Call for Participation, 10th Bodhimitra International Lay Buddhist Forum


Call for Participation – Bodhimitra ILBF

10th International Lay Buddhist Forum

“Practical Buddhism”

Oct. 22-26, 2020

Seoul and Gyeongju,

South Korea

Dear Buddhist friends, academics, and practitioners-cum-scholars,

We are delighted to announce the 10th International Lay Buddhist Forum to be held in Seoul and Gyeongju, South Korea, October 22-26, 2020, organized by the Korean Chongji (총지) order under the guidance of Bodhimitra ILBF president, Dr Hwaling Lee.

The theme of this year’s forum is “Practical Buddhism”.
Under this umbrella, Bodhimitra ILBF aims to collect reflexive perspectives on the application of Buddhist teachings and practices to daily life, social advocacy and welfare (including Socially Engaged and Humanistic 人生 Buddhist perspectives).
In particular, we invite contributions under the following sub-themes

  • Practical Buddhism and Buddhist Modernity: Adaptations, Theories and Trends
  • Buddhist Education: Approaches and Challenges
  • Buddhist Activism: Caring for the World and for Each Other
  • Socially Engaged and Humanistic Buddhism: Practices and Approaches

Participants are welcomed from all Buddhist schools of thought and practice. We particularly encourage the participation of (lay) Buddhist teachers; academics; community leaders; educators; and youth representatives.
As with the previous fora, the 10th forum will bring together Buddhists and scholars from around the globe who want to engage actively with the programme on a shared journey of discovery of—and learning about—Practical Buddhism. Participants will contribute to the discussions, workshops, academic paper panels and round tables. The conference programme will be followed by an immersion programme (“temple stay/tour”).
All aspiring participants should send a short bio and a statement of around 200 words indicating their suggested contribution relating to the forum’s theme “Practical Buddhism”.
Academic contributions should consist of a 200-word paper abstract conforming the usual academic standards.
Buddhist practitioners should send a 200-word reflection. This reflection can consist of an abstract of

  • a suggested contribution to a discussion or workshop topic
  • a Buddhist organisation’s approach to Practical Buddhism
  • an individual motivational statement, e.g. under the heading ‘What does Practical Buddhism mean for me?’
  • a workshop/practice contribution (dharma activity, sharing, meditation etc.)

Please send your proposal to by 1 September 2019.
Acceptance will be communicated by 1 October 2019. Acceptance will be conditional on receipt of the full paper by 1 April 2020.
Style guidelines for the full paper can be found at

Paper submissions have no word limit but would typically be between 5000 and 10000 words.

Please note that the presentations at the Forum will be limited to 15 minutes.
Contributions will be translated into Korean for inclusion in the conference book.
We are currently envisioning that the participation at the forum (accommodation, board and transport within Korea) will either be free or significantly subsidised; we are also working on providing a limited number of international travel grants.
Further details about the programme and the registration will follow in due course.

We hope to see many of you in Korea, Oct 2020!


Bodhimtra –  International Lay Buddhist Forum (ILBF) is an independent lay Buddhist movement that is all-inclusive in membership and outlook. Any individual (lay, clergy, monastic) of a Buddhist organisation supportive of lay Buddhist development and the interaction of lay and monastic/clerical Buddhists are welcome. The movement aims to represent and further the interests and roles of lay Buddhists in the development of local and global Buddhisms in the world today.

Bodhimitra began as a lay Buddhist movement at the “World Lay Buddhist” fora that were held in Seoul annually 2007-2011 and hosted by the Korean Buddhist Chong-ji order (총지종). Renamed “ILBF – International Lay Buddhist Forum”, a changing group of volunteers from various Buddhist organizations continued the fora biannually in Spain, Japan, Indonesia and Thailand.

After the 9th forum the ILBF continues under the name “Bodhimitra – the International Lay Buddhist Forum”. Bodhimitra can be translated as Friends of Enlightenment.

With the 10th anniversary forum, Bodhimitra ILBF returns to Korea.
Bodhimitra’s president, Dr. Hwaling Lee is supported by a new international team of Buddhist academics and practitioners from around the world.

For more Information about the ILBF please see


UPDATED: Call for Participation – 9th International Lay Buddhist Forum

“Lay Buddhists – Roles and Relations: Buddhist Lives of Mindful Transformation”
Dec. 28, 2018 – Jan. 2, 2019
Ayutthaya (อยุธยา), Thailand

(Download flyer here)


Please note the change of dates and location!!!

Dear Buddhist friends and practitioners-cum-scholars,

Following our earlier announcement of the 9th International Lay Buddhist Forum, local circumstances necessitate a change of date.

