The theme of this year's forum is Enlightenment in the Human Realm: The Spirit and Practice of Chan Buddhism.
"We aim to explore the promotion and role of Buddhism in the context of a new era," said Venerable Master Mingyu, president of the American Buddhist Confederation and the Buddhist community of the USA." It is our intention to reveal the contemporary bodhisattva spirit that liberating others and liberating oneself are one in the same.''
Mingyu said through practicing the four great bodhisattva vows, "we can love and care for all beings. And we will surely write this chapter on contemporary Buddhism into the cultural histories of the United States, China, and Canada".
"I pray that this forum will discover a harmonious path that conforms to human development and build a community with a future for all humankind," he said.
Representatives of the three Buddhist countries also explored the mission and responsibility of Buddhism in the global community of a shared future for mankind, propagated the spirit of enlightenment and freedom of Chinese Chan Buddhism, examined the historical context of Chinese Chan Buddhism, disseminated the experience of the propagation and spread the development of Buddhism.
Lectures and discussions at the forum promoted mutual understanding and mutual learning between Buddhism and modern civilization.
At the end of the forum, the Buddhist representatives adopted the second China-U.S.-Canada Buddhist Forum declaration, calling on Buddhists in the three countries to maintain the perfecting wisdom of middle-way, to inherit the great vows of eminent predecessors, to gather the upward strength of seeking for goodness, to propagate the spirit of four immeasurables, to encourage the various civilizations to communicate and learn from each other, to promote the equal collaboration of different countries in this world, to make efforts for the permanent world peace.
On Saturday night, more than 100 monks from China's most renowned temples staged the world premiere of the groundbreaking Peace &Well-Being Concert at Lincoln Center in New York.
The concert presented Buddhist music at the highest artistic levels, imparting the essence of Zen from China's diverse temples to uplift spectators into a meditative state of peace and well-being.
According to Venerable Master Guangquan, abbot of Lingyin Temple and deputy secretary-general of the Buddhist Association of China, the show was the largest ever to feature a combination of ancient Buddhist music discovered only in recent years; chanting in innovative four-part harmony combining monastic traditions from China's Han majority population, and Tibetan and Yunnan minorities; and dazzling Shaolin Kungfu. The performance is also to be presented on Sunday afternoon.