Programme

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The 2014 MITRA Conference lineup includes the following guest speakers:

His Eminence (H.E.) Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche

Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche

Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist Monk and is currently residing in the Kyegu Buddhist Institute (“KBI”) in Sydney.

At the age of five, decease His Holiness Sakya Trizin, the Head of Sakyapa Order of Tibetan Buddhism, recognised him as the reincarnation of his predecessor. Aenpo Kyabgon is one of the very few Tulkus (reincarnated Rinpoches) in all of Tibet who possesses the ‘Kyabgon’ title.

Following his early monastic studies, Rinpoche began his higher studies in Sutra, Tantra and Shastras under the late Venerable Khenpo Migmar Tsering and other teachers at Sakya College, the noted Institute of Higher Buddhist Studies (in Rajpur, near Dehra Dun in Northern India). Rinpoche graduated in 1998 with the Kachupa degree, equivalent to a B.A.

Rinpoche has received numerous initiations and teachings from His Holiness the Sakya Trizin, His Eminence Luding Khenchen Rinpoche (Head of the Ngorpa lineage of the Sakya Tradition), and special Tantric teachings from late Khenpo Appey Rinpoche, the founder of Sakya College in India and the International Buddhist Academy in Nepal. Rinpoche, well versed in English, survived a major car accident in 1998 after graduating from Sakya College.  Rinpoche has kindly been travelling widely to bestow empowerments and give teachings to many students from South East Asia, and Australia.

Rinpoche has a unique approach to his teachings, in particular, being able to relate to his students of various ages and experiences. He brings loving kindness, compassion, encouragement and inspiration through his teachings. Many of his students find Rinpoche as a relaxed and genuine teacher who is also fun with a great sense of humour.

For more information on Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche’s biography, teachings and projects please go to the KBI website.

Venerable Thubten Chodron

Ven Thubten Chodron updated

Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron has practiced the Buddha’s teachings for nearly forty years. A native of Los Angeles, she ordained as a nun in the Tibetan tradition in 1977 and received the full ordination of a bhikshuni in Taiwan in 1986. Venerable Chodron has studied extensively with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsenzhap Serkhong Rinpoche, Zopa Rinpoche, and Lama Thubten Yeshe among many other Tibetan masters. With a clear, practical, and humorous style, she teaches Buddhist philosophy and meditation worldwide.

Her numerous books, published in several languages, include Open Heart, Clear Mind; Buddhism for Beginners; Taming the Mind; Guided Meditations on the Stages of the Path; and, most recently, Don’t Believe Everything You Think and was editor for Wisdom’s publication of Insight Into Emptiness.

Venerable Chodron has been the resident teacher at Amitabha Buddhist Center in Singapore, and was the resident teacher and spiritual advisor for Dharma Friendship Foundation in Seattle for ten years. She is currently the Abbess of Sravasti Abbey, a Buddhist monastic community in Newport, Washington, which she founded in 2003. Many of her teachings are available on her website and on YouTube. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Venerable Sujato

Sujato pic

Venerable Sujato is an Australian Theravanda Buddhist Monk ordained in a monastery in Chieng Mai in Thailand during the 1990s. He played in a successful rock band called Martha’s Vineyard for many years before he joined an intensive Buddhist retreat in Thailand which introduced him to the Buddha’s teachings.

Besides spending 3 years in the Bodhinyana monastery with Ajahn Brahm, he also spent several years in remote hermitages and caves in Thailand in Malaysia.

Venerable Sujato has taught the Dhamma and meditation to a varied audience in Australia and internationally such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, The USA, Germany, Norway, India, Sri Lanka and many others, and has spoken at several major International Buddhist conferences and events. He also helped to establish the Santi Forest Monastery in Bundanoon, where he was the abbot for many years.

Venerable Sujato has become well known for his articulate and support for the fully ordained Bhikkhuni lineage. A special field of interest is the role of women in Buddhism and particularly the revival of the Bhikkhuni order within the Theravada tradition. As well as being a meditator and teacher, Venerable Sujato is a scholar of early Buddhism, with several books and essays of original and often groundbreaking research. He contributes to Buddhism in Australia through a wide variety of forums and organisations, including the Australian Sangha Association, Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils, Australia Partnership of Religious Organisations, Australian Association of Buddhist Councillors and Psychotherapists, Australian Association fo Buddhist Studies, and Australian Religious Response to Climate Change.

Venerable Brahmali

Ajahn Brahmali pic

Ajahn Brahmali was born in Norway in 1964. He first became interested in Buddhism and meditation in his early 20s after a visit to Japan. He completed Masters degrees in Engineering and Finance, before renouncing the world of industry and commerce to ordain as a Bhikkhu with Ajahn Brahm as his preceptor in 1996.

Apart from being responsible for all the building work at Bodhinyana, Ajahn Brahmali also teaches the monastic rules (the Vinaya) and gives Pali classes (the language of the texts).

Ajahn Brahmali’s clear and thoughtful talks make the teachings of the Buddha accessible to all and are very popular downloads on the BSWA (Buddhist Society of Western Australia) website. He teaches regularly at BSWA and in Singapore. Ajahn Brahmali has also published a number of articles on important points of the Dhamma. Ajahn Brahmali is currently involved with the development of the Sutta Central, which is an online correspondence of early Buddhist discourses containing early Buddhist texts, translations and parallels.

Venerable Huifeng

Ven Hui Feng

Venerable Huifeng is a New Zealand monk in the Chinese Mahayana tradition, currently residing and teaching in Taiwan.

