First international Buddhist-Christian dialogue for nuns asserts they can be powerful witness

By Robin Gomes

The First International Buddhist-Christian Dialogue for Nuns that concluded last week in Taiwan pledged to foster mutual understanding and friendship among themselves in order to witness to others and bring hope and healing to those in need.

The October 14-18 dialogue on the theme, “Contemplative Action and Active Contemplation: Buddhist and Christian Nuns in Dialogue,” brought together 70 nuns from Taiwan, Korea, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Cambodia, the Philippines, Brazil, Italy, Germany, Norway, and the United States. There was also a representative from the World Council of Churches.

The 4-day dialogue dealt with issues such as: the origin, evolution and present-day situation of monastic religious life for women in Buddhism and Christianity; Buddhist meditation and Christian contemplation; the service to humanity; religious women promoting the ‘Feminine Genius’.

In a final statement, the nuns acknowledged that the dialogue fostered mutual understanding and friendship among them to build bridges connecting their different spiritual paths.

They recognized that while being faithful to their respective faith convictions they can also learn from one another in enriching themselves and become humble and credible witnessesto others.

The Buddhist and Christian nuns said they can be a witness to the fact that life can be meaningful and joyful through detachment from consumerism, materialism, and individualism.

They also underscored the importance of being contemplatives in the midst of action in order to show tenderness and bring hope and healing to those who are in need.