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. Bhante Pandit, Ven. Bhante Buddharakkhita, Acharya Andrew Williams and more...

Morning Tea and Lunch included.

Don't miss out on our early bird special! Enter codes:

"CONNECTION1" for 1 day tickets and

"CONNECTION2" for 2 day tickets to get up to a $20 discount.

Hurry before it ends on October 31st!

Get Your Tickets

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

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.

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. Ayya Yeshe

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.

Ven. Bhante Suddhaso

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. 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.

Acharya Andrew Williams

Acharya 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 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.

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.

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.

Jeff Oliver

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. Ayya Soma

Sister 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, Bhante Suddhāso.

Ven. Akāliko

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, Bhante Sujato, at Lokanta Vihara, (the Monastery at the End of the World) in Sydney, Australia.



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. 09:00 AM - 09:30 AM : Opening

    MC Welcome and President Introduction

  2. 09:30 AM - 10:15 AM : Ven. Bhante Buddharakkhita

    Ven. Bhante Buddharakkhita

  3. 10:15 AM - 10:45 AM : Morning Tea
  4. 10:45 AM - 11:30 AM : Practising Deep Discernment, We engage with Fearlessness and Tenderness - Ven. BomHyon Sunim

    Buddhism teaches us that life is precious. If we wish to use our limited time on earth to create a truly meaningful existence there is no better foundation than the Dharma, the teachings of the Buddha. The first Noble Truth tells us that life is suffering. Karmic patterns are created by the struggles of the human predicament, that condition the behaviour of the individual and the subsequent rounds of birth and rebirth. But this karmic inheritance is also experienced as social and collective consequences. Specific to time and place, different cultures arise, whether of a group, a community, social class or civilisation; or a global community as we experience today. The great web of life is in constant motion, held in a vast network of light-reflecting jewels in a seamless relationship of interdependence, karma rising at points where time and space intersect. These intersections mark the coming and going of all things: continents, oceans, planets, universes, great ideas and civilisations -for these too, suffer the rounds of birth and rebirth, revolution and stability. In the turning of the Dharma Wheel the Buddha shows us a path of release from the round of rebirths – karmic imprints fading like the melting morning dew. Today, we are engaged in another great turning, one which calls our hearts to bear witness to the deep collective suffering of this world – the suffering of all beings and the planet itself.

  5. 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM : Ven. Ayya Yeshe

    Ven. Ayya Yeshe

  6. 12:15 PM - 13:15 PM : Lunch
  7. 13:15 PM - 14:15 PM : Breakout Session 1

    Faciliated by:

    Jeff Oliver – Spiritual Relationships

    Ven. Akaliko – Spiritual Bypassing and Buddhism

    Acharya Andrew Williams – The Four Immeasurable’s In Action

    Ven. Bhante Suddhaso

    Ven. Ayya Yeshe

  8. 14:45 PM - 15:15 PM : Afternoon Tea
  9. 15:15 PM - 16:00 PM : My Mind's Such a Sweet Thing - Ven. Bhante Pandit

    Insight into what is the path, and what is not the path, and how it changes the context of life in the world. And it gets easier and more simple.

  10. 16:00 PM - 17:00 PM : Panel Session 1

    Question and Answer session with:

    Ven. Bhante Pandit

    Ven. Sunim BomHyon

    Ven. Ayya Yeshe

    Ven. Bhante Buddharakkhita

  1. 09:15 AM - 10:00 AM : The Root of the Problem - Ven. Bhante Suddhaso

    When faced with pandemic social problems, it’s easy to get caught up in treating the symptoms rather than the causes. Bhante Suddhāso will explain how to get to the root of the problem – both in the external world and in the depths of our own minds.

  2. 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM : Meditation
  3. 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM : Morning Tea
  4. 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM : Keynote 6 - Dr Eng-Kong Tan

    Dr Eng-Kong Tan

  5. 11:45 AM - 12:30 PM : Equality & Equal Opportunity are Essential - Acharya Andrew Williams

    Equality and equal opportunity for all are essential to a peaceful and harmonious environment, both individually and collectively. However, it is important to note that equality and equal opportunity, like everything, begin in the mind of the individual. For us all to have peaceful and harmonious homes, communities, regions, countries and the whole world, all people need to have equal opportunity to have access to the essentials in life, for there to be equality everywhere, all of the time. Everyone has the basic right to have clean air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat and sufficient shelter to protect us from the elements. We all have the right to have equal opportunity in regards to education, medical assistance, work, transport and the like, as well as to have freedom of thought, speech and action, and the right to live. It is life that all people treasure the most. Knowing this, how can we harm each other or deprive each other of the basic and essential rights and freedoms? Inequality breeds frustration, confusion and conflict, whilst equality breeds contentment, peace and understanding. So let’s create and maintain a mind, as well as homes, communities, regions, countries and a world of equality and equal opportunity for all, and a peaceful and harmonious environment for us all to live in.

  6. 12:30 PM - 13:30 PM : Lunch
  7. 13:30 PM - 14:30 PM : Breakout Session 2

    Faciliated by:

    Ven. Sister Steadiness – Qi Gong

    Ven. BomHyon Sunim – The Wisdom of breath awareness in practicing deep discernment

    Ven. Bhante Suddhaso

    Ven Ayya Soma

    Ven. Bhante Buddharakkhita

  8. 14:30 PM - 15:15 PM : Breakout Session 3
  9. 15:15 PM - 15:45 PM : Afternoon Tea
  10. 15:45 PM - 16:30 PM : Panel Session 2

    Question and Answer session with:

    Ven. Bhante Suddhaso

    Ven. Ayya Soma

    Acharya Andrew Williams

    Dr Eng Kong Tan

  11. 16:30 PM - 17:00 PM : Closing Ceremony

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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