On October 26th and 27th, 2010 the Conservancy for Tibetan Art and Culture and Gandan Thegchen Choling Monastery hosted the First International Conference on the Future of Mongolian Buddhism. In an historic gathering, 200 lamas, religious leaders and scholars from Mongolia, Tibet, Bhutan, Russia, Italy and the U.S. gathered at Gandan Monastery’s Zanabazar Buddhist University in Ulan Bataar, Mongolia to confer on the state of Buddhism in Mongolia, and the impact of the re-emergence of Buddhist culture on contemporary Mongolian society.
The Conservancy sponsored the participation of the conference’s distinguished foreign guests, including Mongolian scholars, Tibetan lamas and Himalayan Buddhists, coming together for the first time, to look at the state of Buddhism in modern Mongolia from a variety of perspectives, including:
· Buddhism in Mongolia: Past, Present and Future
· Buddhism and Mongolia’s Unique Cultural Heritage
· Mongolia’s role in the development and spread of Buddhism
· Encounters between Modernity and Traditional Mongolian Buddhist Culture
· Role of Buddhism in Contemporary Mongolian Society
· Social Engagement in Contemporary Mongolian Society
· Buddhism’s Encounter with Modern Science
· Buddhism and Protection of the Environment
· Buddhism and the Role of Women in Contemporary Mongolian Society
Important Tibetan scholars such as H.E. Ganden Tripa Rinpoche, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Gelek Rinpoche and others participated in panel discussions on topics relevant to 21st Century Buddhist culture. Participants stressed the need for continued discussion and collaboration amongst the followers of all Tibetan Buddhist traditions.
They also agreed that Buddhist monasteries should make more effort on behalf of the lay community through social welfare projects and the teaching of basic Buddhist thought.