From October 5 to 9, the 2023 BLIA World Headquarters General Conference with the theme, “Coexistence and Coprosperity” took place at Fo Guang Shan. This year’s conference was the first in-person General Conference after the COVID-19 pandemic and the passing of Fo Guang Shan Founder Venerable Master Hsing Yun. 2,500 people from 110 chapters in nearly 50 regions joined the conference, breaking attendance records.
On October 5, the 5th Meeting of the Seventh Board of Directors was held, and in the morning of October 6, the Flag-raising Ceremony and Opening Ceremony were held at the Tathagata Auditorium. Two newly established chapters were certified at the opening ceremony; the establishment of BLIA Dubai, UAE signifies BLIA’s entrance into the Middle East, and BLIA Maharashtra, India was successfully re-established.
Award ceremony for the Three Acts of Goodness International Microfilm Contest was also held, the contest theme, “Wabi-Sabi” attracted 3,146 entries from over 120 regions, including French and Syria, also setting a new participation record, and 67 of the entries were selected for final assessment.
On October 6, BLIA World Headquarters President Most Venerable Hsin Bau delivered the conference keynote speech, “Coexistence and Coprosperity.” Venerable Master Hsing Yun promoted peace throughout his life, having spoken on differences within similarity, but from differences we need not seek for similarities.
Subjects for the October 7 Humanistic Buddhism Workshops included the promotion of charitable endeavors, training for Humanistic Buddhism Speakers and study group facilitators, reciting the Buddha’s name, meditation, vegetarian cooking, and cellphone photography. Attendees took away much knowledge through the sharing of experience and observation.
“Reading the Complete Works of Venerable Master Hsing Yun” session included an introduction to the twelve categories, reflections, and the formulation of a reading plan. Other programs for the conference included motion discussion and BLIA affairs development. It was resolved that the 2024 BLIA 6th Meeting of the Seventh Board of Directors would be held in Japan, while a Full Ordination Ceremony would be conducted in India with the date to be determined.
October 8 was dedicated to a memorial tribute to Venerable Master Hsing Yun. Under the gaze of the Venerable Master’s statue, BLIA members shared how the Venerable Master influenced their lives, offering their various distinguished achievements with all the honor belonging to the Venerable Master. At the tribute concert, performers offered Buddhist hymns and Sounds of the Human World songs with lyrics penned by the Venerable Master himself, forming a heart-to-heart connection with him through music.
At the Joint Discussion and Closing Ceremony on October 9, BLIA World Headquarters Buddha’s Light Translator Evaluation Committee and Buddha’s Light Translators were certified. In the afternoon, a Triple Gem Refuge and Five Precepts ceremony was conducted at the Main Shrine for overseas BLIA members.