The Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre (MIMC), established by the renowned spiritual leader and socially engaged Buddhist monk Venerable Bhikkhu Sanghasena, has exciting news for yoga and meditation enthusiasts around the world. The center has announced the upcoming International Festival of Yoga and Meditation, set to take place from June 20th to 27th.
In line with the ninth UN International Day of Yoga on June 21st, the MIMC, in collaboration with the Administration of the Union Territory of Ladakh, is organizing a week-long event that aims to celebrate the transformative power of yoga and meditation. This grand festival welcomes participants from both national and international backgrounds, attracting prominent spiritual leaders, yogis, meditation masters, government officials, artists, scientists, peace activists, academics, social leaders, and a significant number of students from Ladakh.
Venerable Bhikkhu Sanghasena, the driving force behind socially engaged Buddhism in the region, has dedicated his efforts to numerous humanitarian projects, events, and initiatives. His visionary outreach work encompasses providing educational opportunities and shelter to underprivileged children, empowering women and marginalized groups through literacy programs, offering healthcare to the sick and needy, and establishing a care home for the elderly and destitute. As a result, the MIMC has become a bustling hub for various socio-cultural and community programs in the northern reaches of India.
In 1986, Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena founded the Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre (MIMC) in Leh, the capital of Ladakh. This non-sectarian Buddhist charitable organization has since served as a launching pad for Dharma-based activities and social outreach programs targeting vulnerable communities in the region.
“The International Festival of Yoga and Meditation of this year provides a unique opportunity to delve into the rich traditions, ancient cultures, distinctive lifestyles, and magnificent heritage of Ladakh. These elements are deeply rooted in the essence of Buddhism, as well as the diverse ethnic cultures and communities that thrive here,” shared Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena. “Through this program, people from all walks of life will come together, fostering cultural understanding and preservation of our heritage.”
The International Yoga Day aims to raise awareness about the numerous physical and spiritual benefits that yoga and meditation offer to the world. Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena describes it aptly, saying, “What the sun is to the flower, meditation is to the mind!”
In addition to promoting spiritual development and human welfare, Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena and the MIMC actively engage in peace-building initiatives, interfaith dialogue, environmental conservation, and the preservation of Buddhist and Himalayan cultural heritage through national and international festivals. Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena himself has traveled extensively to participate in international conferences, seminars, and workshops, advocating for spiritual and cultural values, environmental consciousness, non-violence, world peace, and the empowerment of women, particularly 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. The team provided essential COVID-19 relief and much-needed emotional and spiritual support to local residents who were living in fear amidst the dual crises of the pandemic and the military-led border standoff between Indian and Chinese troops. Additionally, the team spearheaded a peace campaign in the conflict zone, appealing to both nations to seek nonviolent resolutions to their differences.
The International Festival of Yoga and Meditation organized by the Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre promises to be an extraordinary event, blending ancient wisdom with modern practices, and uniting people from diverse backgrounds in a celebration of well-being, peace, and spiritual growth. It is an occasion not to be missed for those seeking enlightenment and harmony in their lives.