Mindfulness in action: Buddhist Responses to Capitalism and Consumerism
Prof. Bee Scherer, PhD (Canterbury Christ Church University)
Mr. Jeff Waistell (Oxford Brookes University)
This presentation engages with Buddhist critiques of capitalism and consumerism; and it challenges the capitalist appropriations of Buddhist techniques. Scherer & Waistell show how Buddhist modernism and Marxism/socialism can align, and how Engaged Buddhism spawns egalitarian, socially revolutionary impulses for sustainability and ecological responsibility within the framework of Buddhist thought and mindfulness traditions.
The example of the Thai Asoke community exemplifies Buddhist communal mindfulness-in-action and shows how communal principles can operate in such work-based communities.
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.
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]gmail.com.
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]gmail.com
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.
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).
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)