Buddhist Youth Conferences

I was looking over Dharma Forest and on the top was a mention of the recent DRBY conference. Back when I was in college, we had always hoped to make a national Buddhist youth conference. I did attend one, in fact, for the Student Buddhist Network in Boston.

The SBN conference was a tradition that died before it took off. The conference was not really national (I was the only one not from the Northeast), not well planned (I remember spending the night in the Brandeis University library) and no one really stayed in touch afterwards (although I did get to meet Sumi Loundon). Anyway, running across this site made me begin to wonder about what’s going on with Buddhist student groups across the country. Are there conferences going on that I’m completely unaware of?

I couldn’t find many. I found a few conferences overseas, including Mitra (Australia), and ANZBYC (Australia & New Zealand). There was also ARBYC (Hong Kong), but that looks like it was really for kids. Too far for me.

In the US, I know of few such recurring conferences. One of the biggest conference organizers is the Buddhist Churches of America, the Shin Buddhist group. At least of a year ago, their Young Buddhist Association (YBA) was headed by Rev Fumiaki Usuki (or just Rev U). There is also the conference of Gia Định Phật Tử Việt Nam (Vietnamese Buddhist Family) held every year, but needless to say, it’s oriented towards Vietnamese. Aside from these two organizations, the only one I know of is DRBY.

It’s a bit sad to look at all these conferences, and then realize that I don’t really fit in. For one, these are all Mahayana Buddhist conferences. I doubt they’d ever reject me, but I really lean more towards the Theravada. Plus, I’m not really Japanese or Vietnamese either (maybe DRBY is the safe bet then).

If anything, I’m really looking for a conference that has a more general Buddhist theme to it: ‘What does it mean to be a Buddhist American?’ I guess I’m looking for something like an Asian American student conference, but for Buddhists. I’m still interested in the same questions as ever. Where do you go to temple? Where can I buy a cheap zafu? (Or show me how to make one!) Of course, I most want to know about other people’s questions and stories.

Guess this means I won’t be going to any conferences soon, but do write me a little note if you know of any that I didn’t mention here.

5 Replies to “Buddhist Youth Conferences”

  1. Dear Friend in Dhamma,

    I’m a Buddhist Monk from Sri Lanka, temporarily staying in Malayia for study. I like to join with u for the lot of charities and conference that you are organizing. If u have application form please send to my e- mail..

    Thank u….May tha Buddha’s Bless u

    Rev. A. Yasassi

    I can teach meditation for the people..bz I lived in fores temple to practice Meditation in Sri Lanka..

  2. With great respect, I am Korean Buddhist Monk writing from Korean Buddhism Jogye Order Bubheung SA Temple, South Korea. Bubheungsa is my temple name, where I’ll stay and practice in Mahayana Buddhism, Bubheungsa is one of the 5th Jewel temple in Korea enshrined Buddha’s ashes and is the prayer and blessing temple for seeking sentient beings well being and happiness. It is wisdom temple to blossom sentient beings wish and craving for Buddha’s Epiphany.
    Buddhism has continued for more than 2,550 years and has undergone various changes. Through its long history of development, Buddhism divided into a variety of major schools; these were gradually integrated into the two main traditions of Theravada and Mahayana. Although there are some different in their external practices such as rituals and ceremonies, both Theravada and Mahayana equally right to call themselves “Buddhists.” This is because the main teachings of the Buddha are still preached and practiced in both these traditions. So I have also study, meditation and also attended many Buddhist conferences in Thailand, Japan, India, Taiwan, China, Srilanka and German practice here in Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism. And also you know that, I’ve finished Master’s Degree program {English med.} in Thailand subject in Buddhism.
    So, I want to participate and developing our Buddhism, thoughts and culture and the need to promote exchange have become the most important factor for achieving the brotherhood of man and world harmony. For this reason, I have visited your web side and I have been delighted to see its very beautiful conference programs. Nowadays, I keenly enthusiasm to spend a few days participate your conference. If you assist us then I could visit Buddhist Pilgrims and practice Buddhism and also meditation with Dharma brother.
    I expect that you would never refuse my request. I am looking forward to your kind response in the Metta. With great desire you will write me freely, please don’t be hesitated to write us.
    May all being be happy and free from sufferings.
    May Lord Buddha Always Bless You.
    Ven. Dharmadarshi Bhikkshu

  3. Dear Sir, I am a Buddhist Monk in CHT in Bangladesh.and I am first Chakma Buddhist Monk Ph.D. holder in Chakma Community at Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh. I wish to Join upcoming any Buddhist Conference.

  4. Namo Buddhaya…………
    Dear Arunlikhati

    I read your article that what you have wrote as above and I understood your taught.Hope u have idea about Buddhism which can be practiced in two ways MAHAYANA and THERAVADA,well’ to achieve knowledge of Buddhism and spread Buddhism it would be the matter of time .As I am Buddhist monk and completed my graduation in Buddhist studies i will suggest you to arrange a seminar in your country,Inviting some well experienced Buddhist Monk from around the world.
    Hope this suggestion may work you to achieve your questions, answers if u do so
    may all living beings in the world be happy

    Ven.Progha Nanda Bhikkhu

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