Dear friends of INEB, This is the first issue of Seeds of Peace for 2023 and along with it we send our best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year! INEB’s 20th International Conference in Korea was a very joyous and happy occasion. It was a time to renew friendships, enjoy the Jungto Society’s peaceful contemplative mountain retreat center in Mungyeong, then stay at their new center in Seoul before returning home. We are most grateful to Venerable Pomnyun and his staff of the Jungto Society for graciously and generously hosting this conference which provided a variety of diverse and unique experiences, including visiting temples, walking in the mountains and a farm, offering a message and meditating at the Dorasan Observatory in the DMZ, as well as time in Seoul. Please read the INEB section which highlights INEB’s conference presentations and activities.
Plans are underway to celebrate Ajarn Sulak Sivaraksa’s 90th birthday on March 27. As part of the birthday activities, a book, titled Nine Decades of Friendship, will be ready for distribution in March. Many friends will attend the event honoring his life at the Siam Society in Bangkok. Please read the interesting updates about INEB’s projects including the Sangha for Peace, the community campaigns to reduce the demand for wildlife products, our participation at the international launch of a toolkit for nurturing the spiritual development of children during their early years that contributes to protecting children from violence and supporting their holistic wellbeing, and the first international gathering of women peace builders in Thailand. We also have stories of 4 families in Afghanistan that benefited from receiving food and other assistance.
Our close friend, Ng Shui Meng, gave an inspiring and heartfelt talk called Transformative Education for Social Justice at the 28th Annual Sem Pringpaungkeo public lecture on February 4. This issue also has articles on a Buddhist response to climate change, and an interview with the author Elisabeth Benard on her book titled Uncovering the Hidden World of Tibetan
Female Lamas. Our close friend Matteo Pistono shares insights in his review of the recent book by Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari titled The Dalai Lama’s Special Envoy: Memoirs of a Lifetime in Pursuit of a Reunited Tibet. We also acknowledge the passing of several friends. Lastly, we are in the planning stages for INEB’s joint meeting of our Advisory and Executive Committees in Yogayakarta, Indonesia, November 21 – 23, and look forward to seeing some of you there.