My First Experience of Presenting Research Paper at The International Conference in Penang, Malaysia

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By: Ven San Pisith

It is a great honor for me to have an advantaged privilege to join the First International Young Buddhist Scholars Conference (IYBSC) which was organized by the International Buddhist College and sponsored by Than Hsiang Foundation in Malaysia. I have never thought that I would be able to share my paper in the field of Buddhist studies with other Buddhist scholars coming from several countries like this before. It is a great experience and an unforgettable memory in my life.

It was the first time for me to be welcomed as a speaker at a very formal international conference like this. The experience that I have received from IYBSC is more than what I have expected before. At the event, I have met and communicated with a lot of great scholars, educated people, and talented speakers coming from different parts of the world to share their own experiences in the field of Buddhist researches. It means a lot to me that I had been considered as one of the speakers in this wonderful session!  

Honestly, at the beginning, I was a little bit nervous but luckily, after listening to short introductions of the previous speakers who hold higher degree than me, i.e. MA and PhD as well as having a lot of experiences in both secular and spiritual knowledge, encouraged me to get my confidence back.

Genuinely, my paper was not so complex, and so it was easy enough for me to present, however, since the audiences are Buddhist scholars, I had to be more careful about what I was going to talk in front all of them.

I had prepared three mainly significant points of the contributions of King Asoka to Buddhism, i.e. he applied the teachings of the Buddha into his government and foreign policy, supported the community of the monastic sangha likewise maintained Buddhism as a major religion in his kingdom. As planning, I probably go through the whole topic in twenty minutes, however, the audiences’ attention and excitement enthusiastic me to deeply speak about the main point. Therefore, I spent all of the time for it.  

More importantly, after my presentation, I had received so many questions from the audiences which were the things that I have never expected before. I thought after the presentation, I might have received only two or three questions from the audiences. Interestingly, their questions were so comprehensive and some are tough as well! Even though my topic is so simple, their questions are so complicated!  However, their questions inspired me to do more researches on the life of King Asoka and his contributions to Buddhism because those questions bringed me a lot of new ideas about King Asoka.

Besides of sharing my research paper to the audiences, I had a great opportunity to learn from the other speakers as well. All of their papers were very interesting in terms of Buddhist studies. Furthermore, the way that they presented their papers were marvelous. It gave me a lot of new ideas to correct my weaknesses in doing my presentation in future.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to the most Venerable Wei Wu for spending his precious time to organize IYBSC and giving an educational opportunity to all young Buddhist scholars to present their research papers and explore the possibility of improvement their knowledge in an academic way. Last but not least, I would like to express my gratitude to the other actively involving people for making this wonderful session available for everyone!