Having been introduced to Buddhism in his early teens, he committed himself to Buddhist practice in the 1990s.  Studying at several of Fo Guang Shan Monastery’s Buddhist Colleges, he received full ordination as a Bhikkhu in 2004. From 2006 to 2011 he studied a Masters and then completed a PhD degree in Buddhist studies at the University of Hong Kong. His PhD dissertation was entitled “Chiasmus in the Early Prajnaparamita: Literary Parallelism Connecting Criticism & Hermeneutics in an Early Mahayana Sutra”.

Presently he is one of five Vice-Abbots for Fo Guang Shan Monastery, and an Assistant Professor at the Department of Buddhist Studies at Fo Guang University, Taiwan.  His areas of academic focus include Indian Buddhism, in particular early Mah?y?na s?tra and ??stra, translation and hermeneutics, and practices of contemporary Taiwanese Buddhism.  Practice wise, he practices and teaches both classic Indian and Chinese forms of Buddhist meditation, in addition to a little hatha yoga.

For more information on Venerable Huifeng, his teachings and projects please check out his Facebook page and his Prajnacara Blog.

Sarah Napthali

Sarah Napthali

Mother of two school aged boys, Sarah Napthali is a practising Buddhist from the Insight tradition attending Bluegum Sangha in Crows Nest where she is secretary. Her working life has ranged from teaching English as a Second Language and corporate training, to human rights activism and interpreting. Since becoming a mother, she has focussed on writing, initially for companies and later for individuals wanting to record their memoirs. Her first book Buddhism for Mothers, which has sold 54,000 copies around the world, has been translated into nine languages. She is also the author of Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children and the recently released Buddhism for Mothers of Schoolchildren. She has written twelve biographies for members of the community to share with their families and friends.

Venerable Dhammadhira

IMG_3618-001

Ayya Dhammadhira grew up in California, USA. After receiving her BA in Social Sciences and MA in Education, she worked as a school teacher for ten years. Upon learning more about Buddhism and experiencing significant life changes, she decided to enter monastic life in England in 2001. For eleven years, she trained at Amaravati and Chithurst Monasteries before returning to the US in 2012. Back in America, Ayya took Bhikkhuni ordination and continued her life as a nun at Mahapajapati Monastery. In 2013, Ayya was invited to join the group of nuns at Santi Forest Monastery in Bundanoon, NSW where she currently resides. Ayya Dhammadhira brings the teaching of the Buddha to life and teaches the Dhamma in an engaging, down-to-earth and enlightening manner that captures the attention of the audience.

Venerable Guo Jun

guojun

Venerable Guo Jun is a Singaporean Mahayana Monk ordained under Venerable Song Nian of Mahabodi Temple in Singapore. He has studied and practised in all areas of Tibetan, Theravada, Mahayana Buddhism and Ch’an Buddhism for many years under the guidance of Venerable Master Sheng-yen.

He has studied and completed various University undergraduate degrees in Biotechnology, Buddhist Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology and more recently a Masters of Buddhist Studies from the University of Sydney.

He speaks Mandarin, Korean and English and has travelled worldwide to Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, the United States, Luxemburg, Poland, Croatia and Switzerland to teach the Dharma and share his experiences.

He is a member of the Australian Psychological Society and currently is the abbot of Mahabodi Temple in Singapore.

Dr. Chien Hoong Gooi

Chien pic

Dr Chien Hoong Gooi is a Clinical Psychologist and Buddhist teacher who seeks to integrate western psychology with the practices of Buddhist meditation. He was previously involved in clinical research applying mindfulness practices in the treatment of anxiety disorders at The University of Sydney and also served as the Buddhist Chaplain at the University of New South Wales. He is currently in private practice and is a committee member for the Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP).

Dr Hoong Gooi works from an integrated approach, combining Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with Mindfulness and Acceptance-based strategies. He conducts mindfulness meditation courses and workshops, locally and abroad, as part of his personal involvement in community outreach. He also has a special interest working with grief and loss. He assists adults with anxiety, phobias, grief and loss, depression, stress management, and psychological and emotional wellbeing.

Dr Hoong Gooi is a member of Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA), Australian Psychology Society (APS), Australian Association of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (AACBT), Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP) and Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology (MSCP).

Phil Carlisle

Phil

Phil Carlisle first met Lama Ole Nydahl in 1995 at a public talk. His relaxed style and western approach inspired Phil to begin practising Diamond Way Buddhism in the Karma Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism.The Karma Kagyu lineage is one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. As a lineage of direct oral transmission, it especially treasures meditation and, through interaction with a qualified teacher, can bring about the full and direct experience of the nature of mind. As a lay practitioner, Phil runs a successful multimedia business, integrating his Buddhist practice with living in the modern world. In 2007 Lama Ole asked Phil to begin teaching Diamond Way Buddhism in Australasia and spread these precious teachings as transparently as possible to idealistic, clear-thinking Westerners. Phil Carlisle has been a student of Lama Ole Nydahl for many years, travelling extensively with Lama Ole throughout Australia and New Zealand as well as Europe. Phil and his Media company have recorded and produced video documentary of Lama Ole’s lectures as well as producing a concise teaching series used in centres world wide. Phil has been teaching Buddhism for a number of years within Australia and New Zealand and completed a teaching tour of Russia. Bringing his many years of experience and knowledge, Phil delivers the Buddha’s Teachings in a relaxed and understandable style.

Venerable Thích Trúc Thông Pháp

Thich Thong Phap pic

Venerable Thích Trúc Thông Pháp was born in Port Adelaide in 1952 and raised a Christian. He wanted to be a minister in the church from age 5 and a monk from age 16. He began investigating Buddhism from 19 years of age and became more seriously engaged in 1978.

His first teachers were Ayya Khema and Phra Khantipalo at Wat Buddha Dhamma in the early 1980s. In 1995, he started studying and practising in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, meeting his own teacher, Most Venerable Thich Thanh Tu in Da Lat, Vietnam, in 2001. He was ordained a shramanera in Long Tan, Vietnam in 2004 and a Bhikkshu in San Diego in 2005.

Professionally, he worked as a teacher, a pastoral worker, a carer with people labelled intellectually disabled and a human rights advocate. From 2006 – 2010, he was the Buddhist chaplain at Flinders University, SA. Currently, he lives in Hobart studying a Ph D, training as a supervisor in Clinical Pastoral Education, working as the Buddhist chaplain at the University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus and establishing Buddhist Contemplative Care Tasmania with numerous other Buddhists there.

His other involvements are the contemplative care of people who have terminal illnesses and who are asylum seekers. He has an interest in Buddhist Anarchism and he lives with his 15 1/2 -year-old dog who reminds him that there is more going on in the universe than the constant round of human affairs. He is also a founding member of the ‘Non-Sectarian Post-Modern Western Freelancing Monastic Community – Hobart Division’.

Grahame White

Grahame pic

Grahame has been involved in Buddhist meditation practice for over 40 years. He began his study in England in 1969 before being ordained as a Buddhist monk for one year in BodhGaya, India in 1971. He took a primary role in the establishment of Vipassana meditation in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw in Australia and co-founded the Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre outside Sydney., Grahame leads introductory and day long courses in Illawarra & Sydney areas and regularly teaches longer intensive retreats in Honolulu, Hawaii where he is a guiding teacher with the meditation group Vipassana Hawaii. He also teaches yearly retreats in Sri Lanka with the Nirodha Trust. He has also helped pioneer a workshop format that enhances the transfer of mindfulness from the formal sitting practice into daily life. Grahame returns to Myanmar (Burma) regulary in order to deepen his own practice and study of the Buddha’s teachings ,at times assisting in the teaching of Vipassana retreats for foreigners. Grahame teaches a classical tradition of insight meditation with a relaxed, accessible style.

Venerable Dhammad?sa

Dhammadarsa

Dhammad?sa Bhikkhu was born in England in 1965, but migrated to Australia when he was young. From a young age, he was spiritually minded and was deeply committed to the only spiritual tradition he knew at the time, Protestant Christianity. He studied the Bible diligently and at one time aspired to be a missionary. From an early age, he was interested in languages and studied Greek, French, German, Chinese, Thai, P?li, Arabic, Sanskrit and Latin.

He became interested in Buddhism in 1985, and a year later, took ordination as a Thai Theravada Buddhist monk in Australia with Luang Por Somdet Phra Maha R?jamagal?chariya Wat Paknam, Bhasicharoen, as his preceptor. This was probably the first Therav?da Bhikkhu ordination in Australia.

Shortly after ordination, he started the Vijj? Dhammak?ya meditation system, with Phramah? Wanchai Selakun, a meditation teacher from Wat Paknam, Bhasicharoen, Bangkok. In 1988, he started the Mah?si Vipassan? meditation system with Ajahn Sawai at Samnak Vipassan? Vivekasom, Chonburi, Thailand. In Thailand in 1993, he met Buddhad?sa Bhikkhu, who encouraged him to focus on the Words of the Buddha, which he has done since then and which clarified greatly the Buddha’s teaching for him. From the year 2000, he has given various public talks and written various articles on the Buddha’s teaching. In 2004, he completed a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Studies in Religion (Buddhist Studies) and Mandarin (Modern Chinese Language) at the University of Queensland. In 2005, he published a book called “The Gift of the Buddha – A Happy Life” with an excellent foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Besides Buddhism, he is passionate about the environment and is actively involved with permaculture.

Jim Teoh

Jim pic

Jim has been a Buddhist teacher for over fifteen years and was one of the initiators of the earliest structured Buddhist programs presented at the Buddhist Library. He has taught numerous Buddhist courses in various organisations, such as the Buddhist Council of NSW, Buddhist Library, Indonesian Buddhist Society of NSW and Bodhikusuma Buddhist and Meditation Centre. Jim is a regular speaker and meditation workshop facilitator at University Buddhist organisations. He is also trained as a Hospital Buddhist Chaplain.

The MITRA Conference 2014 will be hosted by the following Masters of Ceremony (MC):

Tina Ng

tina_ng

Tina is the Principal Solicitor of Metta Legal, a role which encourages her to bring Buddhist ethical principles into her practice of law. She has participated in University Buddhist societies, and is an active member of the Buddhist community generally. She is interested in sharing the Buddha’s teachings in all kinds of forums and media. Some of these projects include writing for print and online publications, editing Buddhist books, organising Buddhist community events and also appearing briefly on television. Click here to view some of Tina’s writings.

Steven Daghlian

Steve

Steven Daghlian works as a Market Analyst at CommSec, providing sharemarket updates for Channel 10, Sky News, ABC, Channel 9 and a number of radio stations across Australia. He attended a 10-day Vipassana Meditation retreat in the Blue Mountains a few years ago, which changed his life for the better (and also made him cry!). He is in awe and inspired by those who dedicate their lives to the re-discovery of universal truths and the deepening of wisdom. Outside of work, he has been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over five years, meditates, plays music with a band called NAH74 each week and is fascinated by experiments relating to intention’s influence on living things.

booktickets

skincare unhealthy
Arial; font-size: 10px; padding: 2px 0 2px; margin: 1px; width: 100%; text-align: left;”>Online event registration for Mitra Conference powered by Eventbrite

booktickets

The 2014 MITRA Conference lineup includes the following guest speakers:

His Eminence (H.E.) Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche

Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche

Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist Monk and is currently residing in the Kyegu Buddhist Institute (“KBI”) in Sydney.

