The Venerable Bhante Yatirawana Wimala delivered the keynote address and presented a half-day workshop at Lyceum 2011, April 13-16, Unity Village, Missouri, USA. Lyceum is an ongoing series of academic conferences sponsored by Unity Institute and Seminary. This year marks the fourth annual gathering of scholars and students of religious studies at Unity Village. The Lyceum 2011 theme was “Spiritual Studies from a Global Perspective: The Ongoing East-West Dialogue.”
Bhante opened the program by speaking to an assembly of scholars, students and laypeople from diverse religious backgrounds on the topic “Buddhist Views on Compassion and Global Awareness”. His address and question-and-answers session which followed received an enthusiastic response from Lyceum 2011 attendees. During his presentation, Bhante spoke with equanimity and clarity of thought which reached across cultures to present a thought-provoking, challenging view of compassion in the post-modern age. Addressing a gathering of Buddhists, Christians, Muslims and members of other religious groups, Bhante discussed the need for compassionate relief of suffering regardless of nationality or faith. Bhante charmed and challenged the Lyceum 2011 assembly with reports about his steady, frugal, consistent work among suffering people around the world.
A naturalized Canadian citizen and native of Sri Lanka, Bhante Wimala is known and loved around the world as the “traveling Buddhist monk” who sponsors humanitarian aid projects in remote villages from Africa to Southeast Asia to Haiti. In 2010 the Sri Lankan Monks Council appointed him Head Monk to the United States and Canada. His accolades include the Global Peace Award and the prestigious “Samadutha” Ambassador of Peace Award. Bhante has addressed students and laypeople at Unity Village in previous years, but this marks his first presentation at the highly acclaimed Lyceum lecture series. He is completely at home with simple villagers in remote parts of the globe or world- renowned scholars at a graduate school’s academic seminar.
Unity Institute intends to continue our relationship with this remarkable humanitarian and teacher by inviting Bhante Wimala to participate in future events for scholars and laypeople of all religious traditions.
Thomas W. Shepherd, D.Min
Lyceum 2011 Faculty Sponsor
The following is a partial audio recording of Bhante Wimala’s workshop.