The ILBF2018 will now be held in Ayutthaya, Thailand, on 28 Dec 2018 – 02 Jan 2019, locally organized by devoted Thai Lay Buddhists.

Programme overview

Accepted participants are asked to arrive by 28 Dec in Bangkok for free airport transfer to Ayutthaya.

Two full days of programme (29-30 Dec) will be followed by two Buddhist immersion days around the beginning of the New Year. Departure will be on 2 January 2019.

The theme of this year’s forum is “Lay Buddhists – Roles and Relations: Buddhist Lives of Mindful Transformation”.

Application process

Participants are welcomed from all Buddhist schools of thought and practice. We particularly encourage the participation of (lay) Buddhist teachers; community leaders; educators; and youth representatives.

However, there is only a limited number of spaces and participation is by successful individual application only. We ask prospect participants to excuse any inconvenience if their application is not successful at this occasion. The decision of the selection committee is final.

The forum will bring together Buddhists from around the globe who want to engage actively with the programme on a shared journey of discovery of and learning about Buddhist transformative life practices. Participants will contribute to the discussions, workshops, and roundtables. A limited amount of academic papers and panels will complement the forum.

All aspiring participants should send a proposal indicating their Buddhist affiliation (if any) and a statement of around 200 words indicating their suggested contribution relating the forum’s theme “Lay Buddhists – Roles and Relations: Buddhist Lives of Mindful Transformation”.

The 200-word submission may consist of

  • a suggested contribution to a discussion topic (example topics below)
  • the presentation of a Buddhist organisation’s approach to transformative lay life
  • an academic paper abstract
  • an individual motivational statement, e.g. under the heading ‘How does Buddhism transform my daily life?
  • a workshop/practice contribution (dharma activity, sharing, meditation etc.)

Topics may include, but are not limited to,

  • Sharing All-day Compassion and Wisdom: Buddhist Ethics and Right Livelihood in Practice
  • Mindful Buddhist Social and Political Engagement
  • Buddhist organisations: Transforming Hearts and Societies
  • Householders, Yogis, Leaders: Inspirational Lay Buddhists and their relevance for Buddhist Life today

Please send your proposal to, with a copy to Ms Kathy Monaco:

In case of further questions, please email (copying

Proposal deadline: March 15, 2018.

ILBF 8: Call For Papers/Participation

Call for Papers, Presentations and Participation


8th International Lay Buddhist Forum (ILBF)

“Caring for the past, safeguarding the future: Buddhism, Heritage and Sustainability”

19 – 23 August 2016

Buddhayana, Padang Sidempuan, North Sumatra, Indonesia


Dear Buddhist friends and scholars of Buddhism,

We are delighted to announce the 8th International Lay Buddhist Forum to be held in Padang Sidempuan, North Sumatra, Indonesia 19 – 23 August 2016.

The 2012 ILB Forum is hosted by the pan-Indonesian Buddhayana community under the guidance of Ven. Xueyuan and the ILBF steering board headed by Dr. Christie Chang (president, Taiwan) and Prof. Dr. B. Scherer (vice-president, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK).

The theme of this year’s forum is “Caring for the past, safeguarding the future: Buddhism, Heritage and Sustainability”

Safeguarding our cultural heritage and environment for future generations is one of the most crucial challenges we are facing in the world today. The 8th ILBF invites participants to discuss the views, activities and challenges of the Buddhist traditions with respect to tending to Buddhist cultural memory, sources and material remains; and with respect to caring for the environment and creating sustainable modes of living as exemplified by, but not limited to, different strands of Socially Engaged Buddhism, Humanistic Buddhism, and self-sufficiency Buddhist movements.

The location of the 8th ILBF – the island of Sumatra, Indonesia – illustrates both the wealth of Buddhist heritage and the environmental challenges we all face.

Known as the Golden Island (suvarnadvipa), Sumatra looks back at a rich Buddhist past. Buddhist scholars and teacher such as Dharmakirti (tib. Serlingpa ‘he, of the Golden Island’) from Sumatra crucially influenced the development of Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna thought and practice. Yet, much of Sumatra’s Buddhist heritage is yet unstudied and vulnerable to further damage and eventual loss.

Similarly, Sumatra see annually recurring environmental catastrophes in the form of deforestation, erosion and, in particular, air pollution through the illegal burning of vegetation for palm-oil farming, which covers every September and October increasingly large parts of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia in toxic clouds. These catastrophes generated by human greed and recklessness are stark reminders of our shared vulnerability and responsibility for the future.

The 8th International Lay Buddhist Forum invites Buddhists and academics to reflect on the role of Buddhism for the protection of our heritage and environment.

Participants are welcomed from all Buddhist traditions and groups and from academia.

We particularly encourage the participation of Buddhist teachers; community leaders; and youth representatives.


Participants from outside academia are encouraged to reflect on questions such as

What does Heritage and Sustainability mean to you as a Buddhist? How does Buddhism inform your views and activities around safeguarding heritage and the environment? How has your own Buddhist practice and identity and/or your Buddhist organisation adapted to the challenges of preserving heritage, caring for the environment and creating a sustainable future? How can Buddhism contribute to cultural and environmental social justice and peace?

Academic participants are encouraged to submit paper proposals in the field of

  • Buddhist archaeology, museology and heritage: Curation, management, and social impact
  • Excavating Buddhist thought for the 21st century
  • EcoBuddhism / Ecologically Engaged Buddhist movements
  • Discourses and practices of sustainability in contemporary Buddhism(s)


All accepted presenters will engage actively with the forum’s programme and contribute a paper and/or a poster presentation. Delegates from Buddhist organisations who wish to participate in the forum’s programme without giving individual presentations, will be encouraged to contribute material to a collective poster or powerpoint presentation about their organisation(s) that will form part of the forum.


Preliminary Programme:

19 Aug: arrival at Padang Sidempuan

20 Aug: Opening and conference

21-22 Aug: Study tour

23 Aug: departure


Academic participants are asked to submit papers to professionally scholarly standards.

Abstract deadline:  Please send a 100-400 word proposal and a short bio by 1 February 2016 to ilbfworld[AT]

Full paper/poster deadline (to facilitate translation into Indonesian/Chinese): 1 June 2016.

Acceptance of participation is conditional until full papers/posters are received.

Send any inquiries and/or your abstract and bio in lieu of application to: ilbfworld[AT]


Cost: 150 USD including transfer from the nearest airport Pinangsori / Dr.Ferdinand Lumban Tobing Airport (FLZ) serviced by Garuda Indonesia and Wings Air (part of Lion Air); board; and accommodation. Excludes any airfares.

About the ILBF

The International Lay Buddhist Forum is an independent lay Buddhist movement that is all-inclusive in membership and outlook. Any lay or ordained individuals or members of lay or monastic organizations who are supportive of lay Buddhist development and interaction of lay and monastic members are welcome. The movement aims to represent and further the interests and roles of lay Buddhists in the development of Buddhism in modern day world.


The International Lay Buddhist Forum began as a lay Buddhist movement at the first world Lay Buddhist Forum, held in Seoul in 2007. The forum was hosted by the Chongji Order with the support of the Association of Korean Buddhist Orders. Similar events have been held annually since then. The annual event has been attended by lay Buddhists and monastics from various countries in Asia, Europe and North America. At each forum, participants voiced the need for the existence of a lay organisation to serve its interests, and play a role in a healthy development of Buddhism in the modern world. This voice became stronger, louder and clearer at each succeeding Lay Buddhist Forum. This gave rise to the idea of establishing an international lay Buddhist movement. Because of its international participation and global outlook, it needed to form an international structure. A new constitution was adapted in October 2011

Guiding Philosophy of ILBF

ILBF is a wholly independent lay Buddhist movement, representing the interests and roles of lay Buddhists and lay Buddhists only, not the lineages or traditions or orders or organisations of the members.

While ILBF membership may include members from various Buddhist organisations, and its activities may be hosted and/or supported by particular organisations or individuals, ILBF is independent of them and does not represent their teachings or values.

Previous Forums

The first five Lay Buddhist Forums were held in Seoul, South Korea hosted by the Chongji Buddhist Order with support from the Association of Korean Buddhist Orders and the government of South Korea. The sixth ILBF was held in 2012 Malaga, Spain hosted by the cultural association Karma Guen (Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism); the seventh ILB was held in 2014 Tokyo, hosted by the Rishō Kōssei Kai (立正交成会).


Steering Committee

The Steering Committee of ILBF consists of six persons:

Chairperson: Dr Christie Y-L Chang (Taiwan)

Vice Chairperson: Prof. Dr. B. Scherer (UK)

Acting Secretary-Treasurer: Kathy Monaco (UK)

Members: Prof. em. Dr. Franz Gschwind (Germany), Dr. Jong-in Kim (South Korea);

Honorary Chairperson: Dr. Hwaling Lee (South Korea)

Honorary members: Dr Gene Reeves (Japan/US); Bhikkhuni Bodhi (Dr. Sue-Lian Bong; Malaysia/Thailand)