The II International Buddhist Forum will become a platform for discussing ecology and a healthy lifestyle

The topics of ecology and a healthy lifestyle will be discussed at the II International Buddhist Forum "Traditional Buddhism and Modern Challenges", which will be held in Ulan-Ude from August 12 to 14. Alexey Tsydenov, the Head of Buryatia, supported the proposal to create separate panel discussions on these topics on May 14 during a meeting on forum preparation.

According to Alexey Maslov, the director of the Foundation for the Promotion of Buddhist Education and Research, the Institute of Asian and African Countries, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, the topics of environmental protection, healthy lifestyle and how Buddhist consciousness affects the development of positive thinking are of great interest to Chinese and Indian delegations.

‒ We suggest discussing the trends of healthy lifestyle and meditation. We plan to discuss basic issues with the international community. First, we will consider the issue of healthy lifestyle, the second issue is ecology, Lake Baikal and the impact of Buddhist aspects on the ecology: this topic was actually included by the request of our Chinese and Indian colleagues. We plan to discuss how Buddhism philosophy helps to change attitudes towards environmental protection approaches, Alexey Maslov said.

Sergey Lepekhov, Chief Researcher at the Institute of Mongolian Studies, Buddhology and Tibetology of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, noted that the research community is interested in making environmental issues and the influence of Buddhism on them one of the key topics of the upcoming forum.

‒ In our research, we noticed that Buddhism influenced the attitude to ecology and laid down an important rule in people's mentality ‒ the rule of conservation and preservation in its original form. For example, understanding economy in relation to the environment in the Mongolian and Buryat people's minds is radically different from the western ideas. In many Buddhist countries, ecological traditions are well-developed, nowadays Buddhist countries are not trying to change natural processes in order to get more benefits for their economies, as western countries do, Sergei Lepekhov said.

The first forum was held in Buryatia on August 17-19, 2023. It brought together more than 600 representatives of many governmental, scientific and educational institutions, religious organizations and associations, including participants from 13 foreign countries – China, India, Nepal, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Czech Republic, Laos, Bhutan, Cambodia and the Republic of Belarus.

The forum is organized by the Government of the Republic of Buryatia, the Foundation for the Promotion of Buddhist Education and Research, the Buddhist Traditional Sangha of Russia with the support of the President of Russia, the Government of Russia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.