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Buddhists from China, US and Canada gather in Hangzhou for first time since pandemic

CGTN| Updated: November 17, 2023 L M S

Buddhist communities from China, the United States and Canada are gathering in Hangzhou on Wednesday for their third forum on the ancient spiritual practice. It's also the first in-person meeting between Buddhists from the three countries, since the beginning of the pandemic. Wu Bin has the story. 

Calling for world peace at one of Hangzhou's most famous temples. That's the resounding message from the third China-US-Canada Buddhist Forum, which has attracted over 300 representatives from the three countries.

As the first face-to-face gathering since the pandemic, many say they feel connected, especially given the forum's location, the birthplace of Chinese Buddhism.

MASTER HENGSHI, President, Dharma Realm Buddhist Association of America "These relationships that we share among the monks and nuns, the men and women who follow Buddha, are very deep and very old. We say, when you drink the water, you remember the source. Even though I'm an American, our roots are in China."

WU BIN, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province "The theme of the third edition of the forum is 'tranquil mind, auspicious coexistence'. In simple terms, this means calling for peace in both the inner and outer world. And representatives believe this has particular significance, given the current conflicts around the world."

Some keynote speakers expressed hope that Buddhism could contribute to world peace.

MASTER DAYI, President, Buddhist Association of Canada "The world is quite unstable right now. It needs the compassion and wisdom of Buddhism, reaching the inner peace of individuals, and consequently the peace of the whole world."

During the three-day event, two sub-forums are also being held, focusing on "translation and dissemination of Buddhist scriptures" and "Chan and modern living." The forum has released a declaration, stressing the need to strengthen exchange and cooperation among Buddhist communities from the three countries.

MASTER MINGHAI, Vice President, Buddhist Association of China "Through this forum, we hope to promote exchanges and mutual understanding between Eastern and Western civilizations, and promote the building of a community of shared future in a Buddhist way."

The China-US-Canada Buddhist Forum was initiated by Buddhist associations of the three countries in Toronto, Canada, back in 2017, and the second edition was held at the UN headquarters in New York in 2019. Wu Bin, CGTN, Hangzhou. 

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