Vajrayana Conference

Concept note

India and Bhutan share many common values and history. Among them, one of the enduring basis of the exemplary bond of commonality at the people’s level is Buddhism. Indian civilization gave rise to one of the greatest heritages of mankind in Buddhism. Buddhism in its Vajrayana form was introduced to Bhutan as far back as the sixth century but became widespread after the multiple visits of Guru Rinpoche. Since then, Vajrayana Buddhism has flourished continuously without any interruption. Bhutan is the only sovereign nation with such intact Buddhist institutional history.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the formal diplomatic relationship between the Government of India and the Royal Government of Bhutan established in 1968. On this auspicious year of the golden relationship between India and Bhutan, the Central Monastic Body and the Centre for Bhutan Studies have jointly hosted the Vajrayana conference to also bring focus to the shared heritage of Buddhism between India and Bhutan. The conference is dedicated as a major event celebrating the anniversary of the diplomatic relationship.

The conference will focus on understanding how Vajrayana Buddhism continues to creatively adapt to the modern world. In-depth elucidations of the Vajrayana Buddhism’s core methodologies will be presented by numerous practitioners, teachers, scientific researchers, academics, and independent scholars towards a greater appreciation of the Vajrayana Buddhism’s current role within contemporary global society.

The three-day series of talks and presentations will exchange knowledge and perspectives on Vajrayana Buddhism’s core practices while exploring their relevance and function within contemporary culture. Panels will specifically address elements of Vajrayana Buddhist practice such as the function of mandalas and Buddhist art; mantra practice; active imagination and meditative identification with deities; transformational dance; yogic disciplines based on internally cultivated flows of energy within the physical body; approaches to dreaming, sleeping, and dying; health and longevity practices; ‘non-dual’ forms of cognition associated with enlightened, altruistic awareness; and Vajrayana Buddhism’s engagement with evidence-based cognitive neuroscience and psychology. The conference will be open to the general public.

The conference will be followed by a trip to Punakha where the participants will get an audience with His Eminence Dorji Lopen, and a meditation session led by His Eminence Leytshog Lopen.

The conference will include interactive workshops and discussion groups. It will be open to the general public.

1.     Date and venue

a)    The Vajrayana Summit will be held from 28 to 30 March 2018.

b)    The conference will be tentatively held in Thimphu, Bhutan.

c)     It will be organized by the Centre for Bhutan Studies & GNH (CBS) and the Central Monastic Body.

2.     Registration

a)    Registration is free and open to all.

b)    Registration is closed for international participants but open for Bhutanese and Expatriates.

c)    To register, you must provide the following information: name, gender, designation, affiliated organisation, nationality, present address, email, and category of participation.

d)    The last date for registration is 15 February 2018.

3.     Abstract

a)    The content of the paper must fit within themes reflected in the concept note.

b)    It must be an original work, not presented or published elsewhere.

c)     Abstracts must be submitted via email to

d)    Abstract may include title, author names with professional affiliation, background, objective, method, key result, and conclusion (in APA style).

e)     The length of the abstract must not exceed 300 words.

f)     The last date for abstract submission is 20 January 2018.

g)    Abstracts will be reviewed by a review team.

h)    Notification of either acceptance or rejection of abstracts will be made via email by 31 January 2018.


4.     Paper

a)    Presenting authors should submit the full paper in APA style.

b)    The deadline for paper submission is 15 March 2018.

c)     Rejection to submit the paper in full may result in cancellation of presentation.


5.     Visa

a)    The Centre will facilitate Bhutanese visa to the participants.

b)    The following are the list of documents to be submitted for processing visa:

·     Valid passport copy

·     Filled up visa application form

c)     The visa application form can be downloaded from

d)    No documents shall be accepted after 25 January 2018.

e)     A one-time visa fee of Nu. 2500 shall be levied for all visitors irrespective of the duration or type of participation.

f)     The Department of Immigration will start processing the visa only after receiving the visa fee. Therefore, CBS shall pay this in advance. Refund of Nu. 2500 or equivalent amount in USD (approximately USD $40) must be refunded to the Centre on the day of arrival.

g)    Soft copy of your visa clearance shall be sent to you via email.

h)    Visa shall be valid for a maximum of 10 days.

i)      At your point of entry, you will be required to show your visa clearance letter. You must carry a hard copy of the visa clearance at your point of entry.

j)      Nationals of India, Bangladesh, and Maldives shall be issued entry permit at the port of entry. Entry permit application must be submitted along with a copy of valid passport.

k)    No route permit shall be issued. Route permit is required to travel beyond Paro and Thimphu.

6.     Local hospitality

a)    All participants will be provided with lunch and dinner during the conference, including tea and coffee at regular breaks.

b)    Selected speakers shall be provided with accommodation and local transportation during the conference.


Contact email:

Registration form for Bhutanese and Expatriates