Opening Ceremony of the 2014 International Conference of East Asian Buddhist Thought and Culture. Khyentse Foundation representative Kris Yao gave a talk. Photo by Roger Lo.

Opening Ceremony of the 2014 International Conference of East Asian Buddhist Thought and Culture. Khyentse Foundation representative Kris Yao gave a talk. Photo by Roger Lo.

(Taipei, Taiwan) — More than a hundred scholars and specialists in Buddhist studies from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and Singapore attended the 2014 International Conference of East Asian Buddhist Thought and Culture, organized by Center for Buddhist Studies of National Taiwan University, from October 31 through November 2, 2014. Khyentse Foundation was one of the co-sponsors of the conference, at which 90 papers were presented.

Kris Yao, representing Khyentse Foundation, gave a short talk at the opening ceremony, sharing KF’s purpose and goal with the conference participants. KF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and enhancing Buddhist study, practice, and scholarship throughout the world. Kris mentioned two major foci of KF’s activities: Nurturing the source, including monastic education, text preservation, revitalizing Buddhist traditions, and translation projects; and training for the future, including scholarships, leadership and teacher training, Buddhist education, and academia initiatives. Since 2001, KF has supported study and practice in Buddhism in more than 30 countries, offering grants amounting to US$20 million. Through Kris’s concise and powerful presentation, the conference participants learned about KF and its vision.

In another highlight of the opening ceremony, Khyentse Foundation bestowed the first KF Award for Outstanding PhD Dissertation in Buddhist Studies (Asia). This award will be conferred biennially on the best dissertation in Buddhist studies written in China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan. The 2013-2014 award winner is Dr. Chao Tung-Ming, of the Department of Philosophy, National Taiwan University, for his dissertation, “A Study of Fundamental Transformation in the Cheng Weishi Lun and Kuiji’s Commentaries.” KF board members Angie Tsai and Kris Yao awarded Dr. Chao a certificate and a US$5,000 scholarship.

Dr. Chao presented his abridged dissertation at the conference. He thanked Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and KF’s encouragement, and said, “I will try my best to learn and follow the spirit of all the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, masters, and patriarchs, as well as the perseverance of all my teachers and friends. I will keep devoting myself to the Buddhist studies, wishing I could contribute to the society and benefit all sentient beings. May the merits be dedicated to the flourishing of three jewels, to the peacefulness and happiness of all sentient beings, to the abundance and prosperity for the people of Chinese-speaking communities, and to the peace of the world. ”

Dr. Chao Tung-Ming, winner of the 2014 KF Award for Outstanding PhD Dissertation in Buddhist Studies, with KF presenters. (Left to Right: Stephanie Lai, Chou Su-Ching, Angie Tsai, Chao Tung-Ming, Kris Yao.) Photo by Roger Lo.

Dr. Chao Tung-Ming, winner of the 2014 KF Award for Outstanding PhD Dissertation in Buddhist Studies, with KF presenters. (Left to Right: Stephanie Lai, Chou Su-Ching, Angie Tsai, Chao Tung-Ming, Kris Yao.) Photo by Roger Lo.