Seminar explores dimensions of Buddhist studies

Front row, from right: Dr Lee, Dr Cynthia Lau, Dr Yan, Dr Wong, Prof Dato’ Ewe, Dato’ Ang and Ms Wong

The Buddhist Research Seminar titled “Exploring dimensions of Buddhist studies from funded research projects” was held on 23 March 2024 at Sungai Long Campus. The seminar, organised by Yayasan Belia Buddhist Malaysia (YBBM) and UTAR Buddhist Research Centre (UBRC), drew participation from nearly 60 attendees.

In attendance were Dato’ Ir Ang Choo Hong, Chairman of YBBM, Ir Prof Dato’ Dr Ewe Hong Tat, President of UTAR, Dr Wong Sien Biang, Chairperson of UBRC, Ms Wong Sook Kim, Honorary Chief Operating Officer of YBBM, along with three speakers for the seminar: Dr Yan Naing Soe, Head of the Department of Surgery at M. Kandiah Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (MK FMHS), Dr Cynthia Lau Pui-Shan, Deputy Dean of Faculty of Creative Industries (FCI), and academic Ts Dr Lee Chen Kang from Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES).

Dr Wong in his welcome speech said, “Today, we are delighted to witness the commencement of our research and development, with three groups of funded researchers presenting their findings. This is an ambitious beginning, and we anticipate that it will pave the way for further research projects in the future. I am confident that with the strong support from YBBM and also the local Buddhist organisation, combined with the expertise and guidance provided by UTAR, our research centre will drive and make significant contributions to the advancement of Buddhist research in Malaysia.”

Dr Wong hoping that UBRC can play a role in advancing Buddhist research within Malaysia

Prof Dato’ Ewe conveyed appreciation for the coordination of the event by UBRC and underscored the significance of global cooperation in the field of Buddhist studies. He highlighted the interdisciplinary nature of research projects and discussed findings related to mental well-being, including the impact of meditation on emotional stability and brain health.

Furthermore, he emphasised the significance of financial support for sustaining the research centre’s activities and encouraged donations from organisations and individuals interested in supporting Buddhist research initiatives. He also believed that the establishment of UBRC is a significant step towards fostering international collaboration and promoting the exchange of intellectual findings and research.

Prof Dato’ Ewe emphasising the importance of international collaboration in Buddhist studies

Delivering a keynote speech titled “Recent studies on Malaysian Buddhism”, Dato’ Ang delved into the research outcomes within Malaysia’s Buddhist research landscape, covering aspects such as language, researchers’ backgrounds, and topics explored. He identified areas within Malaysian Buddhism that still require further research and urged researchers to delve into these topics. Additionally, he emphasised the need for the professionalisation of research in Malaysian Buddhism, with a greater focus on social sciences studies, addressing current issues, and anticipating future trends.

Dato’ Ang displaying data on Buddhism research in Malaysia

Three scholars presented their research findings at the seminar, shedding light on various aspects of Buddhist practices and their relevance in contemporary society. Dr Yan’s study on “Harmony of Mind and Happiness” delved into the intricacies of meditation practices, exploring their profound impact on mental well-being. Dr Cynthia Lau’s research on “Inscriptions of Wisdom” unveiled narratives embedded within street names, offering unique insights into the cultural and historical significance of urban landscapes. Dr Lee’s study focused on the adoption of educational technology for Dharma propagation in intervarsity Buddhist communities, examining perceptions and implementation strategies. These presentations underscored the diverse and interdisciplinary nature of Buddhist studies.

The seminar ended with a Q&A session.

The three presenters, clockwise, from top left: Dr Yan, Dr Cynthia Lau and Dr Lee

Dr Cynthia Lau’s team guiding attendees to use VR to watch videos

The participants at the seminar

Q&A session

Wholly owned by UTAR Education Foundation (200201010564(578227-M))         LEGAL STATEMENT   TERM OF USAGE   PRIVACY NOTICE