Dear Friends in the Australian Sangha Association
I hope you enjoy these photos of Vesak Day in Hobart and at the University of Tasmania on Saturday May 25th..
We were very blessed to have three ordained sangha and over thirty lay people celebrate with us including university students, young refugees from the Pontville Detention Centre, members of various Buddhist groups in Tasmania, Dr Sonam Thakchoe who lectures in Buddhist Philosophy at UTas and some members of other faith groups who joined us for a beautiful liturgy/puja, an introduction to Buddhist chaplaincy in Tasmania and a wonderful lunch after.
May you feel the joy of the Vesak season.
May you grow in peace and love.
May true wisdom be yours.
Venerable Thích Thông Pháp
Saturday, April 20th, 2013, was a momentous day in the history of Buddhism in Tasmania. At 2.30 pm the first ordination in the Chinese Ch’an* tradition took place in the Gutteridge Gardens in Wynyard on the north west coast of Tasmania.
The afternoon was warm and sunny. The setting included the gardens receding into the coastline of the Bass Strait, lined by trees and sailing boats. About thirty friends of the Buddha-heart Fellowship, including four of us who had travelled up from Hobart, gathered at the sound shell in our beautiful, natural temple to attend the ordination of Alan Piercy – Sangye Dorje by Venerable Shih Ying-Fa, Abbot of Cloudwater Zendo, the Zen Centre of Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A. Cloudwater Zendo is part of the Nien-Fo Ch’an Buddhist Order combining the practice of Ch’an and Pure Land Buddhism.
The ceremony included the taking of the ten Sramanera precepts and the clothing of the novice in his five piece robe and his Kesa. He then took the Ten Vows of Bodhisattva Kuan-Shih-Yin and the ten vows of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva.
The verse of praise, “Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma Sambuddhasa”, along with the Vandana were chanted in Pali and in a traditional Thai tone by the three monks. This was done in memory of the Venerable Santidhammo Bhikkhu who had supported the ordination candidate in an earlier stage of his journey and who had died in Hobart some three weeks before the ordination.
The ordinand was invited to bow to the four directions: to the East he bowed to the Bodisattva of Wisdom, Manjusri. Then he bowed to the West before the seat of Amitabha Buddha and then to the Cloud Gathered Great Assembly. Perhaps most movingly he then faced south. He gave homage to his parents, bowing to his father, his one remaining parent.
(Venerable Shih Jingang, Venerable Shih Ying-Fa and Venerable Thích Thông Pháp)
The constant refrain during this ordination was that of “Child of a Good Family”, reminiscent of the Diamond Sutra and the experience of many of us, so blessed as to be ordained into the Buddha’s Sangha. I remembered back to the moment of my own sramanera ordination when I realised that this would not have been possible without having come from a good family. It was particularly poignant, therefore, as the ordinand bowed to his father who, with the ordinand’s mother, had supported their son’s journey into the Buddha Dharma from a very early age.
Then came the great moment when the new Sramanera stood before his abbot while the Precentor said “You will now be presented with your Dharma Name, a reminder of your responsibility to the Three Treasures and to all sentient beings.” We were then presented with Tasmania’s newest Buddhist monastic, Venerable Shih Jingang.
May his life be long and happy.
May he walk the Bodhisattva Path all of his days.
May his efforts bear much fruit.
- Thích Thông Pháp
* (Zen [Jp], Soen [Korean], Thien [VN])
The ASA would like to thank everyone who made this years AGM possible. Special thanks go to the Venerable Thich Quang Ba and the community at Van Hanh Monastery in Canberra who generously hosted this event. A new management committee was elected and many new members joined. The members of the new committee are listed below. May the Australian sangha flourish. photos
(From: left to right) Ven. Sr Susila, Ven. Tenpa Bejanke, Ven. Nguyen Khai, Ven. Thay Thong Phap, Ven. Ayya Phalanyani, Ven. Lozang Trin-Le, Ven. Tapasi, Ven. Bhante Jaganatha, Ven. Bhante Dhammawasa, Ven. Bhante Santitito, Ven. Thich Quang Ba, Ven. Ajahn Brahm, Ven. Gontug Rinpoche, Ven. Patacara, Ven. Ayya Upekkha, Ven. Candavisuddhi, Ven. Ayya Nirodha, Ven. Ayya Hasapanna, Ven. Ayya Nibbida, Ven. Tenzin Wangmo.