At the age of five, decease His Holiness Sakya Trizin, the Head of Sakyapa Order of Tibetan Buddhism, recognised him as the reincarnation of his predecessor. Aenpo Kyabgon is one of the very few Tulkus (reincarnated Rinpoches) in all of Tibet who possesses the ‘Kyabgon’ title.

Following his early monastic studies, Rinpoche began his higher studies in Sutra, Tantra and Shastras under the late Venerable Khenpo Migmar Tsering and other teachers at Sakya College, the noted Institute of Higher Buddhist Studies (in Rajpur, near Dehra Dun in Northern India). Rinpoche graduated in 1998 with the Kachupa degree, equivalent to a B.A.

Rinpoche has received numerous initiations and teachings from His Holiness the Sakya Trizin, His Eminence Luding Khenchen Rinpoche (Head of the Ngorpa lineage of the Sakya Tradition), and special Tantric teachings from late Khenpo Appey Rinpoche, the founder of Sakya College in India and the International Buddhist Academy in Nepal. Rinpoche, well versed in English, survived a major car accident in 1998 after graduating from Sakya College.  Rinpoche has kindly been travelling widely to bestow empowerments and give teachings to many students from South East Asia, and Australia.

Rinpoche has a unique approach to his teachings, in particular, being able to relate to his students of various ages and experiences. He brings loving kindness, compassion, encouragement and inspiration through his teachings. Many of his students find Rinpoche as a relaxed and genuine teacher who is also fun with a great sense of humour.

For more information on Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche’s biography, teachings and projects please go to the KBI website.

Venerable Thubten Chodron

Ven Thubten Chodron updated

Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron has practiced the Buddha’s teachings for nearly forty years. A native of Los Angeles, she ordained as a nun in the Tibetan tradition in 1977 and received the full ordination of a bhikshuni in Taiwan in 1986. Venerable Chodron has studied extensively with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsenzhap Serkhong Rinpoche, Zopa Rinpoche, and Lama Thubten Yeshe among many other Tibetan masters. With a clear, practical, and humorous style, she teaches Buddhist philosophy and meditation worldwide.

Her numerous books, published in several languages, include Open Heart, Clear Mind; Buddhism for Beginners; Taming the Mind; Guided Meditations on the Stages of the Path; and, most recently, Don’t Believe Everything You Think and was editor for Wisdom’s publication of Insight Into Emptiness.

Venerable Chodron has been the resident teacher at Amitabha Buddhist Center in Singapore, and was the resident teacher and spiritual advisor for Dharma Friendship Foundation in Seattle for ten years. She is currently the Abbess of Sravasti Abbey, a Buddhist monastic community in Newport, Washington, which she founded in 2003. Many of her teachings are available on her website and on YouTube. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Venerable Sujato

Sujato pic

Venerable Sujato is an Australian Theravanda Buddhist Monk ordained in a monastery in Chieng Mai in Thailand during the 1990s. He played in a successful rock band called Martha’s Vineyard for many years before he joined an intensive Buddhist retreat in Thailand which introduced him to the Buddha’s teachings.

Besides spending 3 years in the Bodhinyana monastery with Ajahn Brahm, he also spent several years in remote hermitages and caves in Thailand in Malaysia.

Venerable Sujato has taught the Dhamma and meditation to a varied audience in Australia and internationally such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, The USA, Germany, Norway, India, Sri Lanka and many others, and has spoken at several major International Buddhist conferences and events. He also helped to establish the Santi Forest Monastery in Bundanoon, where he was the abbot for many years.

Venerable Sujato has become well known for his articulate and support for the fully ordained Bhikkhuni lineage. A special field of interest is the role of women in Buddhism and particularly the revival of the Bhikkhuni order within the Theravada tradition. As well as being a meditator and teacher, Venerable Sujato is a scholar of early Buddhism, with several books and essays of original and often groundbreaking research. He contributes to Buddhism in Australia through a wide variety of forums and organisations, including the Australian Sangha Association, Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils, Australia Partnership of Religious Organisations, Australian Association of Buddhist Councillors and Psychotherapists, Australian Association fo Buddhist Studies, and Australian Religious Response to Climate Change.

Venerable Brahmali

Ajahn Brahmali pic

Ajahn Brahmali was born in Norway in 1964. He first became interested in Buddhism and meditation in his early 20s after a visit to Japan. He completed Masters degrees in Engineering and Finance, before renouncing the world of industry and commerce to ordain as a Bhikkhu with Ajahn Brahm as his preceptor in 1996.

Apart from being responsible for all the building work at Bodhinyana, Ajahn Brahmali also teaches the monastic rules (the Vinaya) and gives Pali classes (the language of the texts).

Ajahn Brahmali’s clear and thoughtful talks make the teachings of the Buddha accessible to all and are very popular downloads on the BSWA (Buddhist Society of Western Australia) website. He teaches regularly at BSWA and in Singapore. Ajahn Brahmali has also published a number of articles on important points of the Dhamma. Ajahn Brahmali is currently involved with the development of the Sutta Central, which is an online correspondence of early Buddhist discourses containing early Buddhist texts, translations and parallels.

Venerable Huifeng

Ven Hui Feng

Venerable Huifeng is a New Zealand monk in the Chinese Mahayana tradition, currently residing and teaching in Taiwan.

Having been introduced to Buddhism in his early teens, he committed himself to Buddhist practice in the 1990s.  Studying at several of Fo Guang Shan Monastery’s Buddhist Colleges, he received full ordination as a Bhikkhu in 2004. From 2006 to 2011 he studied a Masters and then completed a PhD degree in Buddhist studies at the University of Hong Kong. His PhD dissertation was entitled “Chiasmus in the Early Prajnaparamita: Literary Parallelism Connecting Criticism & Hermeneutics in an Early Mahayana Sutra”.

