A first Resumee

After more than 2h bus ride we arrived in a hotel and it’s noisy outside since.
It seams that Vodafone cut my services, that’s why the stick won’t work and my phone is not working as well. I don’t really understand why, so I have to wait until Wednesday so that I can check it out.

That was the most interesting conference I ever attended. Papers were not only dry academic, but reflected experience and practice in different countries. Most interesting was the panel discussion yesterday, which showed a gap between Theravada or maybe better to say Buddhism as it was established by Buddhagosha especially in the South of India and Mahayana. I also learnt that this split shows not only in general teaching, but even in the language used. In Theravada Pali is the lingua sancta and old Mahayana scriptures are all written in Sanskrit. Of course this reflects in practice, as well. The Theravada-people mostly practice Samatha and Vipassana and the practice focuses on the partitioner, whereas in Mahayana practice is done for the benefit of all sentient beings and the variety of meditation practice is wide, lasting from mindful breathing to visualisation in connection with mudras and mantras as it’s done in Vajarayana. I always looked on Theravada as a part of Mahayana, as well as Vajrayana extends Mahayana in my eyes, so the wish for building bridges between the two surprised me to some degree.
Interestingly in Vietnam a “national Sangha” is established, which tries to unity all 3 vehicles common there. I still don’t understand how.
The monks coming from Burma, explaining their own way and their courages and compassionate reply to the regime in their country really impressed me deeply.

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