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October 2012

The International Buddhist Conclave in India

 

In September I was invited to participate in the International Buddhist Conclave in India, a gathering of about 134 people (mostly Buddhist monks) from, I believe, about 33 countries.  The purpose of the event was to help Buddhists appreciate the important pilgrimage sites in India.  I was the only Christian clergyperson in the group and one of only a handful of people from the U.S.  I was adopted into a group of monks from Thich Nhat Hanh’s communities. Attending the Conclave with them made the experience even richer.  I ate meals with them, meditated with them and visited sites with them.  We were joined by Shantum Seth, a remarkable man who leads pilgrimages in India.  Shantum is Buddhist and is a student of Thich Nhat Hana.  He took us on some private, extra tours.

I arrived in Delhi on Thursday, September 27.   They took us to some World Heritage sites in Delhi (not Buddhist sites), before we left for Varanasi, where the conclave would be held, on Friday.   Here are some pictures: