The Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre (MIMC) in Ladakh, northern India, founded by the renowned spiritual leader and socially engaged Buddhist monk Venerable Bhikkhu Sanghasena, has announced that it will host the International Festival of Yoga and Meditation from 20–27 June.
“Marking the ninth UN International Day of Yoga on 21 June, Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre, Leh, Ladakh, jointly with the Administration of the Union Territory of Ladakh, is organizing a week-long International Festival of Yoga & Meditation,” the MIMC shard with BDG. “Open to national and international participants, the occasion will be attended by prominent spiritual leaders, yogis, meditation masters, government officials, artists, scientists, peace activists, academics, and social leaders, along with a large cohort of students from Ladakh.”
As an exemplar of socially engaged Buddhism in the region, Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena has launched numerous humanitarian projects, events, and initiatives. His outreach work includes providing educational opportunities and refuge for underprivileged children, empowerment and literacy programs for women and other socially disadvantaged groups, healthcare for the sick and needy, and a care home for the aged and destitute. The MIMC’s expanding campus has evolved into a hub for a multitude of socio-cultural and community programs in India’s far north.
Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena founded the Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre (MIMC) in Leh, the joint capital of Ladakh, as a non-sectarian Buddhist charitable organization in 1986. Since then, the MIMC has become the launchpad for Dharma-based activities and social outreach programs for vulnerable communities in the region.
“This year’s International Festival of Yoga and Meditation will offer a special window into the rich traditions, ancient cultures, unique lifestyles, and marvelous heritage of Ladakh, which are deeply rooted in the essence of Buddhism, and the diverse ethnic cultures and communities that reside here,” said Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena. “The program will bring together people from all walks of life and make a big impact in terms of understanding the cultural values, and way of life and preserving the culture and its heritage.
“The aim of International Yoga Day is to spread awareness of the many physical and spiritual benefits that yoga and meditation have brought to the world: ‘What Sun is to the flower, meditation is to the mind!’”
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In addition to integrating spiritual development and human welfare, Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena and the MIMC are also closely involved in peace-building and interfaith dialogue, environmental conservation, and in promoting Buddhist and Himalayan cultural heritage through national and international festivals. Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena has traveled extensively to participate international conferences, seminars, and workshops to promote spiritual and cultural values, environmental awareness, non-violence and world peace, and elevating the status of women in society—especially those from underprivileged communities.
In 2021, Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena led a team from the MIMC on a humanitarian relief mission to the border regions of Ladakh, offering material COVID-19 relief as well as much-needed emotional and spiritual counseling for local residents who were living in fear during the dual crises of the pandemic and the military-led border standoff between Indian and Chinese troops. The same team also led a peace campaign in the conflict zone, appealing to the two nations not to resort to violence, but to resolve the standoff through peaceful means.*
Mahabodhi International Meditation Center
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Save the Himalayas Foundation
International Network of Engaged Buddhists
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