Presently he is one of five Vice-Abbots for Fo Guang Shan Monastery, and an Assistant Professor at the Department of Buddhist Studies at Fo Guang University, Taiwan.  His areas of academic focus include Indian Buddhism, in particular early Mah?y?na s?tra and ??stra, translation and hermeneutics, and practices of contemporary Taiwanese Buddhism.  Practice wise, he practices and teaches both classic Indian and Chinese forms of Buddhist meditation, in addition to a little hatha yoga.

For more information on Venerable Huifeng, his teachings and projects please check out his Facebook page and his Prajnacara Blog.

Sarah Napthali

Sarah Napthali

Mother of two school aged boys, Sarah Napthali is a practising Buddhist from the Insight tradition attending Bluegum Sangha in Crows Nest where she is secretary. Her working life has ranged from teaching English as a Second Language and corporate training, to human rights activism and interpreting. Since becoming a mother, she has focussed on writing, initially for companies and later for individuals wanting to record their memoirs. Her first book Buddhism for Mothers, which has sold 54,000 copies around the world, has been translated into nine languages. She is also the author of Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children and the recently released Buddhism for Mothers of Schoolchildren. She has written twelve biographies for members of the community to share with their families and friends.

Venerable Dhammadhira

IMG_3618-001

Ayya Dhammadhira grew up in California, USA. After receiving her BA in Social Sciences and MA in Education, she worked as a school teacher for ten years. Upon learning more about Buddhism and experiencing significant life changes, she decided to enter monastic life in England in 2001. For eleven years, she trained at Amaravati and Chithurst Monasteries before returning to the US in 2012. Back in America, Ayya took Bhikkhuni ordination and continued her life as a nun at Mahapajapati Monastery. In 2013, Ayya was invited to join the group of nuns at Santi Forest Monastery in Bundanoon, NSW where she currently resides. Ayya Dhammadhira brings the teaching of the Buddha to life and teaches the Dhamma in an engaging, down-to-earth and enlightening manner that captures the attention of the audience.

Venerable Guo Jun

guojun

Venerable Guo Jun is a Singaporean Mahayana Monk ordained under Venerable Song Nian of Mahabodi Temple in Singapore. He has studied and practised in all areas of Tibetan, Theravada, Mahayana Buddhism and Ch’an Buddhism for many years under the guidance of Venerable Master Sheng-yen.

He has studied and completed various University undergraduate degrees in Biotechnology, Buddhist Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology and more recently a Masters of Buddhist Studies from the University of Sydney.

He speaks Mandarin, Korean and English and has travelled worldwide to Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, the United States, Luxemburg, Poland, Croatia and Switzerland to teach the Dharma and share his experiences.

He is a member of the Australian Psychological Society and currently is the abbot of Mahabodi Temple in Singapore.

Dr. Chien Hoong Gooi

Chien pic

Dr Chien Hoong Gooi is a Clinical Psychologist and Buddhist teacher who seeks to integrate western psychology with the practices of Buddhist meditation. He was previously involved in clinical research applying mindfulness practices in the treatment of anxiety disorders at The University of Sydney and also served as the Buddhist Chaplain at the University of New South Wales. He is currently in private practice and is a committee member for the Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP).

Dr Hoong Gooi works from an integrated approach, combining Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with Mindfulness and Acceptance-based strategies. He conducts mindfulness meditation courses and workshops, locally and abroad, as part of his personal involvement in community outreach. He also has a special interest working with grief and loss. He assists adults with anxiety, phobias, grief and loss, depression, stress management, and psychological and emotional wellbeing.

Dr Hoong Gooi is a member of Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA), Australian Psychology Society (APS), Australian Association of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (AACBT), Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP) and Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology (MSCP).

Phil Carlisle

Phil

Phil Carlisle first met Lama Ole Nydahl in 1995 at a public talk. His relaxed style and western approach inspired Phil to begin practising Diamond Way Buddhism in the Karma Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism.The Karma Kagyu lineage is one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. As a lineage of direct oral transmission, it especially treasures meditation and, through interaction with a qualified teacher, can bring about the full and direct experience of the nature of mind. As a lay practitioner, Phil runs a successful multimedia business, integrating his Buddhist practice with living in the modern world. In 2007 Lama Ole asked Phil to begin teaching Diamond Way Buddhism in Australasia and spread these precious teachings as transparently as possible to idealistic, clear-thinking Westerners. Phil Carlisle has been a student of Lama Ole Nydahl for many years, travelling extensively with Lama Ole throughout Australia and New Zealand as well as Europe. Phil and his Media company have recorded and produced video documentary of Lama Ole’s lectures as well as producing a concise teaching series used in centres world wide. Phil has been teaching Buddhism for a number of years within Australia and New Zealand and completed a teaching tour of Russia. Bringing his many years of experience and knowledge, Phil delivers the Buddha’s Teachings in a relaxed and understandable style.

Venerable Thích Trúc Thông Pháp

Thich Thong Phap pic

Venerable Thích Trúc Thông Pháp was born in Port Adelaide in 1952 and raised a Christian. He wanted to be a minister in the church from age 5 and a monk from age 16. He began investigating Buddhism from 19 years of age and became more seriously engaged in 1978.

His first teachers were Ayya Khema and Phra Khantipalo at Wat Buddha Dhamma in the early 1980s. In 1995, he started studying and practising in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, meeting his own teacher, Most Venerable Thich Thanh Tu in Da Lat, Vietnam, in 2001. He was ordained a shramanera in Long Tan, Vietnam in 2004 and a Bhikkshu in San Diego in 2005.

