Mitra Buddhist Conference 2019

Socially Engaged, Spiritually Aware

The Mitra conference will be returning to round out 2019!

November 30th - December 1st

Spituality is a term usually associated with a separation from the bustle of community engagement. When we think of spirituality, our current perspective of the terms leads us to a concept of coming back to nature and environment outside of the city, the campus, or the workplace and away from others. However, spirituality can be found even when communicating with other people, and is just as important in our daily lives as logic and reasoning. This applies just as well on social media platforms such as instagram, facebook and twitter. Come and join as we discover what it means to be socially engaged, but remain spiritually aware.

Speakers include: Ven. Bhante Suddhaso, Ven. Hui Cen, Ven. Bhante Pandit, Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel, Ven. Bhante Buddharakkhita, Ven. Ayya Yeshe, Andrew William and more....

Morning Tea and Lunch included.

Get Your Tickets

Proudly Presented By Mitra and UTSBMS


Venerable Ayya Yeshe Bodhicitta

Buddhist Nun, Activist, Social Worker

Bodhicitta Foundation

Venerable Ayya Yeshe Bodhicitta ordained as a nun in 2001. She discovered Buddhism whilst travelling in Nepal and India at the age of 17 on a search for the meaning of life. Coming back to Australia after a year of study and practice in monasteries, she helped run a Buddhist Centre in Sydney and trained with her teacher Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe for five years whilst working at the same time.

Upon ordaining as a Buddhist nun at the age of 23, Venerable Yeshe found that there was very little care or support for western monastics, people preferring to access Tibetan Lamas who are already trained.  She stayed with various friends and in garden sheds while living on a mendicant tradition of alms round to obtain food. She engaged in teaching Dharma in HIV hospices, schools, drug and alchohol rehabilitation centres and trained as a yoga teacher.

Coming to India in 2004, Venerable Yeshe studied for two years in a monastery, but felt a need to make Buddhism accessible and socially engaged, whilst still trying to maintain her contemplative way of life. She met Indian Buddhists in 2005 and has been working with them ever since. Her teachers are His Holiness Sakya Trizin (the second highest Lama in Tibetan Buddhism) and Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, the nobel peace prize poet and peace activist, under which she took full ordination as a Bhikkhuni.

Venerable Ayya Yeshe Bodhicitta is the author of 'Everyday Enlightenment' published by Harper Collins and is featured in the documentaries 'life beyond the begging bowl' and 'Through the Eastern Gate'. She has also made a Buddhist chanting CD with one of Australia's top world music groups - India Jiva called 'Dakini'.

Jeff Oliver

Vipassana Meditation Teacher

Jeff Oliver is from the Central Coast and began practicing Vipassana in 1992. Between 1993 and 2002, he was a Buddhist monk in the Burmese Theravada tradition. These days, he is a freelance meditation teacher sharing in Europe, Asia and here in Australia. His motto is to LIVE and LEARN and LOVE!



Guthrie Theatre, UTS, 755 Harris St, Ultimo NSW 2007

The Guthrie Theatre is located building 6 of UTS, just five minutes walk from Central Station


  1. 08:00 AM - Registration
  2. 09:00 AM - Conference Opening

    A Lighting Ceremony by Monastic representatives from all traditions followed by an opening address by the President of the Mitra Youth Buddhist Network and VIPs.

  3. 09:30 AM - Socially Engaged, Spiritually Aware (Ven. Gyatso)

    by Venerable Thubten Gyatso

    The Buddhist practice is a path of wisdom and skilful means, balancing one’s spiritual practice and spiritual service, unifying the personal or social. Like wings of a bird, both aspects are required for our practice to soar. In this talk, we will explore the relationship between social engagement and spiritual awareness. 

  4. 10:30 AM - Disconnect to Reconnect (Ven. Akāliko)

    by Venerable Akāliko

    We live in a connected world, linked to a global community through technology and social media, yet we often feel disconnected from ourselves and others. This talk challenges us to examine the quality of both our online and offline interactions, asking what habits, attitudes and activities we can cultivate to feel more connected and what things we need to disconnect from to live a happy and meaningful life.

  5. 11:00 AM - Morning Tea
  6. 11:30 AM - The Power of Understanding your Story (Matt Orsborn)

    by Matt Orsborn

    Telling and hearing stories are powerful ways to bear witness to our and others’ lives. Our lives are made up of stories and individual moments. Some of those stories may arouse in us joy, others may stir sadness, and others may just be another moment in time that has passed. Whatever those stories may have been, a part of those stories still remains within us today, and continues to write the story that we live out each day.


  7. 12:00 PM - Lunch

    Vegetarian Lunch provided

  8. 13:00 PM - Breakout Workshop Sessions

    See our Breakout Sessions page for a full list of the Breakout Workshops

  9. 14:15 PM - Afternoon Tea
  10. 14:45 PM - Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi Video Address
  11. 15:00 PM - HiStory, HerStory, Our Story (Ven. Ayya Tathaloka)

    by Venerable Ayya Tathaloka

    History is made up of stories of individuals, communities and events that shape the future and bind all of humanity together. Each person has a story: whether it’s his story, her story, or a shared common story, those stories pass on messages and lessons of the past to the next generation. Each person’s experiences are different and the lens in which we view our past and present is colored by our own predispositions. Stories of the Buddha and his disciples now make up the teachings that we learn from today. So what story are we creating today?

  12. 16:00 PM - Discussion Panel - (Re)writing our Story

    Every moment we are writing our story. Those stories may follow a particular pattern, have a moral that we need to learn, and connect with the stories of others. In this panel, we will explore the relevance of stories and storytelling in our spiritual practice, explore the individual and common socio-historical story, and ways in which we can write – and rewrite – the story we want to live in every moment.


    Ven. Ani Rinchen Khandro
    Ven. Akaliko
    Ven. Bom Hyon Sunim
    Jeff Oliver


    Walter Mason

  13. 17:30 PM - Close
  1. 08:00 AM - Registration
  2. 09:00 AM - Buddha Dharma in the 21st Century (Ven. Ani Rinchen Khandro)

    by Venerable Ani Rinchen Khandro

    Timeless Wisdom for Modern Times

    The major problems we face in today’s world, whether personal or universal, originate in the human mind. From mental and emotional ill health to global imbalances of power and resources, all stem from root causes in the mind. Fortunately, that is also where we find the solutions. The Buddha Dharma provides not only profound insight into our situation, but also the blueprint of an action plan to resolve it and go beyond to realise the full flowering of our potential.

    We are the architects of our future. Do we continue to sleepwalk along the road to destruction of ourselves and our home on planet Earth? Or wake up, open our hearts and minds and follow the path of Buddha Dharma to a sustainable, meaningful future of liberation, wellbeing and joy. The future is in our hands.


  3. 10:00 AM - Stepping into the Deep Future (Ven. Sujato)

    by Venerable Sujato

    Darkness is crowding in upon our imaginations, tainted by fears of climate change, extremism, inequality, and a creeping fascism. We know this is happening, but we can’t stop checking our phones, looking for the next dopamine hit. We have become distracted by the present, and not in a good way. It is a shallow, fractured, and anxious present, where we always feel swept along by forces out of our control. If we are to reclaim our future, we must learn to stand in the deep present, a place of stillness and clarity, a solid rock from which we can step into the future and start to shape the world that we want to live in.

  4. 11:00 AM - Morning Tea
  5. 11:30 AM - Buddhism and the Burning Issues (Ven. Ayya Yeshe)

    by Venerable Ayya Yeshe

    We live in a time when human rights and gains that we have made for women, people of colour and LGBTQ and poor people are being stripped away. Twelve million women said “Me too”. Spiritual teachers have been accused of sexual abuse, and similar issues persist. The spiritual journey is not always filled with bliss and perfection. On our spiritual and worldly journeys, we inevitably meet with challenges. When we stand against injustice, we may encounter hate, intolerance and conflict. This talk will provide strategies to see, understand, and ultimately deal with those challenges and the structural violence that occurs so that we can face them skilfully.

  6. 12:00 PM - Holding the World in our Hearts (Ven. Bom Hyon Sunim)

    by Venerable Bom Hyon Sunim

    When we see that our story is interconnected with a common story, we can see that our lives are deeply connected with the lives of others. In knowing of the pain of others, we feel compassion in our hearts to wish to heal their pain. In knowing of the fortunes of others, we can rejoice in their happiness. In bearing witness to their story, we connect to their lives deeply with ours. In this way, we can hold the world in hearts.

  7. 12:30 PM - Lunch

    Vegetarian Lunch Provided

  8. 13:30 PM - Breakout workshop sessions

    See our Breakout Sessions page for a full list of the Breakout Workshops

  9. 14:45 PM - Afternoon Tea
  10. 15:15 PM - Charity Video
  11. 15:25 PM - Ego is not a Dirty Word (Jeff Oliver)
    by Jeff Oliver
    Ego or self seems to be used negatively but it is our current operating system, our personality, who we are. Also, “defilements” are attributed to it, but these too are simply mental processes. Let’s learn how to explore the mind OBJECTIVELY and unravel OUR OWN TRUE NATURE through our own mind with compassion and friendliness.
  12. 16:00 PM - Discussion Panel - Creating our Journey from the Journeys of the Past

    The Buddha and his disciples’ spiritual journey have been passed down to us in the scriptures. This panel will explore the stories of the past and how the teachings exemplified in those teachings continue to hold relevance for us now in our own journey. With panelists across the major Buddhist traditions, this session focuses on the practical aspects of the respective traditions’ teachings and texts to elucidate how they may be applied to our lives today.

    Ven. Gyatso
    Ven. Ayya Tathaloka
    Ven. Sujato
    Matt Orsborn

    Moderator: Walter Mason


  13. 17:30 PM - Close

View Talk Details

Our Past Conferences

The Mitra Conference has been a long tradition involving Buddhist Community from all over Sydney and Australia since our first conference 2003. After much anticipation, we bring you our  9th Mitra Buddhist Conference in 2018. Here's a clip from one of our previous conferences to get a taste of what you may be in for.




Tickets include access to all talks, workshops, a vegetarian lunch box, morning and afternoon tea.

Two Day : $95
One Day : $75
Concession Two Day : $65
Concession One Day : $45
Benefactor: $120

No Charge for Monastics Attendees

Eventbrite - Mitra Conference 2019

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