Change of Dates for the 10th Bodhimitra International Lay Buddhist Forum in South-Korea – Now 14-18 October 2020

Please note that due to a necessary venue change, the dates for the 10th forum in Korea have been changed to 14 to 18 October 2020.

The previous posts have been updated with the correct dates.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Korea in 2020.

The Bodhimitra ILBF Team.

Extended Deadline, 1 October 2019: Call for Participation, 10th Bodhimitra International Lay Buddhist Forum

Extended deadline: 1 October 2019


Call for Participation – Bodhimitra ILBF

10th International Lay Buddhist Forum

“Practical Buddhism”

Oct. 14-18, 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 14-18, 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 October 2019.
Acceptance will be communicated by 1 November 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


Statement from the Chongji order

Dear ILBF/Bodhimitra friends!

We are sad to see that confusing messages have been sent. A few former ILBF volunteers have decided to go against Buddhist ways of behavior and they are trying to spread misinformation about ILBF.

We can assure you that there was no hijacking of websites; however, there was simply a change in volunteers. This was necessary due to the behavior of a few previous volunteers (including some who give themselves officially-sounding titles). We have unsuccessfully tried to reach out to this disgruntled group but, unfortunately, they continue their misinformation.  Please note that the website, Facebook page and associated email addresses are genuinely under ILBF – now Bodhimitra – directed under Master Hwaling with the full support of the Chongji order. You can ignore any miscommunications from others.

We want to remind and reassure you: ILBF was initiated by the Chongji order; while ecumenical and independent, the Chongji order and Master Hwaling always have been the founding facilitators of the WLBF/ILBF/Bodhimitra project. After the difficulties that arose with organizing the 9th ILBF in Thailand, Master Hwaling and the Chongji order decided that it was necessary to work with a new group of volunteers for the 10th forum.

Please note ILBF was always just a group of volunteer/friends working for Lay Buddhists worldwide. The group gave itself an international steering board in 2011 but the then-envisioned working modus of the board was already abandoned in 2014 as unworkable; volunteers managed to continue the meetings since then informally.

The Chongji order has always retained its intellectual and spiritual founding rights to what was first called World Lay Buddhist Forum (then ILBF; now Bodhimitra) and there is a consistent stream of agreement since 2012 that the Chongji order as the founding and supporting organization will bring the ILBF (now Bodhimitra – ILBF) back to South Korea for its 10th anniversary (ILBF Bodhimitra 2020 Call for Participation:

This is also what Master Hwaling was asked to do in Thailand.

We do believe in Buddhist conduct according to the five śīlas and encourage everyone to abstain from lying, ill-will, and from the sowing of dissent and mistrust.

WLBF/ILBF/Bodhimitra was not set up for the vanity, power, or the financial interest of a few individuals but to serve the interests of Lay Buddhists globally.

We hope you will continue to support Bodhimitra – ILBF in its aims and objectives.

All good wishes,

Chongji order

Bodhimitra five śīla (ethical principles)

* I will not kill or harm any life.

* I will not retain what is not given rightfully, nor will I take away others’ possessions.

* I will respect the sexual rights and happiness of others.

* I will not lie, nor use harsh or harmful words.

* I will avoid using substances that harm my body and mind.

Bodhimitra ILBF Aims and Objectives

Living Buddhism and leading a Buddhist life
We follow Buddha’s teachings and apply them to our everyday life in order to increase everyone’s happiness and wellbeing, beyond mere theories and ideals.

Practical Buddhism, Buddhism in daily Life, Buddhism for the benefit of all
We apply the teachings of the Buddha to real life and practice them in order to gain peace of mind, develop wisdom, and make human society peaceful and beautiful.

Responsibilities of lay Buddhists for the role of the holy Sangha
Lay Buddhists form the majority of Buddhists worldwide and hold the most important position within the fourfold community and the holy Sangha, in order to spread the Buddha’s teaching in a modern, useful way.

Internationalization of Buddhism
Through the Bodhimitra organization, we aim to strengthen ties among Buddhists of all branches and affiliations and exchange information so that humanistic and Engaged Buddhism may become a main influence in leading humankind to world peace and reconnecting people to altruism and spirituality.