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ASA Conference 2009

The ASA conference has become a landmark event each year for Buddhist monastics in Australia. The Australian Sangha Association was set up to support dialogue and understanding among monastics of different traditions and the conference provides a meaningful forum for this continuing interaction.

The first speaker is Dr Mark Allon Chair of the Department of South Asian Buddhist Studies at the University of Sydney and a leading researcher into ancient Buddhist manuscripts through his participation in the ‘Early Buddhist Manuscripts Project’. He will provide us with an update on the current developments of the Project. His primary interests are the composition and transmission of early Buddhist literature, the ways in which texts have been used by Buddhist communities and the languages of early Buddhist sciptures.

Ven Karma Lekshe Tsomo is another of our guests. She is a senior Bhikkhuni in the Tibetan tradition, and the president of Sakyadhita: International Association of Buddhist Women. Karma Lekshe Tsomo’s doctoral research focused on death and identity in China and Tibet. Her primary academic interests include women in Buddhism, Buddhism and bioethics, religion and cultural change, and Buddhism in the United States. She will address the changing role of the monastic Sangha within the secular environment of the US

Ven Ajahn Brahm is a founding member of the ASA, Abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery and one of the most popular international Dhamma speakers. He will share his long experience of how monastics can be happy and spiritually fulfilled both in meditation and in service to the community.

Ven Bhante Sujato will give a presentation on how a temple or monastery can be transformed into a model for environmental best practice. Doing so provides an inspiration for lay devotees, helps the environment, and cuts long term costs. With the increasing concern for global warming, there are many government initiatives that offer funding for community based environmental projects.

Attendance at the conference is free. The venue has been generously made available by the Phap Bao Temple. Our great thanks go out to the Sangha of Phap Bao temple, and especially to the wonderful Vietnamese lay community who generously supplied the food for the occasion.

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