Professionally, he worked as a teacher, a pastoral worker, a carer with people labelled intellectually disabled and a human rights advocate. From 2006 – 2010, he was the Buddhist chaplain at Flinders University, SA. Currently, he lives in Hobart studying a Ph D, training as a supervisor in Clinical Pastoral Education, working as the Buddhist chaplain at the University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus and establishing Buddhist Contemplative Care Tasmania with numerous other Buddhists there.

His other involvements are the contemplative care of people who have terminal illnesses and who are asylum seekers. He has an interest in Buddhist Anarchism and he lives with his 15 1/2 -year-old dog who reminds him that there is more going on in the universe than the constant round of human affairs. He is also a founding member of the ‘Non-Sectarian Post-Modern Western Freelancing Monastic Community – Hobart Division’.

Grahame White

Grahame pic

Grahame has been involved in Buddhist meditation practice for over 40 years. He began his study in England in 1969 before being ordained as a Buddhist monk for one year in BodhGaya, India in 1971. He took a primary role in the establishment of Vipassana meditation in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw in Australia and co-founded the Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre outside Sydney., Grahame leads introductory and day long courses in Illawarra & Sydney areas and regularly teaches longer intensive retreats in Honolulu, Hawaii where he is a guiding teacher with the meditation group Vipassana Hawaii. He also teaches yearly retreats in Sri Lanka with the Nirodha Trust. He has also helped pioneer a workshop format that enhances the transfer of mindfulness from the formal sitting practice into daily life. Grahame returns to Myanmar (Burma) regulary in order to deepen his own practice and study of the Buddha’s teachings ,at times assisting in the teaching of Vipassana retreats for foreigners. Grahame teaches a classical tradition of insight meditation with a relaxed, accessible style.

Venerable Dhammad?sa

Dhammadarsa

Dhammad?sa Bhikkhu was born in England in 1965, but migrated to Australia when he was young. From a young age, he was spiritually minded and was deeply committed to the only spiritual tradition he knew at the time, Protestant Christianity. He studied the Bible diligently and at one time aspired to be a missionary. From an early age, he was interested in languages and studied Greek, French, German, Chinese, Thai, P?li, Arabic, Sanskrit and Latin.

He became interested in Buddhism in 1985, and a year later, took ordination as a Thai Theravada Buddhist monk in Australia with Luang Por Somdet Phra Maha R?jamagal?chariya Wat Paknam, Bhasicharoen, as his preceptor. This was probably the first Therav?da Bhikkhu ordination in Australia.

Shortly after ordination, he started the Vijj? Dhammak?ya meditation system, with Phramah? Wanchai Selakun, a meditation teacher from Wat Paknam, Bhasicharoen, Bangkok. In 1988, he started the Mah?si Vipassan? meditation system with Ajahn Sawai at Samnak Vipassan? Vivekasom, Chonburi, Thailand. In Thailand in 1993, he met Buddhad?sa Bhikkhu, who encouraged him to focus on the Words of the Buddha, which he has done since then and which clarified greatly the Buddha’s teaching for him. From the year 2000, he has given various public talks and written various articles on the Buddha’s teaching. In 2004, he completed a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Studies in Religion (Buddhist Studies) and Mandarin (Modern Chinese Language) at the University of Queensland. In 2005, he published a book called “The Gift of the Buddha – A Happy Life” with an excellent foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Besides Buddhism, he is passionate about the environment and is actively involved with permaculture.

Jim Teoh

Jim pic

Jim has been a Buddhist teacher for over fifteen years and was one of the initiators of the earliest structured Buddhist programs presented at the Buddhist Library. He has taught numerous Buddhist courses in various organisations, such as the Buddhist Council of NSW, Buddhist Library, Indonesian Buddhist Society of NSW and Bodhikusuma Buddhist and Meditation Centre. Jim is a regular speaker and meditation workshop facilitator at University Buddhist organisations. He is also trained as a Hospital Buddhist Chaplain.

The MITRA Conference 2014 will be hosted by the following Masters of Ceremony (MC):

Tina Ng

tina_ng

Tina is the Principal Solicitor of Metta Legal, a role which encourages her to bring Buddhist ethical principles into her practice of law. She has participated in University Buddhist societies, and is an active member of the Buddhist community generally. She is interested in sharing the Buddha’s teachings in all kinds of forums and media. Some of these projects include writing for print and online publications, editing Buddhist books, organising Buddhist community events and also appearing briefly on television. Click here to view some of Tina’s writings.

Steven Daghlian

Steve

Steven Daghlian works as a Market Analyst at CommSec, providing sharemarket updates for Channel 10, Sky News, ABC, Channel 9 and a number of radio stations across Australia. He attended a 10-day Vipassana Meditation retreat in the Blue Mountains a few years ago, which changed his life for the better (and also made him cry!). He is in awe and inspired by those who dedicate their lives to the re-discovery of universal truths and the deepening of wisdom. Outside of work, he has been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over five years, meditates, plays music with a band called NAH74 each week and is fascinated by experiments relating to intention’s influence on living things.

booktickets

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The 2014 MITRA Conference lineup includes the following guest speakers:

His Eminence (H.E.) Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche

Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche

Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist Monk and is currently residing in the Kyegu Buddhist Institute (“KBI”) in Sydney.

At the age of five, symptoms His Holiness Sakya Trizin, info the Head of Sakyapa Order of Tibetan Buddhism, recognised him as the reincarnation of his predecessor. Aenpo Kyabgon is one of the very few Tulkus (reincarnated Rinpoches) in all of Tibet who possesses the ‘Kyabgon’ title.

Following his early monastic studies, Rinpoche began his higher studies in Sutra, Tantra and Shastras under the late Venerable Khenpo Migmar Tsering and other teachers at Sakya College, the noted Institute of Higher Buddhist Studies (in Rajpur, near Dehra Dun in Northern India). Rinpoche graduated in 1998 with the Kachupa degree, equivalent to a B.A.

