Conference on Vajrayana Buddhism


A Mandala of 21st Century Perspectives

July 1-3, 2016

The registration for the conference and submission of abstracts are now closed.

 1. Please check the list of participants and speakers for the conference 
2. Download the abstracts and profile of speakers
2. Download the conference programme
2. Download the opening dinner programme




This international conference to be held in the Kingdom of Bhutan under the auspices of the Central Monastic Body and the Centre for Bhutan Studies will focus on issues of continuity and change within contemporary expressions of Vajrayāna Buddhism. As a textual tradition, Vajrayāna, or Tantric Buddhism developed in India from the 8th century onward as a creative response to changing socio-cultural conditions, building on earlier traditions of spiritual practice. Vajrayāna subsequently shaped the art, culture, and consciousness of much of Asia, and especially the Himalayan regions of Tibet, Nepal, Sikkim, and Bhutan.

Vajrayāna Buddhism is now a global phenomenon. This conference will explore the dynamism of transmission as Vajrayāna engages the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. Panelists will range from Bhutanese and Tibetan lamas to neuroscientists, academics, and international scholar-practitioners who have adapted Tantric Buddhism’s methods of individual and collective transformation to the emerging technologies, priorities, and social concerns of the contemporary world.

The three-day series of talks and presentations will address Vajrayāna’s dialogue with 21st century medicine and science as well as its current and historical interface with the visual and performing arts. Presentations will emphasize Vajrayāna’s long history of creative adaptation within wider processes of continuity and change and the current globalization of Himalayan Buddhist culture. The conference will specifically address the role of body-mind yogic practices within Vajrayāna Buddhism and their applicability within an increasingly transcultural and technologically driven world.

For more information, please contact Ms. Chhimi Dem at