David Lai making offerings to Venerable Lama Lobzang, President of the Asoka Mission who organised the Global Buddhist Congregation.

At one of the talks, “Buddhism and Mental Health” which featured a panel of speakers, both lay academics as well as Sangha. Each speaker presented different ideas on how Dharma teachings can be used as methods to treat mental health problems, depression and anxiety.

At one of the talks, “Buddhism and Mental Health” which featured a panel of speakers, both lay academics as well as Sangha. Each speaker presented different ideas on how Dharma teachings can be used as methods to treat mental health problems, depression and anxiety.

David and Jamie meeting Reverand Jotetsu Nemoto, a young Zen monk from Japan who works specifically to counsel and help people combat suicidal thoughts.

David and Jamie meeting Reverand Jotetsu Nemoto, a young Zen monk from Japan who works specifically to counsel and help people combat suicidal thoughts.

From L – R: Speaker Dr Sunil Kariyakarawana (a Buddhist chaplain in the British armed forces), David from Kechara, Ms. Youdon Aukatsang (a member of the Tibetan parliament), a Nepalese delegate, and Speaker Lt Richard Moss (Buddhist practitioner in the British Navy). The three men were part of a delegation who gave a presentation at the “Conflict and Violence” talks, sharing a perspective of how to bring Buddhist teachings and support to the very "violent" sphere of the armed forces

From L – R: Speaker Dr Sunil Kariyakarawana (a Buddhist chaplain in the British armed forces), David from Kechara, Ms. Youdon Aukatsang (a member of the Tibetan parliament), a Nepalese delegate, and Speaker Lt Richard Moss (Buddhist practitioner in the British Navy). The three men were part of a delegation who gave a presentation at the “Conflict and Violence” talks, sharing a perspective of how to bring Buddhist teachings and support to the very "violent" sphere of the armed forces

Paying our respects to Ven. Thubten Chodron, one of the most famous pioneering nuns in the West who spoke in the talks on “Livelihood and Development: Buddhism in a Fast Changing World”.

Paying our respects to Ven. Thubten Chodron, one of the most famous pioneering nuns in the West who spoke in the talks on “Livelihood and Development: Buddhism in a Fast Changing World”.

David made offerings of a Lama Tsongkhapa statue to H.H. 102nd Gaden Tripa Rinpoche, on behalf of all Kechara. The Gaden Tripa represents Lama Tsongkhapa on earth and is the supreme head of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism which we hail from.

David made offerings of a Lama Tsongkhapa statue to H.H. 102nd Gaden Tripa Rinpoche, on behalf of all Kechara. The Gaden Tripa represents Lama Tsongkhapa on earth and is the supreme head of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism which we hail from.

All three Liaisons commemorate this special meeting in a photo with H.H. the Gaden Tripa.

All three Liaisons commemorate this special meeting in a photo with H.H. the Gaden Tripa.

 Saying hello to Geshe Tenzin Zopa, who starred in the internationally acclaimed movie “Unmistaken Child”. Tenzin Zopa had spent many years in Malaysia as the resident Geshe of a Gelugpa centre in Kuala Lumpur and was happy to meet Malaysian students of Tsem Rinpoche, conveying his best wishes for our Rinpoche’s long life and good health.

Saying hello to Geshe Tenzin Zopa, who starred in the internationally acclaimed movie “Unmistaken Child”. Tenzin Zopa had spent many years in Malaysia as the resident Geshe of a Gelugpa centre in Kuala Lumpur and was happy to meet Malaysian students of Tsem Rinpoche, conveying his best wishes for our Rinpoche’s long life and good health.

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, of the first women in the West to have become a nun and who is now working tremendously hard to raise the profile and welfare of women in Buddhism. She is also the subject of the iconic book “A Cave in the Snow”, a biography about her life as a nun and her now famous 12-year retreat in a cave."

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, of the first women in the West to have become a nun and who is now working tremendously hard to raise the profile and welfare of women in Buddhism. She is also the subject of the iconic book “A Cave in the Snow”, a biography about her life as a nun and her now famous 12-year retreat in a cave."

A photo with Jetsunma

A photo with Jetsunma

At the all-faith prayer session in Gandhi Smriti (a commemorative building in remembrance of Gandhi). All Sangha were present, including H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, H.H. Gaden Tripa, H.H. Ling Chocktrul Rinpoche, H.E. Sogyal Rinpoche, H.H. the 17th Karmapa, H.E. Telo Rinpoche (Tsem Rinpoche’s cousin and Buddhist head of Kalmykia) as well as prominent heads of all other Buddhist traditions from around the world.

At the all-faith prayer session in Gandhi Smriti (a commemorative building in remembrance of Gandhi). All Sangha were present, including H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, H.H. Gaden Tripa, H.H. Ling Chocktrul Rinpoche, H.E. Sogyal Rinpoche, H.H. the 17th Karmapa, H.E. Telo Rinpoche (Tsem Rinpoche’s cousin and Buddhist head of Kalmykia) as well as prominent heads of all other Buddhist traditions from around the world.

His Holinesses the 14th Dalai Lama and Gaden Tripa joining in the prayers for peace.

His Holinesses the 14th Dalai Lama and Gaden Tripa joining in the prayers for peace.

Vietnamese Sangha recited prayers in their tradition and language, dedicated to the long life of H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

Vietnamese Sangha recited prayers in their tradition and language, dedicated to the long life of H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

The prayer session included people from other religions and faiths, including a Hindu priest (as pictured here), Jains and even Muslims.

The prayer session included people from other religions and faiths, including a Hindu priest (as pictured here), Jains and even Muslims.

At the closing address of the Global Buddhist Congregation, presided over by H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, Buddhist heads from around the world and many dignitaries. Over 1,000 people attended this session.

At the closing address of the Global Buddhist Congregation, presided over by H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, Buddhist heads from around the world and many dignitaries. Over 1,000 people attended this session.

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