Rinpoche has received numerous initiations and teachings from His Holiness the Sakya Trizin, His Eminence Luding Khenchen Rinpoche (Head of the Ngorpa lineage of the Sakya Tradition), and special Tantric teachings from late Khenpo Appey Rinpoche, the founder of Sakya College in India and the International Buddhist Academy in Nepal. Rinpoche, well versed in English, survived a major car accident in 1998 after graduating from Sakya College.  Rinpoche has kindly been travelling widely to bestow empowerments and give teachings to many students from South East Asia, and Australia.

Rinpoche has a unique approach to his teachings, in particular, being able to relate to his students of various ages and experiences. He brings loving kindness, compassion, encouragement and inspiration through his teachings. Many of his students find Rinpoche as a relaxed and genuine teacher who is also fun with a great sense of humour.

For more information on Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche’s biography, teachings and projects please go to the KBI website.

Venerable Thubten Chodron

Ven Thubten Chodron updated

Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron has practiced the Buddha’s teachings for nearly forty years. A native of Los Angeles, she ordained as a nun in the Tibetan tradition in 1977 and received the full ordination of a bhikshuni in Taiwan in 1986. Venerable Chodron has studied extensively with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsenzhap Serkhong Rinpoche, Zopa Rinpoche, and Lama Thubten Yeshe among many other Tibetan masters. With a clear, practical, and humorous style, she teaches Buddhist philosophy and meditation worldwide.

Her numerous books, published in several languages, include Open Heart, Clear Mind; Buddhism for Beginners; Taming the Mind; Guided Meditations on the Stages of the Path; and, most recently, Don’t Believe Everything You Think and was editor for Wisdom’s publication of Insight Into Emptiness.

Venerable Chodron has been the resident teacher at Amitabha Buddhist Center in Singapore, and was the resident teacher and spiritual advisor for Dharma Friendship Foundation in Seattle for ten years. She is currently the Abbess of Sravasti Abbey, a Buddhist monastic community in Newport, Washington, which she founded in 2003. Many of her teachings are available on her website and on YouTube. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Venerable Sujato

Sujato pic

Venerable Sujato is an Australian Theravanda Buddhist Monk ordained in a monastery in Chieng Mai in Thailand during the 1990s. He played in a successful rock band called Martha’s Vineyard for many years before he joined an intensive Buddhist retreat in Thailand which introduced him to the Buddha’s teachings.

Besides spending 3 years in the Bodhinyana monastery with Ajahn Brahm, he also spent several years in remote hermitages and caves in Thailand in Malaysia.

Venerable Sujato has taught the Dhamma and meditation to a varied audience in Australia and internationally such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, The USA, Germany, Norway, India, Sri Lanka and many others, and has spoken at several major International Buddhist conferences and events. He also helped to establish the Santi Forest Monastery in Bundanoon, where he was the abbot for many years.

Venerable Sujato has become well known for his articulate and support for the fully ordained Bhikkhuni lineage. A special field of interest is the role of women in Buddhism and particularly the revival of the Bhikkhuni order within the Theravada tradition. As well as being a meditator and teacher, Venerable Sujato is a scholar of early Buddhism, with several books and essays of original and often groundbreaking research. He contributes to Buddhism in Australia through a wide variety of forums and organisations, including the Australian Sangha Association, Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils, Australia Partnership of Religious Organisations, Australian Association of Buddhist Councillors and Psychotherapists, Australian Association fo Buddhist Studies, and Australian Religious Response to Climate Change.

Dr. Susan Murphy Roshi

Susan pic

Dr. Susan Murphy Roshi is the founding teacher of Zen Open Circle in Sydney Australia. She is also teacher for the Melbourne Zen Group, conducting a number of sesshin (7 day retreats) in both cities each year. She is the dharma heir of John Tarrant Roshi (Pacific Zen Institute) and Ross Bolleter Roshi (Diamond Sangha – Robert Aitken), in a lay lineage that draws Soto and Rinzai (koan) style of practice together.

Susan is a writer, radio producer and film director, as well as teaching and mentoring writing in private consultation and occasional meditation and writing retreats. She taught film for many years at the University of Technology, Sydney, has co-written three books on film, and directs the annual Buddhist Film Festival in Sydney established in 2003. She has a special interest in the way Zen and indigenous Australian sense of ‘care for country’ come together, co-leading occasional retreats in country with Dulumunmun, Uncle Max Harrison,Yuin Elder.

Susan is the author of the book, Upside Down Zen and her latest book is Minding the Earth, Mending the World: The Offer We Can No Longer Refuse, a Zen response to our slow-burning planetary emergency.

Venerable Brahmali

Ajahn Brahmali pic

Ajahn Brahmali was born in Norway in 1964. He first became interested in Buddhism and meditation in his early 20s after a visit to Japan. He completed Masters degrees in Engineering and Finance, before renouncing the world of industry and commerce to ordain as a Bhikkhu with Ajahn Brahm as his preceptor in 1996.

Apart from being responsible for all the building work at Bodhinyana, Ajahn Brahmali also teaches the monastic rules (the Vinaya) and gives Pali classes (the language of the texts).

Ajahn Brahmali’s clear and thoughtful talks make the teachings of the Buddha accessible to all and are very popular downloads on the BSWA (Buddhist Society of Western Australia) website. He teaches regularly at BSWA and in Singapore. Ajahn Brahmali has also published a number of articles on important points of the Dhamma. Ajahn Brahmali is currently involved with the development of the Sutta Central, which is an online correspondence of early Buddhist discourses containing early Buddhist texts, translations and parallels.