Managment Committee 2013/14
Chair: Venerable Ajahn Brahm
abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery, WA
Vice-Chair: Venerable Patacara
residing at Santi Forest Monastery, NSW
Secretary: Venerable Thich Thong Phap
Buddhist chaplain at the University of Tasmania, TAS
Treasurer: Venerable Gontug Rinpoche
abbot of Kadhampa Buddhist Society of Australia, VIC
Venerable Chi Kwang Sunim
abbot of the Seon Center, VIC
Venerable Thich Quang Ba
abbot of Sakyamuni Buddhist Temple/Van Hanh Monastery, ACT
Venerable Sister Susila
residing at Samadhi Grove, QLD
abbess of Santi Forest Monastery, NSW
residing at Sanghamittarama in Melbourne, VIC
Venerable Nguyen Khai
Venerable Tenpa Bejanke
Venerable Tenzin Wangmo
ASA Conference 2013
Tuesday March 26th 2013, Canberra
Conference contacts: Venerable Thich Quang Ba Tel: 02-6257 5280 Fax 6257 7733
About the conference
The ASA annual conference brings together Buddhist monastics of all traditions living in, or visiting Australia, for fellowship, dialogue and to address the issues facing Buddhism in Australia. Previously, the ASA has solved problems with visas for monastics through representations to the Department of Immigration, supported monastics in financial difficulty, liaised with the Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils (FABC), arranged monastic education forums such as the 2010 Vinaya Conference and represented the Australian Sangha at International Conferences as well as to various Government agencies.
This year we are fortunate to provide two well known speakers and our Hon. Host Venerable Thich Quang Ba, will open the conference and address ‘Noble Efforts and Noble Friendships
Created at International Buddhist Conferences in 2OI2.
Prof. Peter A.jackson from the School of Culture, History and Language College, of Asia and the Pacific, will speak on ‘Buddhism, Gay—men and Gender Issues in Thailand: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives’.
Venerable Alex Bruce a Tibetan Buddhist monk (FPIVID specialising in law concerning protection and rights of animals. He will speak on ‘Integration of his professional life and his monastic life.’
Both speakers are lecturers at the Australian National University in Canberra, ACT.
We will endeavour to have translators on hand for those Sangha members who are not fluent in English.
This year the ASA annual conference and AGM will be held at Venerable Thich Quang Ba’s Van Hanh Monastery, 32 Archibald St, Lyneham, Canberra.
The one—day conference and AGM will occur on
Tuesday March 26th 2013
Sangha members are encouraged to arrive on the 25th or earlier and register at 7.30am on the 26th. The rooms offered have 2-4 beds. All meals will be provided and are vegetarian. Participants are asked to please; book online, send in the form or contact Ven. Thich Quang Ba, prior one week of the conference, so all transport needs, meals and accommodation can be met.
6.30 Group meditation
8.00 Welcome ceremony
8.20 An Introduction and welcome by Ven.Thich Quang Ba:‘Noble Efforts and Noble Friendships Created at International Buddhist Conferences in 20 l 2′
8.40 Group Discussion: Led by Ven.Thich Thong Phap ‘On Noble Friendship/Kalyanamitra’
9.40 Morning Tea
1.00 Key Note speech by Prof. Peter A. Jackson: ‘Buddhism, Gay—men and Gender Issues in Thailand: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives’ with Q&A
1.45 Afternoon tea
2. 15 2nd Key Note Venerable Alex Bruce: ‘Integration of his professional life and his monastic life’ with Q&A
3.00 Afternoon Discussion:‘Developing ASA’s Noble Friendships throughout 2013
4.00 Closing dedications with a sharing
Sponsorship is available for interstate participants who need assistance with travel expenses.
Our funding come entirely from your generosity and donations towards the costs of the conference are welcome. Please make cheques payable to ‘Australian Sangha Association’ and post to ASA Treasurer: Venerable Gontug Rinpoche, 6l4 Highbury Road, Glen Waverley. VIC 3150
All Buddhist monks and nuns living in Australia are eligible to apply for ASA membership. If you are a member, you can participate fully in the conference by voting for the new committee and other key decisions. Make your membership application online at the ASA website now to ensure your membership is approved in time for the conference. If you cannot access the Internet, please contact us and we will post you a membership application form.
Venerable Thich Quang Ba
Tel: 02-6257 5280 Fax 6257 7733
ASA Secretary Venerable Thong Phap “Thong Phap”
About the Conference.
The ASA conference has become a landmark event each year for Buddhist monastics in Australia. The ASA was set up to support dialogue and understanding among monastics of different traditions, and the conference provides a forum for this. This year’s conference features a one day work shop offered by the Chaplaincy Sub-committee of the Australian Sangha Association. The focus of the conference is on how, as Sangha, we can use the Buddha’s teachings to offer better care, both for each other, and for the whole world. This has been a focus of discussions for the past year, since it has been identified in previous meetings that many Sangha in Australia face challenging conditions, living alone or in small groups, often with little or no support.
