On Saturday 19 August, Nalanda Institute Malaysia coorganised a seminar themed ‘Face to Face & Heart to Heart’ featuring Venerable Wei Wu, the abbot of Than Hsiang Temple. The seminar aimed to clear commonly-held misconceptions about ‘Chinese Buddhism’, and to allow for a discussion on contemporary issues affecting the Malaysian Buddhist community.
Than Hsiang Foundation was the main organiser of the dialogue, which was moderated by Editor of Eastern Horizon Bro. Benny Liow, and hosted by former Director of Nalanda Institute Achariya Vijaya Samarawickrama. Nalanda founder Bro. Tan, Nalanda Institute Director Achariya Tan Siang Chye, and a dozen other Nalandians, were among the 450 people who participated in the seminar.
The gathering provided an opportunity for English-speaking Buddhists in the Klang Valley to know more about Chinese Buddhist beliefs and practices, which Ven. Wei Wu made it a point to mention, is not exactly the same as Mahāyāna Buddhism. Over the centuries, the Chinese have incorporated many unique traditions that differ from how Mahāyāna was originally practised in India.
Bro. Tan in his closing speech applauded the efforts of Ven. Wei Wu and Than Hsiang Foundation to organise the seminar, which certainly helped foster inter-sectarian understanding and unity among Malaysian Buddhists. Nalanda Institute was also honoured to be among a dozen coorganisers of this programme which included the Theravada and Vajrayana Buddhist Councils. Sadhu anumodana!