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Young Buddhist Association of Indonesia and Kertarajasa Buddhist College Host Interfaith Mindfulness Festival

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The Young Buddhist Association of Indonesia and Kertarajasa Buddhist College, a private university in Batu City, East Java, hosted a mindful festival on 20 April attended by some 300 male and female ascetics and multi-faith residents from Indonesia’s East Java Province.

The event, held at the XXI Lounge Ciputra World Surabaya, was an interfaith gathering aimed and spreading awareness of mindfulness practices and the Buddhist teachings among local communities.

The Young Buddhist Association (YBA) is the leading Buddhist youth organization in Indonesia. Through a deeply held conviction in the Buddha’s message of compassion, growth, and liberation, the association promotes a positive lifestyle among the young in order to cultivate a society founded on wisdom, compassion, and gratitude. The association is involved in establishing Buddhist organizations nationwide, propagating the study of the Dharma among young people, and providing leadership training. 

“The inspiring one-day seminar featured six speakers who have long experience with mindfulness practices,” The YBA explained. “The six speakers were: Andrie Wongso, motivational speaker and founder of Senam AW, who presented on the  theme ‘Mindful in Daily Life;’ Steve Sudjatmiko, Organization Change and Behavior coach, who presented on the topic ‘Implementing Mindful Leadership in Business;’ Jasmine Jawie, an intuitive animal communicator and meditation facilitator, who spoke on the subject of  ‘Love Compassion for Animals;’ Samanera Abhisarano, mindfulness practitioner and founder of GoMindful ID, who presented material on ‘Simplified Vipassana Meditation Methods for Beginners;’ Gobind Vashdev, a certified Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercise (TRE) provider and senior Buteyko Method instructor, who spoke on the theme ‘Mindfulness for Health;’ and Ardy Wong, Buddhist musician and founder of the Kalyana Project.”

“The speakers presented various topics sharing different perspectives and knowledge, but still oriented toward mindfulness and conscious living so that participants could easily apply it in their daily lives,” YBA Daily chairman Anthony Orodiputro added. He noted that the event was organized under the concept that all citizens—not only Buddhists—could learn the practice of mindful living with input from various practitioners and perspectives, including kindness through music, intuitive training with animals through compassion and awareness, business practice with awareness, practicing awareness in everyday life for Gen Z, and learning meditation for beginners.

“This new concept can finally help young Buddhists and non-Buddhists learn something good, especially the practice of conscious living echoed by Gautama Buddha more than 2,500 years ago and how we can escape suffering as humans,” Orodiputro emphasized.

Meanwhile, a novice Buddhist monk from Kertarajasa Buddhist College and the YBA Advisory Board, Samanera Abhisarano, underscored the importance of having a creative spirit in teaching—namely about the Buddhist teaching of awareness—so that it could be accepted by all groups, including non-Buddhists.

Samanera Abhisarano said that he often shared mindful concepts on social media platforms and interacted with Buddhist and non-Buddhist netizens alike. “This event is part of a series of events leading up to the Vesak Festival, which will be held at the end of May,” he concluded.

Although officially a secular state, Indonesia is home to a diversity of communities and religious and spiritual traditions. Islam is the most widespread religion, observed by 87 per cent of the population, according to national data for 2022. Christian traditions account for a combined 10.5 per cent, Hinduism 1.7 per cent, and Confucianism, folk, and other traditions account for a combined 0.07 per cent.

Buddhism, practiced by 0.73 per cent of the population—roughly two million people—is the second-oldest spiritual tradition in Indonesia after Hinduism. According to historical accounts, Buddhism first flourished on the archipelago around the sixth century, which was followed by ascent and decline of a number of powerful Buddhist empires, including the Shailendra dynasty (c. 8th–9th centuries), the Srivijaya empire (c. 7th–12th centuries), and the Mataram empire (c. 8th–11th centuries). Today, the majority of Indonesian Buddhists are affiliated with Mahayana schools of Buddhism, although communities of Theravada and Vajrayana practitioners also exist.

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Young Buddhist Association of Indonesia
Young Buddhist Association (YBA) of Indonesia (Instagram)
Young Buddhist Association of Indonesia (Facebook)
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