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World Lay Buddhist Forum Opens

By Lee Hyo-won, The Korea Times, Oct 23, 2009

Pyeongchang, South Korea -- The third session of the World Lay Buddhist Forum began Tuesday and will continue through Oct. 26 in Seoul and Woljeong Temple in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province.

Some 30 lay Buddhist leaders, householders and academic experts on the subject from 14 countries are taking part of the event.

This year's central theme is the relationship between lay Buddhism and engaged Buddhism. Eleven leaders will lead the forum in subtopics including ``Basic Theories of Lay Buddhism,'' ``Lay Buddhist and Related Buddhist Organizations,'' ``Buddhism in Korea, India and Tibet'' and ``Buddhism and Society.''

The discussion topics are built around questions that were raised in its previous editions. The 2007 forum delved into the role of lay Buddhists in contemporary society while last year's session raised topics such as the philosophy of lay Buddhism, lay Buddhist leaders since the 19th century, and ways and reasons for which practitioners all over the world can cooperate.

Following the seminar, a temple stay program at Woljeong Temple is underway through today to introduce newcomers to local Buddhist practice. Participants will also have a chance to learn about Korean culture and traditions through a tour Sunday of the Gangneung area, including historical sites and museums.

``The forum will help lay Buddhists around the world to form a network and integrate lay Buddhism into everyday life,'' spiritual director Hyogang was quoted as saying in a statement.

For more information call (02)552-1080 or visit laybuddhistforum.ning.com (English).

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