Buddhist network's annual conference opens in Taoyuan

CNA, Aug 31, 2007

Taoyuan, Taiwan -- The International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB), a self-governing group of Buddhists from more than 20 countries, will open its annual conference in Taoyuan County today.

Nearly 100 delegates from around the world will attend the conference at the Buddhist Hongshi College in Kuanyin Township. Delegates from 17 countries are attending this year's meeting, including Japanese, South Koreans, Thais, Vietnamese, Indians, Nepalese, Australians, Americans and Chinese.

Shih Chao-hwei, a professor of religion at Hsuan Chuang University in Hsinchu, is the chairperson of the INEB organizing committee for the conference. She and Sulak Sivaraksa, a cofounder of the INEB, will jointly present a keynote speech on "Kukkha and Its Cause" in the session tomorrow.

Tomorrow and Sunday the delegates will discuss topics ranging from the perpetuation of suffering, Buddhism and consumerism and socially engaged Buddhism to spiritually engaged Buddhism and Dana: Social welfare or social transformation.

From Monday to Thursday the delegates will visit major Buddhist establishments around the country, including Dharma Drum Mountain, Hsuan Chuang University, Fo Guang Shan, Tzu Chi Buddhist Hospital and the Museum of World Religions.

The INEB was founded in 1989 by a group of Buddhist thinkers and social activists in Thailand. It focuses on peace, human rights, gender issues, spirituality-based development and interfaith dialogue.