The meeting was about 3 hours, and had representatives from most of the major religions in Australia, with indigenous and Hindus being notable exceptions. There was a warm and inclusive feeling at the meeting, and I felt welcomed and encouraged to participate. Chatham House rule applied. Many of the representatives were very professional, in the sense that they are actively employed or formally studying in this area. As such they brought a detailed and informed perspective that I was not able to do.
The focus on the meeting was "strong harms" that people have faced due to their religion. This includes things such as physical violence, terrorist acts, abuse, and the like.
The major religions that suffer this are Islam and Judaism. While it is well known that Islam suffers from bad image—the number of negative articles in Murdoch press is quite shocking—but I did not realize how difficult it is in modern Australia for the Jewish community. Apparently they have to have serious security at events on a regular basis. One person told of when they attended a Jewish event, and their shock when their car was canned for bombs.
Accurate data is hard to come by, and it seems that Australia, unlike US, Canada, and UK, fails to keep any records of religiously-motivated harm. Some data collection is being done by the religious communities themselves, but it is very patchy. Lacking accurate data it is virtually impossible to get government to do anything.
Another area that was identified was lack of training and resources among police. Cops often do not know how to differentiate between religious or ethic/racial incidents, and of course, this is not easy. But with a proliferation of people from different backgrounds, languages, religions, and so on in Oz, it becomes essential to understand what the motivation is for an incident.
Despite the lack of data, there was a strong agreement among participants that Australia was seeing a major rise in religiously-motivated harm. This obviously relates to the rise of the alt-right globally. We did not discuss the role of Australia's current administration in enabling or promoting such views.
One proposal that was broadly supported was setting up an interfaith consultation council at the federal level. APRO has, in fact, proposed this and discussed it a number of years ago, but it has never gained traction. Perhaps this time will be different.
From a Buddhist perspective, I said that we do not experience, to my knowledge, such "serious harms". We do however suffer from many structural forms of discrimination. I mentioned, as an example, our long-term and ongoing efforts to get a more appropriate visa for Buddhist monastics. I expressed the Buddhist community's solidarity with other religious groups, and invited them to contact us whenever they need support. I also mentioned that the Buddhist community feels a strong connection with their countries of origin, and that events in the home countries, such as the Easter Sunday attack in Sri Lanka, are felt deeply and painfully here. The Buddhist community in Australia has been very strong and pro-active in working together on an interfaith basis in response to such problems.
I was honored to take part on behalf of the Buddhist community! Please let me know if there is any other questions. Also, please feel free to use the above and modify it if you wish to share or post, etc.
Amitabha Buddha’s name chanting is an easy method of cultivation in which beliefs are difficult to have, especially in this age of information technology when people care more about material comfort than the spiritual life. However, as in the Buddha’s teachings: Buddhahood is a nature of mind and it’s the mind that possesses the Buddhahood, ringing about enlightenment. Therefore, as Buddhists, we have to believe in Buddha’s teachings. The Flower Adornment Sutra stated: “Beliefs are the mother of all the good merits.”. No other merits are greater than making a vow to be reborn in the Pure Land and to become a Buddha. On the occasion of this year’s retreat, we would like to briefly tell you about an old lady having a belief in Amitabha Buddha’s name chanting
Hội nghị thượng đỉnh toàn cầu về Từ Bi nhằm tôn vinh Đức Đạt Lai Lạt Ma, người đã cống hiến suốt đời mình truyền bá thông điệp hòa bình, lòng nhân ái và từ bi phổ quát trên toàn thế giới.
Hòa thượng Lama Tenzin Dhonden, Sứ giả Hòa bình của Đức Đạt Lai Lạt Ma 14 và người sáng lập tổ chứcNhững Người bạn của Đức Đạt Lai Lạt Ma, phối hợp cùng với trường đại học Univeristy of California, Irvine vàTrung tâm Sống Hòa bình sẽ tổ chức Hội nghị Thượng đỉnh Toàn cầu về Từ bi và lễ kỷ niệm sinh nhật Đức Đạt Lai Lạt Ma 14 lần thứ 80.
Buddhist priest Alan Piercey is a hospital chaplain in Burnie, a fireman with his local brigade in Penguin and a one-time purveyor of chocolate.
Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek.
He is known to the people on the North West coast by a number of different names, the most often used borrowed from a popular animated movie.
"My ordained name is Venerable Shih Jingang (pronounced Cher Gin Gun)," he said.
"Most people around the North West Regional Hospital in Burnie just know me as Sifu.
"And if you ask any five-year-old, they'll know exactly who Sifu is: a character from Kung Fu Panda. I believe it's a cartoon."
Thank you. Well, good morning. Giving all praise and honor to God. It is wonderful to be back with you here. I want to thank our co-chairs, Bob and Roger. These two don’t always agree in the Senate, but in coming together and uniting us all in prayer, they embody the spirit of our gathering today.
Your Holinesses, Your Excellencies, Your Emminencies, dear Most Venerables, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen. Please allow me to read the words that our Beloved Teacher, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, wished to deliver here today:
“We are grateful to gather today to announce to the world our commitment to work together to end Modern Slavery; and to plea to those who traffic in human beings to stop their exploitation; and to ask world leaders and organisations to protect the dignity of these young women, men and children. They are our daughters and sons, our sisters and brothers.
As a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, working as a Buddhist chaplain at several of Melbourne's hospitals and as well as Melbourne assessment prison, I have witnessed many personal tragedies faced by the living and of course the very process of dying and that of death and many of these poor people faced their death with fear, with misery and pain before departing this world. With the images of all these in my mind, on this occasion, I wish to share my view from the perspective of a Buddhist and we hope that people would feel far more relaxed in facing this inevitable end since it is really not the end of life, according to our belief.
One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry.
He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, "How much do I owe you?" "You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness." He said..... "Then I thank you from my heart."
As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: