The MITRA Conference is returning to round out 2019!
Spirituality is a term usually associated with a separation from the bustle of community engagement. When we think of spirituality, our current perspective of the term leads us to a concept of coming back to nature and the environment outside of the city, campus, or workplace and being away from others. However, spirituality can be found even while communicating with other people, and is just as important in our daily lives as logic and reasoning. This applies to social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Come and join us as we discover what it means to be socially engaged, but remain spiritually aware.
Speakers include: Dr. Eng Kong Tan, Ven. Bhante Suddhaso, Ven. Bhante Pandit, Ven. Bhante Buddharakkhita, Acharya Andrew Williams and more...
Morning tea and lunch included.
Proudly presented by MITRA Youth Buddhist Network and supported by UTSBMS
Ven. Bhante Buddharakkhita
Ven. Bhikkhu Buddharakkhita was born and raised in Uganda, Africa. He first encountered Buddhism in 1990 while living in India, and he began practicing meditation in 1993. In June 2001, he started formal monastic training, and in November 2002 he received higher ordination under the late Venerable U Silananda at the Tathagata Meditation Center in California. He has continued his Dhamma study and meditation practice for eight years under the guidance of Bhante Gunaratana at the Bhavana Society, West Virginia. He is the founder of the Uganda Buddhist Center in Uganda and has been teaching meditation in Africa, Europe, Brazil and the U.S. Besides spending time at the Buddhist Center in Uganda, he is the founder of Bodhi Education Foundation, Inc., in Maryland. His book, Planting Dhamma Seeds: The Emergence of Buddhism on African Soil, tells the story of his religious work in Africa
Ven. BomHyon Sunim
Ven. BomHyon Sunim is ordained in the Korean Zen tradition. She returned to Australia in 2010 and since then, has been active in chaplaincy and spiritual care, managing the Prison Chaplaincy project and establishing the Buddhist Spiritual Care program for Buddhist Council Vic. In 2012, Sunim was appointed on the Religious Advisory Committee to the Aust. Defence Forces, which is responsible for recruitment and support of chaplains in the military; she continues to serve in this role. Concurrently, she managed the BodhiAhm Meditation Centre in Melbourne, offering teachings and retreats. Early 2017, Sunim moved to Sydney and now lives in a non-sectarian residence for ordained Buddhist women in the Western suburbs. She is the present Chair of the Australian Sangha Assoc, and also volunteers as a chaplain at Western Sydney University where she has commenced a research doctorate into the culture and practice of chaplaincy in Australian universities, with particular interest in the generational views of the 18-35 age demographic. While living in Korea, Sunim completed intensive training with Dr Marshall Rosenberg, founder of NonViolent Communication®. She is a postgraduate Fellow of the Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies program at Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), and a certified mediator. Sunim’s deep commitment is to live and learn with others who are motivated, ecologically and compassionately, to support each other in right relationship to the planet and all beings.
Ven. Bhante Suddhāso
Ven. Bhante Suddhāso is a Buddhist monk living in New York City. The co-founder of Buddhist Insights, a new platform using technology to build community and facilitate access to reliable monastic teachings, his work aims to convey Buddhist concepts and their practical applicability to everyday life. Ven. Bhante Suddhāso practices meditation according to the original instructions given by the Buddha in the Pāli Canon – the oldest collection of Buddhist scriptures, which contains an enormous amount of very detailed and precise guidelines on how we can live our lives in a way that reduces our dissatisfaction and discontent.
Ven. Aileen Barry
Ven. Aileen Barry was ordained by Geshe Thubten Dawa in Australia in 2004. She worked for many years with prisoners through the FPMT Liberation Prison Project as well as offering service to various Dharma centres. She was part of the core administrative team for three of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visits to Australia. For the past seven years, Ven. Aileen has been Assistant to Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo residing in India. She has just recently returned to Australia. Her aim is to complete more practice and retreat.
Dr Eng-Kong Tan
Dr Tan has been a past speaker and a highly valued supporter of Mitra since its inception. Dr Tan is a medical practitioner, consultant psychiatrist and Buddhist psychotherapist. He established a group practice, Metta Clinic, consisting of psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors in Pymble, Sydney more than 40 years ago. Dr Tan was a former Chair of Training to the PPAA and Chair to the Section of Psychotherapy of the FRANZCP. He was on the Training Committee/Faculty of the NSWIPP and ANZAP. Dr Tan is currently Adjunct Professor at the Nan Tien Institute, Wollongong in NSW. He is Founder President of the Aust Assoc of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP) and its first Director of Training of its two year Professional Training Course which is currently into its 5th Course. Dr Tan offers individual, couple and group psychotherapies. He runs mindfulness, personal development and analytic groups. He is available for individual and group supervision. He has given keynote addresses, seminars and workshops on Buddhism, Mindfulness, Spirituality and Psychotherapy in Australia and overseas.
Ven. Bhante Pandit
Pandit Bhikkhu ordained in the Thai Theravada Buddhist tradition in 1997 in a parkland monastery, Rajaburi Province. In 2001 he moved to Wat Paknam, Bangkok, where he completed degrees in the monastic university in Buddhist Psychology (BA) and Buddhist Studies (MA). He organised and ran the Little Bangkok Sangha group in Bangkok which was the only English speaking group in the capital. Interests include psychology, and the dhamma of Faerie Tales. Some videos can be found on YouTube at littlebangdotorg channel.
Ven. Ayya Yeshe Bodhicitta
Venerable Ayya Yeshe has been ordained 18 years. She is an International Buddhist teacher, activist and contemplative. She is the director of Bodhicitta Dakini hermitage Australia and Bodhicitta Foundation India, a charity for ex 'untouchable' Indian Buddhists. Ayya is also a renowned sacred chants artist with 84,000 hits on YouTube and a published author of 'Everyday Enlightenment' - Harper Collins, and numerous articles in Tricycle, Eastern Door and other journals.
Dharma Master Andrew Williams
Dharma Master Andrew Williams has been a Dharma Teacher since 1998, initially in the USA and now in Australia. He has studied and received teachings in all of the three major Buddhist traditions of Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana, and is currently a resident teacher at the Kim Cang Temple and Tu An Temple in Melbourne, as well as occasionally teaching at various other temples, Dharma centres, Buddhist Clubs, retreats and in the general public. He is also a regular guest and keynote speaker at Buddhist and interfaith forums and dialogues, and co-host of the Voice of Faith radio program, as well as being a past prison and hospital chaplain. Andrew has written numerous Buddhist mini-musicals that have been performed at UN Vesak celebrations in Australia. These musicals have been released on cd and on the Internet for free distribution. Additionally, he has a vast catalogue of Dharma songs and songs of peace. Andrew has also acted as one of the editors of the Sanskrit/Vietnamese/English Buddhist Dictionary and the book Unveiling Your Sacred Truth, and will himself have a series of Dharma books published in 2019 & 2020. He is also a regular contributor to various Buddhist magazines and websites, as well as other social media sites and pages, and is the Editorial Director of The Interview Emagazine and www.a-galigo.com. He is actively engaged as a committee member of the Buddhist Federation of Australia, the World Fellowship of Buddhist Youth, the World Alliance of Buddhists and the Casey Multifaith Network. In addition, in July 2017 Andrew was honoured with a World Buddhist Outstanding Leader award. He was born in Wales, UK, moving to Australia as a young child, and had an extensive career in the entertainment industry, predominately as a singer-songwriter and actor, before focusing 100% on Dharma studies, practise & teaching.
Rod Lee has been involved in health care management and education for over 35 years. He is an instructor of Tai Chi and Chi Gong with 45 years of experience. He has developed and presented relaxation and meditation programs for Qantas and Malaysian airlines. Rod is a teacher and director of the Tibetan Buddhist Society, Sydney. He has a very engaging teaching style and presents the Buddhist teaching in a practical and relatable manner.
Ven. Bhante Akāliko
Ven. Bhante Akāliko Bhikkhu is an Australian monk in the Theravada forest tradition. Venerable Akāliko first encountered Buddhism as a teenager and spent over twenty years practising in different traditions both in Australia and overseas, before taking full ordination with Ajahn Brahm as his preceptor. Venerable Akāliko’s teaching brings the Buddha's timeless wisdom to today’s problems in practical ways, helping people find peace and happiness in their lives. He currently resides with his long-term teacher, Ven. Bhante Sujato, at Lokanta Vihara, (the Monastery at the End of the World) in Sydney, Australia.
Ven. Sister Steadiness
Sister True Steadiness studies as a Chinese herbalist, acupuncturist and Qigong instructor in Canada with further training in China. She ran her own clinic in Canada for several years until a serious traffic accident meant she wasn’t able to even hold a pencil and could only drink liquid food. After five years of healthy living: practicing qigong, cultivating a positive mind, and meditating, she had healed herself without Western or Eastern medical treatment. She then decided to become a Buddhist nun and was ordained in 2008 by her teacher Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh of Plum Village, France. With the guidance of her teacher, she perfected her mindfulness training and has gone on to discover better Qigong practices for self-healing. The Centre describes her Qigong as Healing Breath Qigong – self-healing with awareness of breathing. Her technique has helped those who have found no answers with other treatments to live healthy meaningful lives.
Jeff Oliver is a dynamic and creative meditation teacher from Australia. He has been practicing vipassana ('insight') meditation for about 25 years, eight of which he was ordained as a Buddhist Monk in the Burmese tradition. Jeff has shared practical life skills and "mind management" in many areas of the world including Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe including Turkey. Jeff's teachings are based on both ancient and modern ways of mind training especially, such as appreciation, forgiveness, loving-kindness (metta), concentration, awareness and wisdom. Basically, Jeff is offering us a ‘toolbox’ of techniques to be used both in formal, intensive meditation and in any situation during our busy and complicated daily life. His style is open, approachable, friendly and gentle yet very effective for the modern seeker of truth.
Ven. Sister Ayya Soma
Ven. Sister Ayya Soma is an Italian Buddhist monk ordained in the Theravāda tradition. As the co-founder of Buddhist Insights, a non-profit organization connecting people with monastics in NYC, she has learned the Dharma through the perspective of monks and nuns of all different traditions, and incorporates aspects from all of them in her own practice. Her spiritual path is inspired by the social engagement of her preceptor, Venerable Paññāvati Bhikkhuni; by the knowledge and wisdom of her mentor, Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi; and by the open-mindedness of her teacher, Ven. Bhante Suddhāso.
Hendrik Lianto (MC)
Hendrik encountered Buddhism in high school though books and literature. Whilst studying in university, Hendrik became more active in Vihara Vimala Dharma in Bandung Indonesia. He took refuge in the Triple Gem in 2001 and obtained Bodhisaranovattho as his Buddhist name. A Buddhist program radio presenter, Hendrik also launched a Buddhist singing album titled Satu Harapan ('One Hope'). In Australia, Hendrik was Dharma Officer and President for MacBuddhi as well as active in MITRA
Tina Ng (MC)
Tina Ng is the Founder and President of the Metta Centre, which provides a space for Buddhist teachers to share the Buddha's teachings to the public. Tina is also the Principal Solicitor of Metta Legal, a law firm that deals with cases relating to family law, child protection, property, civil litigation and guardianship matters. She is an accredited mediator at Metta Resolution, which provides mediation, training and coaching to resolve conflict in the community and within families. Tina is serving her second year on the board of the Buddhist Council of NSW, an is active in the Buddhist community supporting various causes. Tina has a keen interest in supporting the youth, and runs mentoring programs through her law firm and projects. She has participated in Buddhist events as coordinator, advisor, Master of Ceremony (MC), and auctioneer at charity functions. She has shared the Buddha’s teachings in conferences, talks, workshops, and in her writings.
Rev. Dr. Stephanie Dowrick (Panel Moderator)
Reverend Stephanie Dowrick, PhD, has been a leader in sexual politics and publishing and continues to be a leader and pioneer in interfaith, post-denominational spirituality and inter-religious understanding. She has been writing and teaching from a spiritually inclusive perspective for more than 30 years and, since 2006, has been leading one of the world’s most diverse spiritual communities, with its home first at Sydney’s Pitt Street Uniting Church, and now at InnerSpace Centre, Five Dock, in addition to its retreat home at Mana Retreat Centre in New Zealand.
Writing has been her principal occupation since moving to Australia from the UK in 1983. Prior to that, she was a highly successful London-based publisher, working for New English Library, Triad Paperbacks (owned by Jonathan Cape, Chatto & Windus and the Bodley Head), prior to co-founding, in 1978, The Women’s Press, London, where she was the first Managing Director and, later from Australia, an active and influential Chairperson.
Stephanie Dowrick has written with rare success across a number of media platforms. Her book-length writing includes two highly praised, internationally published novels, Running Backwards Over Sand and Tasting Salt. She is probably best known for her genuinely life-changing books that offer readers a rare level of depth, insight and accessibility. Those non-fiction books include ground-breaking, international best-sellers, Intimacy and Solitude, Forgiveness and Other Acts of Love, Choosing Happiness: Life & Soul Essentials, The Universal Heart, and a deeply-researched study of spirituality and poetry centred on the writing of Rainer Maria Rilke: In the Company of Rilke. She has also contributed to readers’ in-depth, socially and spiritual-conscious enquiry with Creative Journal Writing, Free Thinking and Everyday Kindness. Her more recent books are the highly acclaimed Seeking the Sacred: Transforming Our View of Ourselves and One Another and Heaven on Earth – a book of universally-accessible prayers and on prayer. She has also written for children, including Katherine Rose Says No, and her most recent picture book, The Moon Shines Out of the Dark. Her principal publishers are Allen and Unwin, Sydney, and Tarcher/Penguin, New York. Her books have been translated into many languages.
Stephanie Dowrick graduated with a PhD from Western Sydney University’s Writing and Society Research Group in 2009, writing her research thesis on the power of poetry and spirituality – that later became her internationally lauded, In the Company of Rilke. She had been ordained as an interfaith minister by the New Seminary, New York, in 2005; in 2019, she was awarded a D.Min by the New Seminary in recognition of her many years of interfaith ministry, teaching and writing, and with particular reference to Seeking the Sacred and Heaven on Earth as essential references for multi-cultural, culturally and socially diverse communities.
The Mitra Conference has been a long tradition involving the Buddhist Community from all over Sydney and Australia since our first conference in 2003. After much anticipation, we bring you our 10th Mitra Buddhist Conference in 2019. Here's a clip from one of our previous conferences to get a taste of what you may be in for.
We support and facilitate the teaching of courses and curricula informed by Buddhist wisdom and values. We provide financial support to current and potential students. We facilitate the exchange of culture and arts between Australia's diverse communities, cultures and religions.
Tibetan Emporium ('the Store') is an online Tibetan Handicraft retail store based in the Southern Highlands, NSW, Australia.
The Store owner, Jennifer or Choekyi, is a stay at home Mum who lived in Dharamsala, Northern India, for almost a total of 10 years as a Buddhist nun in the Tibetan tradition (to learn more about her time in India, please read her blog; coming soon).
Having returned to her native Australia, Jennifer wanted to showcase the unique and inspirational handcrafted items made by Tibetans living in exile to people here in Australia.
The Store provides an opportunity to give thoughtful and meaningful gifts, regardless, if the gift is bought for oneself or for someone else.
The handcrafted items are steeped in Tibetan Buddhism symbolism and iconography.
Please take a look around my store and I hope you love the items as much as I do!
Nan Tien Temple is situated at Berkeley - a suburb of Wollongong in the state of New South Wales. It is one of the branch temples of Fo Guang Shan, founded in 1965 by Venerable Master Hsing Yun, which has over 200 branches worldwide. "Nan Tien" in Chinese, literally means "Paradise of the South". This is the biggest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere. Since the opening of the temple in October 1995, it has become a new venue for local and international tourists and also acts as an important cultural centre bridging different cultures.
Fo Guang Buddhism is rooted in the Mahayana tradition which emphasises that Buddhahood is within everyone's potential reach. Fo Guang followers strive to bring Buddhism into daily life and aptly term their faith "Humanistic Buddhism."
Nan Tien temple is a place for people to practice and understand the Dharma (Buddha's teachings). Dharma is in our everyday lives. People can come to the Main Shrine to pray and pay their respects to the Buddha. They may also practice meditation in the meditation hall to become further aware of one's mind and feelings, listen to the Dharma in the auditorium, and read and immerse oneself in the boundless world of Buddhist scriptures to gain wisdom. In addition, the Buddhist College offers traditional monastic training to help achieve the aim of building Buddhist localisation training to help achieve the aim of building Buddhist localisation.
Pal Buddhist School (PBS) is a secular, independent, co-educational Years 7-12 High School. Pal Buddhist School is Australia’s first Buddhist Secondary School. Located on First Avenue, directly opposite the Canley Vale Railway Station, the School is conveniently positioned to attract a diversity of students from the greater Sydney region and from around the world. PBS boasts a student-centric educational philosophy in an environment which fosters respect, cultural diversity and inclusivity. Thus, our small and paperless classrooms are integrated with tablet technology, merging innovative education with the ancient wisdom of Buddism.
Founded in 2013, the School’s mission is to provide quality education through an academic-based curriculum in an environment that fosters respect, cultural diversity and inclusivity. While we are in no way a religious school, the Buddhist philosophy underpins our way of thinking and behaviour. Pal students find joy and excitement in learning, creating and sharing their talents. Teachers and staff are passionate about their core business of education: to create in students the love of learning and the motivation to improve their life. Teaching and learning take place in medium size classes with Teachers focused on gifted and talented education with motivated students. The small Teacher/student ratio is a significant factor in the delivery of curriculum at the School. The School attracts students who are looking for small classes and individualised attention.
The curriculum is tailored to encourage academic and personal success and is complemented by a diverse choice of programmes in performing and visual arts, sport, music and experiential camps. Our vision is to provide an inspirational education where each student develops his/her personal best. Our Home Room Welfare Programme is integral to our students’ well-being and performance. The School’s values underpin our strong Buddhist philosophy of using our skills and knowledge to be generous, compassionate and selfless individuals who contribute positively to society. As a one-campus School and with less than 200 students, PBS is ready to welcome new families to its growing community.
Launched in 2011, within the grounds of the Nan Tien Buddhist Temple, in Wollongong, Australia, Nan Tien Institute (NTI) is a private, not for profit, government accredited higher education provider offering courses in the areas of Buddhist studies, health and wellbeing.
Today NTI operates from its own state-of-the-art campus on the South Coast of New South Wales, which incorporates contemplative education and fosters an environment for holistic learning, allowing students to contribute to the advancement and integration of knowledge, culture and ethical understanding, both within their own lives and within the lives of others.
Accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, Nan Tien Institute offers postgraduate programs in Applied Buddhist Studies, Health and Social Wellbeing, Humanistic Buddhism and Mental Health as well as customised Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs and special interest subjects across the areas of meditation, mindfulness and health.
The Bodhicitta foundation NGO was founded by an Australian Tibetan nun, Ayya Yeshe, who has spent over 8 years in the slums in Nagpur, India, working with people from the community previously known as ‘untouchables’. Bodhicitta Foundation NGO works in India and other developing countries to empower mainly women and children with education, job skills, human rights, health and wellbeing. We have a range of projects such as women's job training, girl's home and education facilities and so forth.
The Indian community we work with are largely people who have been held back by the Caste System. Women and children often fall prey to domestic violence, harsh and exploitative work, child marriage, disease and often struggle to just survive. Ayya Yeshe with her locally trained staff are striving to help them overcome discrimination, reclaim their human dignity and help them realize their potential.
Windhorse Books is a non-profit business run by Australian Buddhists in the spirit of the Buddha’s teachings. Our aim is to make available quality books on Buddhism and meditation.
Windhorse Books is a Buddhist right livelihood business - that is a venture attempting to engage in ethical, non-exploitative and spiritually beneficial business.
We have been in operation since 1994 distributing books to bookshops, Buddhist groups and individuals. By distributing quality Buddhist books we hope to further the understanding and practice of the Buddha's teachings.
We are a not-for-profit business. To date, profit made has gone back into the business. Those working in Windhorse Books are practicing Buddhists.
We hope that what we make available inspires - not the desire to acquire - but understanding, Buddhist practice and generosity towards others.
Tharpa Choeling, Wellington Buddhist Centre was founded by Gelupa lineage western sangha, following the teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They take seriously the 43 ordination vows as given by their ordination master, Geshe Thubten Dawa plus the main Boshisattva vow which incorporates 18 root vows and 46 subsidiary vows. They are not a cultural centre and as such, their main focus is study of the Buddha's teachings; the three turnings of the dharma wheel, which they are always happy to share with others.
The Tharpa Choeling Wellington Buddhist centre offers classes in meditation, breathing, relaxation and yoga.
The Buddhist Council of New South Wales is a charitable, not- for-profit organisation set up to help Buddhist temples and Buddhist societies in New South Wales (now also ACT) and to represent the Buddhist community to mainstream society.
The Buddhist Council represents more than 100 Buddhist organisations within New South Wales.
We are a member of the Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils (FABC), which represents Buddhist organisations throughout Australia. The FABC has a collaborative relationship with the Australian Sangha Association, which represents ordained sangha (monks and nuns).
The purpose of The Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP) is to bring therapists together in order to discuss, learn and study the two disciplines of psychotherapy and Buddhism, integrating their experience and knowledge into their daily life and work.
The intention is that we all benefit from the depth of Buddhist psychology and practice. There is much to benefit us, as well as others, in our attempt to integrate Western Psychotherapy with Eastern Buddhism.
The Buddhist Library is a non-sectarian, not-for-profit educational organisation based in Camperdown, Sydney.
It has over 7,000 books and multimedia resources. These resources range from introductory material to scholarly texts, covering all the main schools of Buddhism and related subjects. The Library is open to the public, although you need to be a member to borrow its resources. There are also books for free distribution available at the Library.
As well as its reading resources, the Buddhist Library offers a range of courses and workshops to help people develop their understanding and practice of Buddhism. It takes a non-secular approach, welcoming local and international teachers from various backgrounds and traditions, who offer thorough teachings and practices.
During library opening hours, feel free to drop in and enjoy our calm space in the city. Use the free wifi, have a cup of tea, sit, relax, read, contemplate, meditate.
The Association of Engaged Buddhists is a group of lay Buddhist practitioners and ordained Monks and Nuns who are committed to putting the Dhamma into action within their own lives in order to be of benefit to the wider community.
Established in 1993, the Association runs regular evenings of Buddhist teachings and meditation at Sangha Lodge in Lewisham, as well as retreats, workshops and courses in response to specific needs. The Association’s main aim is to share in a non-sectarian way the many benefits of meditation and Dhamma teachings with those in need in the community. The Association is recognised by the Buddhist Council of NSW.
Metta Centre is a place to heal the mind, body and heart. We believe that with inner peace comes world peace.
MITRA is a network of youth Buddhist societies with connections to many youth Buddhist groups and the greater Buddhist community. It was inspired by the Intervarsity Buddhist Convention held at UTS in July 2002. At the convention, it was identified that formal links between University Buddhist Societies would help to ensure the continued growth of each society.
Representatives from UTS Buddhist Society, Unibodhi, MacBuddhi and a few past executive committee members from MacBuddhi formed the initiating team of MITRA.
MITRA, a Sanskrit word meaning friend, was selected as the name for the network as it represented MITRA’s relationship with its affiliated societies. MITRA can be thought of as a helping hand for youth Buddhist Societies.
MITRA aims to provide support for existing youth Buddhist societies and assistance for new ones who are striving to grow. Regardless of whether it is moral support, physical assistance or ideas, we hope that we will be able to help youth Buddhist societies to achieve their goals in propagating the Dharma.
The UTS Buddhist Meditation Society aims to foster young individuals with interests in understanding the teachings of the Buddha and mediation practices. UBM provides an engaging platform where like-minded youths meet and share their interest in Buddhism and meditation practices in a peaceful and mindfulness environment.
Tickets include access to all talks, workshops, a vegetarian lunch box, morning and afternoon tea.
No Charge for Monastics Attendees
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