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Changed dates:“THE WAY TO HAPPINESS” The Seventh World Youth Buddhist Symposium
Publisher: Date:2017-01-09 View:16407

March 3, 2017

The Word Youth Buddhist Society (WYBS) and the organizers of the symposium jointly decidedto postpone the Seventh World Youth Buddhist Symposium by two days to July 30 through August 2 (four days). The symposium was originally scheduled for July 27 to 30. Please note that all the other aspects of the symposium remain unchanged.

We greatly appreciate the high level of interest and engagement from registered participants across the world. Meanwhile we apologize for any inconvenience that this date change may have caused. For the unregistered participant, please complete and submit your application form in a timely manner (the deadline is April 9)

We are looking forward to seeing you all in Chiang Mai this summer!


The World Youth Buddhist Society (WYBS)

Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University of Thailand        

         Chiang Mai, Thailand

July 30 through August 2, 2017


Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University of Thailand      

World Youth Buddhist Society  


The Center for the Study of Chan Buddhism and Human Civilization, The Chinese University of Hong Kong 

The Buddhist Society, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University


“Happiness is the best, noblest, and most pleasant thing in the world”, according to Aristotle. We all want it. We all crave it. We all strive for it.  “The pursuit of happiness” is held to be an inalienable right in the American Declaration of Independence; Bhutan has championed the measurement of gross national happiness (GNH) and the United Nations started to celebrate the International Day of Happiness in 2013. But, what exactly is happiness and how do you obtain it? People have agonized over these questions for centuries.

People have always been searching for happiness. Some think that happiness is about feeling good, so they pursue it through hedonic experiences, career advancement, wealth accumulation and self-aggrandizement; others think happiness is about being good, so they pursue it through social connection, self-actualization, virtuous endeavor and altruistic conduct. There is fairly clear evidence that we are lurching towards a “global happiness epidemic”. Self-help books and seminars on happiness, as well as unhappiness, are growing at a rate never seen before; Psychologists, psychotherapists, life coaches, social workers and spiritual leaders bombard us daily, on television and internet, in magazines and newsfeed, with advice on how to be happier. However, the reality is that human happiness is not increasing but diminishing by leaps and bounds, as revealed by growing concerns regarding the alarmingly earlier onset of depression, the rapidly deteriorating ecological crisis, the excessive desire for wealth and the serious decline in moral ethics and values. It seems that we are trapped in a vicious cycle, whereby the more we try to find happiness, the more we suffer. Thus, we may have greatly deviated from the way to happiness. So, what is genuine happiness and how can one be truly happy?

This interfaith conference is inviting renowned academic researchers and influential spiritual leaders to reflect on “happiness” topics such as mind exploration, ecological coexistence and Buddhism in Life. The program of the conference includes interfaith dialogues, keynote speeches, flash talks, discussion panels, meditation sessions, group discussions and a sightseeing tour. 

The conference also invites you to share your observations and insights on the way to happiness from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Academic scholars and university students are welcome to participate in the conference either by submitting a paper or simply registering as an audience member.


The conference is open to faculty members, scholars, undergraduate and graduate students from multiple disciplines, including but not limited to psychology, philosophy, culture, art, anthropology, sociology, politics, economics, management, history, biology, physics, and religion.

The conference also welcomes attendees from Dharma centers and Oriental culture centers. 





Papers submitted to the conference should engage with the following three themes:

1.  Ecological Coexistence

We all intrinsically think that nature is good for our happiness, which is also supported by ample scientific evidence. For example, Albert Einstein stated “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”  No happiness can be achieved without the harmony between man and nature. So, why is it important to preserve nature? How does the environment shape our happiness? Can happiness save the environment? How to effectively lower our ecological footprint? What can a green lifestyle do for us? etc…

2.  Mind Exploration

In most places of the world, we now have a higher standard of living than humans have ever known before. We have better medical treatment, more and better food, better housing conditions, better sanitation, more money, more welfare services and more access to education, justice, travel, entertainment and career opportunities. Yet, human misery is still everywhere. Psychologists and neuroscientists claim that happiness is a state of mind. So, how does our mind affect our happiness? What makes us happy? What makes us unhappy? Can we train our mind for happiness? etc…

3.  Buddhism in Life

As human beings we are all faced with the fact that sooner or later, we will grow infirm, get sick and die. Sooner or later we all will lose valued relationships through rejection, separation or death. Sooner or later we all will come face-to-face with a crisis, disappointment and failure. So, how can we learn to handle it better—to make room for it, rise above it and create a life worth living, and to be happy? Most important of all, how can we bring happiness to our family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, pets and any other sentient beings in our lives? 2500 years ago, the Buddha offered his wisdom on how to achieve worldly and transcendental happiness. Some of the wisdom is shared by other major religious and philosophical traditions. As Khenpo Sodargye Rinpoche said, “Buddhism is much more than a religion: it is an education about mind, an inner science that explores human emotions and dealing with human afflictions.”  What is your insight on a Buddhist way of life that may help achieve happiness?



Please submit your paper in APA style to before April 9, 2017, and include the words “The Way to Happiness, 2017 conference submission” in the email title. We acknowledge receipt and answer all submissions.

The abstract may be in word or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) Author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) theme (ecological coexistence, mind exploration, Buddhism in Life)

The paper should center on the themes and present persuasive and coherent arguments backed by sound evidence and logical reasoning.

Please note that double submission is not permitted and we will not accept any submission that has already been published.



The organization committee will review all the submissions and select winning papers (3 First Prize, 6 Second Prize, 10 third Prize, and 20 Memorial Award).

Best Paper Award finalists may be invited to present their work in the flash talk sessions titled “Happiness WeSpeak”. The winning papers will be included in the conference proceedings and published on the conference’s digital platforms.


Deadline for application: April 9, 2017  

The Organization Committee will send out the official letter of invitation via email if your application is accepted.

To confirm your attendance, you will be required to pay US$50 non-refundable registration fee. Attendees with financial difficulties are eligible to apply for fee waiver.

All accepted attendees will be automatically granted a travel stipend that covers accommodation (from July 30 through August 2) and meals during the conference period.

The organizers reserve all the rights to make final decisions on all related issues of the symposium.




Official website:

To check out the 6th World Youth Buddhist Symposium (2016), please visit:




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