The conference will have a mixture of lectures and conversations in small and large groups. We want to learn how to listen better to each other, to understand such questions as: What is our situation as a monastic in Australia? What is going well? Where are the challenges? What help do I need from ASA and other monastics? What help can I offer? This workshop has been designed to give monastic participants the opportunity to make clear what their pastoral and other needs are. With this information, the Chaplaincy Subcommittee can articulate the real needs of Australian Buddhist nuns and monks and find ways for ASA to take action.
When we care for one another we are caring for the world.
Wednesday 23 May – Thursday 24 May 2012Quang Minh Temple
18 Burke Street,
Braybrook, Vic. 3019
Keynote: Phuoc Tan, his experience with three elders: Thich Phuoc Hue, Geshe Loden, Laurence Khantipalo.
9.00: Looking after Sangha in the Vinaya – Sujato
9.30: Tea break
10.00: 1st session
Background and introduction to chaplaincy subcommittee.
1.00: 2nd session
Listening deeply to one another.
3.00: Tea break
3.30: 3rd session
Caring for one another.
Local Sangha: to discuss setting up a Victorian Sangha Association.
Visiting Sangha: A relaxing afternoon together.
Ven. Phuoc Tan 0411 264194
Ven. Chi Kwang 0409 76 4488
All Buddhist monks and nuns living in Australia are eligible to apply for ASA membership. If you are a member, you can participate fully in the conference by voting for the new committee and other key decisions. Make your membership application online now to ensure your membership is approved in time for the conference.
Our funding comes entirely from your generosity. All funds will be used for the ASA conference and ongoing expenses. Please make out cheques to ‘Australian Sangha Association’ and post to Santi Forest Monastery.
ASA ContactsSanti Forest Monastery
PO Box 132 Bundanoon
NSW 2578 Australia
Tel: 02 4883 6331
Register online using the form below.
It is important that you register for the conference now. Attendance at the conference is free, since the venue has been generously made available by the Quang Minh Temple, and all food is donated. However, please do not think that because it is free it does not matter whether you register. We need to inform our caterers and helpers.
We will try to assist with transport for those who have difficulties getting to and from the venue.
Next year NSW plans to introduce ethics classes for those children who opt out of Special Religious Education (SRE – more commonly known as ‘Scripture’) classes.
A press release from the NSW Council of Churches claimed that it had consulted the Buddhist community and that the Buddhists, together with the Jewish and Islamic communities, were ‘discussing a strategy to oppose this policy in the upcoming election campaign’. This claim is, so far as we know, untrue. The NSW Council of Churches has not been in discussion with the Buddhist Council of NSW, which, along with the ASA and FABC, actually support ethics classes in schools. The NSW Council of Churches has retracted its claim, as it appears it did not consult with the Jewish or Islamic communities either.
It should be noted that the NSW Council of Churches is an independent body, not affiliated with the National Council of Churches, with whom the ASA and FABC have a genuine relationship as participants in the Australian Partnership of Religious Organizations (APRO).
The ASA, FABC and state Buddhist Councils are in discussion with relevant bodies, including the St James Ethics Center, and we support ethics education for children. In addition, the Buddhist Councils in many states are working to support Buddhist volunteer teachers for SRE classes. With the rapid growth of Buddhism, and in particular because of our demographic situation where many of our Buddhist parents have English as a second language, there is a major shortage of volunteers teachers. If you’re interested, contact the Buddhist Council in your state.
Fo Guang Shan is a renowned international Buddhist movement founded by Master Hsin Yun in Taiwan, with many centers in Australia, most well known being the beautiful Nan Tien temple near Wollongong.
Master Hsin Yun has been designing and building a stunning new complex in Taiwan, the Buddha Memorial Center, which will house a sacred tooth relic and be a ceremonial center for Buddhists. Part of the complex will feature a wall with names of thousands of monasteries from all around the world. This is intended as a display of unity and harmony among all Buddhist peoples. Monasteries in Australia are invited to submit their names to Fo Guang Shan for this unique opportunity to form part of a snapshot of the international Buddhist community at this time.
Congratulations to Ven Freeman Trebilock, who’s been recognized by Australia’s youth broadcaster JJJ as one of Australia’s leading under 25s.
He is one of the founders of Loving Kindness Peaceful Youth, an Australian Buddhist organization with an international interfaith focus, which aims to bring the ideals of mettā, or loving kindness, to help the suffering in the world.
Thursday 15 July, Lunch 11.30am, Guru Puja 7.00pm
FPMT International Sangha Day is celebrated on the auspicious day of Lord Buddha’s first Turning of the Wheel of Dharma. The karmic effects of actions performed on this day are multiplied one hundred million times. Please join us on this special day when we offer lunch to the sangha. Bring lunch to share with others. Then in the evening join us for a Guru Puja. Offerings of food and flowers are welcome. Open to all.
9 Victoria Square,
VI Office 02 9798 9644