Amazing Experience—a Marathon Symposium

Reflections on Chiang Mai Symposium 2015

Andrew Winton(UK)


WOW!! What a full four days conference.

At the outset, my first reaction on entering the conference hall was “I’m in the wrong place”–“this is not meant for a guy like me”.It was a symposium for young, intelligent people who were primarily Chinese. I don’t qualify on all counts !

Despite being a square peg in a round hole, everyone was very kind and understanding, and made me feel welcome, so thank you Jing, Yin, Xu, Mingming, Bert, and all the delegates I met.

My second and overriding impression was about the symposium itself. It was a very professionally orchestrated event, and does credit to the organisers and staff.

Some papers were a little difficult to follow, but I achieved my goals of understanding a bit more about Buddhist beliefs. There were many common aspects of Buddhist life that matches my own beliefs. Items on prayer, meditation, caring, sharing one’s beliefs, assisting, coaching and teaching, all similar to the kind of life I strive to live.

The need to train and channel one’s mind, came over as the key to achieving progress as Buddhists. Also, how the mind can influence the body, in either a good or negative way. Tibetan Buddhism seems to be introspective, although this is possibly due to the theme of the symposium.

Over the five days I was continually aware of my personal spiritual being, which transcends body and mind. The symposium actually strengthened my “soul” or spirit.

Near the end of the symposium, I was greatly moved at the graciousness of Khenpo Sodargye Rinpoche, as he invited me to chat for a few minutes together. His blend of humbleness, kindness, and unassuming nature, made an impression on me as it must have on the majority of the delegates.

With my grateful thanks again for the opportunity to be a delegate.

Andrew Winton






起初,我刚进入会场时的第一反应是:我来错地方了。—— 这不适合像我这样的人。这个研讨会是给年轻有为的人开的,而且大多数是中国人,从各方面来讲我都不符合这里。

尽管我显得格格不入,但是每个人都是那么和善、宽容,让我感到倍受欢迎。感谢Jing, Yin, Xu, Mingming, Bert, 以及我遇到的所有参会者。


大会的有些论文对于我来说理解有些困难,但是我达成了我的目标,就是对佛教教义有了更深层次的理解。佛教的很多理念与我自身的信仰有共同之处。祈祷、禅修、关爱、分享自己的信仰、帮助、指导和传播,所有这些都与我努力希望达到的生活状态类似 。


五天的时间里,我不断意识到我的个人心灵安适,它超越了身体和内心。研讨会真正增强了我的“灵魂”或者说是精神 。