Almost five years ago on June 1st 2010, I arrived with my two dogs in Tasmania to start a Ph D in Buddhist philosophy at the University of Tasmania and to continue my training in Clinical Pastoral Education, a form of professional preparation for chaplains and Pastoral/Contemplative Care Workers. On our way south to Hobart my attention was drawn to my right, looking towards the north west of this island state. I felt that I had an appointment with somewhere in that direction and that it would be important for my life.
A year later in 2011I went up to Ulverstone to give a talk on Buddhist views on death and dying to a group of hospice volunteers. I knew there was a Buddhist centre on the way and so I organised to break the journey and stay in the Centre. It is in a very ancient valley with lots of trees, many wallabies and paddy melons and birds of many different types. It felt to me as though people who were about to be reborn were just hiding in the gaps of the rocks in the hill sides, waiting.
I stayed in a beautiful wooden cottage. It rained very softly all night and was deeply quiet. I built a fire in the stove and enjoyed the peace, the sound of rain on the roof and the crackling wood fire. The next morning I was very moved by the physical beauty of the place.
In the following October I went back for a week to enjoy the peace and quiet again. I met a few people in the valley who gathered weekly at the centre for meditation. Two of these people lived on another property five kilometres away. Over the period of the next year I got to know them both a little better and told them of my hope to find a quiet place where I could stay to write my Ph D. They offered me the opportunity to build a small hut on their property.
Since then, in 2012, we have developed our initial idea and so this week-end, Easter 2015, we beganthe process of clearing the ground to build the hermitage. It will be a small wooden building of one room for sleeping, cooking, eating, studying and meditating in and there will be a bathroom/laundry and store room attached. My plan is to spend at least three months of the year there for nhập thất (solitary retreat) during the Buddhist retreat season, Nhập Hạ. The rest of the year the hermitage will be available for other people who want to have long term retreats while I am teaching, visiting my family and hopefully spending time at Trúc Lâm Đà Lạt and with other monks in the Trúc Lâm school.
Last week two friends, a married couple, visited me. I told them that I was about to start building the hermitage over Easter and that I had saved $6,000 dollars from Dana offerings that Vietnamese people in Adelaide and Melbourne had given me towards building it. Included in this is $2,000 given to me by one of my cousins in Adelaide. The husband said “We’ll give you the money to build the floor” which of course is the first thing that gets built. I am really touched by the confidence and value that all of these people have placed in this project. I hope to have it finished and liveable by the end of 2016 so that in 2017, when I go onto the aged pension, I can spend perhaps a year there practising meditation.
The hermitage will be called Thất Tâm Hỷ or Hermitage of Joyful Living. Tâm Hỷ was the Dharma name I gave to a very lovely lady who lived here in Hobart. She had breast cancer and she asked me if I would visit her and care for her spiritually. I did so over three years. She and her husband took the Three Refuges and Five Precepts with me at the end of 2012 and last June I conducted her funeral. This lady was a very joyful person even during the most difficult times of her illness and she was greatly loved by many people here in Hobart. Her husband is a joiner and I will be helping him as we build our Thất. Here are some photos I have taken of our progress so far. We have this weekend laid out the hermitage and tested the soil to determine the kind of foundation we will need.
You're holding, in your hands, the book recording the activities leading to the 20th Anniversary of Quang Duc Monastery. This book was not launched immediately after the celebration of the 20th Anniversary, due to many Dharma task commitments. However, we are very happy to officially launch it today - on the occasion of the 15th Winter Retreat, for All Sangha of the Unified Vietnamese Buddhist Congregation in Australia and New Zealand, to be held in Quang Duc Monastery from 1st to 11th July, 2014.
The book gives a short account of Buddhism in the last 2500 years. The foreword for the book was written by Dr. Radhakrishnan, world renowned philosopher. The book contains 16 chapters and about one hundred articles written by eminent Buddhist scholars from India, China, Japan, Sri Lanka, Nepal.
Buddhism is a way of life of purity in thinking speaking and acting. This book gives an account of Buddhism not only in India but also in other countries of the East. Detailed and insightful glimpse into the different schools and sects of Buddhism find a place in this book. Buddhist ideas on education and the prevailing state of Buddhism as revealed by their Chinese pilgrims who visited India during that times are other components of the book. Chapters on Buddhist art in India and abroad and places of Buddhist interest are also included to give it a holistic perspective.
The spirit of Buddha comes alive in the book and enlightens the readers with his teaching so essential now for peac
This history of our Centre is to commemorate the opening of our new meditation hall on Founder's Day,
9 September 2007.
Why is a history of our Centre important?
Our temple preserves the Buddha Dhamma. The Buddhist Discussion Centre (Upwey)Ltd. has been teaching meditation
free of charge, for all who request it. Buddhist Discussion Centre (Upwey) Ltd. Members have generated
strong community involvement through public and educational addresses, liasion with and help to, Buddhist
and ethnic groups and participation in community based Arts, Religious and Historical projects.
Program Tuesday 10 March
ASA AGM and Conference
TBC Nan Tien Community Group Practice
8.00am Introduction and Welcomes
8.15am Mental Health Session
9.00am Morning tea
9.30am ASA AGM
1.00pm Conflict Resolution Session
2.00pm Afternoon tea
2.30pm Discussion groups 1
Stream A: Advanced Care Plan update
Stream B: Conflict Resolution
3.10pm Discussion groups 2
Stream A: Advanced Care Plan update
Stream B: Mental Health
3.50pm Closing Ceremony
There will also be a short video presentation by Chaplains of the Australian Defence Forces.
An optional meeting to discuss the future strategy and activities of the ASA will take place on Monday 09 March from 6.30 to 8.00 pm.
Brief History of Buddhism , by Andrew Williams, The History of Buddhism spans from the 6th century BCE to the present; it arose in the eastern part of Ancient India, in and around the ancient Kingdom of Magadha (now in Bihar, India), and is based on the teachings of the unsurpassed supremely enlightened Shakyamuni Buddha (also Gautama Buddha), (Born as Prince Siddhārtha Gautama). This makes it one of the oldest religions practiced today.
Buddhism evolved as it spread from the northeastern region of the Indian subcontinent through Central, East, and Southeast Asia. At one time or another, it has influenced most of the Asian continent.
Buddhism in America Before Columbus, Hui Shen was a Buddhist monk and missionary who lived during the latter half of the 5th Century AD to the early part of the 6th Century. From all indications he was born somewhere within the landlocked area adjacent to China which now days would be considered Afghanistan. Although not much is known of his early years it is known that he dedicated his life to Buddhism and spreading the word of Buddhism far and wide --- most notedly to America, known as Fu Sang in Chinese.
Buddhism is the greatest religion. Buddhism initiates human rights, freedom and equality for all living beings. Buddhism is a religion that attains world peace, protecting and developing the environment for our planet.
The Most Venerables, Venerables, Professors, Researchers, Monks, Nuns, Lay Buddhists, and every bodies are present today.
I would like to introduce cultural life, living spirituality of ASEAN countries and discussing the role of religion in this area.
In India in the 6th century BC, Sakyamuni, "a wise man of the Sakya tribe", had been meditating under a tree when, suddenly, he was struck with the comprehension of all things. He became Buddha, meaning the « Illuminated ». His message, based on a pragmatic philosophy, taught how to free oneself from all needs in order to achieve illumination. After the death of the Enlightened One, his disciples – a few monks – began to spread his teachings all over India, from Ceylon to the Himalayan. Fearing man’s penc