Day Two, 6th Khoryug Conference

6th Khoryug Conference
Day Two Report
14 November, 2015

Delegates met together today to delve into the details of Khoryug monasteries and nunneries’ work within and between India, Nepal and Bhutan. In the morning, the attendees heard reports from the Northeast and Northwest regions of India on the successes of their monastery or nunnery and the challenges they have faced. They then heard from Damaris Miller, a recent graduate of Princeton University, who gathered information about Khoryug in Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim during the summer of 2014. She presented highlights from her findings, as well as those from the research of two Yale graduate students that was conducted in the spring of 2015. Together, these findings echoed much of the discussion that monastics were having already, noting the crucial influence from His Holiness the Karmapa in initiating environmental work. The presentation used both quantitative and qualitative findings to illustrate how much monasteries and nunneries have accomplished as well as specific areas that have proved challenging.

In the latter part of the morning, the delegation was honored with a visit from His Holiness the Karmapa. His Holiness spoke to the representatives extensively and gave input as to how the organization should move forward. Tapping his hand to his heart repeatedly, he emphasized the importance of having a personal and emotional connection to the environment; without truly feeling the central role the environment plays in all of our lives we cannot make a lasting and genuine commitment. He pointed out that although our desires are limitless, our resources are extremely finite. Ultimately the necessary work that Khoryug strives to achieve cannot be carried out by only a few people but requires the effort and cooperation of every monastery and nunnery.

His Holiness further spoke about specific initiatives like creating natural disaster rescue teams within monasteries and nunneries that have received proper training and can be deployed at any time. He also recommended using internet resources like messaging apps as a way to maintain contact between different monasteries and nunneries spread out within and among three countries.

In the afternoon, delegates met in their regional groups to discuss in detail four different themes that will structure the future of Khoryug – Implementation, Communication, Coordination, and Organization. In the case of implementation, monastics discussed how Khoryug monasteries and nunneries could be most effective in their environmental projects such as waste management, tree plantation and solar electricity. With regards to communication they discussed how to better facilitate communication between monasteries and nunneries within each country as well as between countries, including the use of internet platforms such as Internet, Facebook, and Khoryug’s website. Similarly, representatives discussed how to best coordinate across distance and borders. Finally, delegates considered what the role of Khoryug should be as an organization to facilitate these efforts. The day concluded with a debriefing from each group and the presentation of numerous excellent ideas for how the work of Khoryug can be strengthened and extended into the years ahead.


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