Buddhists meet to discuss life and death

Updated: 2015-08-04 07:42

By Patinya Srisupamas in Chiang Mai, Thailand the Nation(China Daily)

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About 1,000 Buddhists from several countries are gathering in Chiang Mai to attend the Fifth World Youth Buddhist Symposium.

The event is being held for the first time at Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University in the northern Thai province. It opened on Saturday and closes on Tuesday.

The symposium was organized by the university's Chiang Mai campus, the Centre for Religious and Spirituality Education of the Hong Kong Institute for Education, the World Youth Buddhist Society and the Buddhist Society of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

The theme is "Ultimate Concern" and the three sub-themes are "Spiritual Well-being", "Life and Death" and "Tibetan Buddhism Tradition".

The aim is to provide a venue for people to get together to think and talk about questions of life and death.

The participants include those from the Chinese mainland, especially the Tibet autonomous region, and Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.

Following the success of the past four symposiums, the organizers said they hope this year's event will provide a friendly and harmonious platform for the Buddhist community, other religions and academics to create a "happy and harmonious environment for mankind".

Since ancient times, humans have been constantly exploring life's origin and end, and seeking the meaning of life and death beyond worldly existence.

Organizers said that from the emergence of basic questions such as why we were born or if there is another world after death, such concerns are leading to the development of a civilized society.

Song Bin, a Chinese Buddhist who is at the meeting, said it was "totally worth the trip".

"I used to resort to taking a long trudge to somewhere remote and quiet to seek temporary respite from the intense living pressure," he said.

"After the meeting, I realized that to adjust your mind, rather than the outside environment, is the ultimate solution to find inner peace."

China Daily contributed to this story.

(China Daily 08/04/2015 page11)