Venerable Huifeng

Ven Hui Feng

Venerable Huifeng is a New Zealand monk in the Chinese Mahayana tradition, currently residing and teaching in Taiwan.

Having been introduced to Buddhism in his early teens, he committed himself to Buddhist practice in the 1990s.  Studying at several of Fo Guang Shan Monastery’s Buddhist Colleges, he received full ordination as a Bhikkhu in 2004. From 2006 to 2011 he studied a Masters and then completed a PhD degree in Buddhist studies at the University of Hong Kong. His PhD dissertation was entitled “Chiasmus in the Early Prajnaparamita: Literary Parallelism Connecting Criticism & Hermeneutics in an Early Mahayana Sutra”.

Presently he is one of five Vice-Abbots for Fo Guang Shan Monastery, and an Assistant Professor at the Department of Buddhist Studies at Fo Guang University, Taiwan.  His areas of academic focus include Indian Buddhism, in particular early Mah?y?na s?tra and ??stra, translation and hermeneutics, and practices of contemporary Taiwanese Buddhism.  Practice wise, he practices and teaches both classic Indian and Chinese forms of Buddhist meditation, in addition to a little hatha yoga.

For more information on Venerable Huifeng, his teachings and projects please check out his Facebook page and his Prajnacara Blog.

Sarah Napthali

Sarah Napthali

Mother of two school aged boys, Sarah Napthali is a practising Buddhist from the Insight tradition attending Bluegum Sangha in Crows Nest where she is secretary. Her working life has ranged from teaching English as a Second Language and corporate training, to human rights activism and interpreting. Since becoming a mother, she has focussed on writing, initially for companies and later for individuals wanting to record their memoirs. Her first book Buddhism for Mothers, which has sold 54,000 copies around the world, has been translated into nine languages. She is also the author of Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children and the recently released Buddhism for Mothers of Schoolchildren. She has written twelve biographies for members of the community to share with their families and friends.

Venerable Dhammadhira

IMG_3618-001

Ayya Dhammadhira grew up in California, USA. After receiving her BA in Social Sciences and MA in Education, she worked as a school teacher for ten years. Upon learning more about Buddhism and experiencing significant life changes, she decided to enter monastic life in England in 2001. For eleven years, she trained at Amaravati and Chithurst Monasteries before returning to the US in 2012. Back in America, Ayya took Bhikkhuni ordination and continued her life as a nun at Mahapajapati Monastery. In 2013, Ayya was invited to join the group of nuns at Santi Forest Monastery in Bundanoon, NSW where she currently resides. Ayya Dhammadhira brings the teaching of the Buddha to life and teaches the Dhamma in an engaging, down-to-earth and enlightening manner that captures the attention of the audience.

Venerable Guo Jun

guojun

Venerable Guo Jun is a Singaporean Mahayana Monk ordained under Venerable Song Nian of Mahabodi Temple in Singapore. He has studied and practised in all areas of Tibetan, Theravada, Mahayana Buddhism and Ch’an Buddhism for many years under the guidance of Venerable Master Sheng-yen.

He has studied and completed various University undergraduate degrees in Biotechnology, Buddhist Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology and more recently a Masters of Buddhist Studies from the University of Sydney.

He speaks Mandarin, Korean and English and has travelled worldwide to Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, the United States, Luxemburg, Poland, Croatia and Switzerland to teach the Dharma and share his experiences.

He is a member of the Australian Psychological Society and currently is the abbot of Mahabodi Temple in Singapore.

Dr. Chien Hoong Gooi

Chien pic

Dr Chien Hoong Gooi is a Clinical Psychologist and Buddhist teacher who seeks to integrate western psychology with the practices of Buddhist meditation. He was previously involved in clinical research applying mindfulness practices in the treatment of anxiety disorders at The University of Sydney and also served as the Buddhist Chaplain at the University of New South Wales. He is currently in private practice and is a committee member for the Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP).

Dr Hoong Gooi works from an integrated approach, combining Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with Mindfulness and Acceptance-based strategies. He conducts mindfulness meditation courses and workshops, locally and abroad, as part of his personal involvement in community outreach. He also has a special interest working with grief and loss. He assists adults with anxiety, phobias, grief and loss, depression, stress management, and psychological and emotional wellbeing.

Dr Hoong Gooi is a member of Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA), Australian Psychology Society (APS), Australian Association of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (AACBT), Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP) and Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology (MSCP).

Phil Carlisle

Phil

Phil Carlisle first met Lama Ole Nydahl in 1995 at a public talk. His relaxed style and western approach inspired Phil to begin practising Diamond Way Buddhism in the Karma Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism.The Karma Kagyu lineage is one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. As a lineage of direct oral transmission, it especially treasures meditation and, through interaction with a qualified teacher, can bring about the full and direct experience of the nature of mind. As a lay practitioner, Phil runs a successful multimedia business, integrating his Buddhist practice with living in the modern world. In 2007 Lama Ole asked Phil to begin teaching Diamond Way Buddhism in Australasia and spread these precious teachings as transparently as possible to idealistic, clear-thinking Westerners. Phil Carlisle has been a student of Lama Ole Nydahl for many years, travelling extensively with Lama Ole throughout Australia and New Zealand as well as Europe. Phil and his Media company have recorded and produced video documentary of Lama Ole’s lectures as well as producing a concise teaching series used in centres world wide. Phil has been teaching Buddhism for a number of years within Australia and New Zealand and completed a teaching tour of Russia. Bringing his many years of experience and knowledge, Phil delivers the Buddha’s Teachings in a relaxed and understandable style.

Venerable Thích Trúc Thông Pháp

Thich Thong Phap pic

Venerable Thích Trúc Thông Pháp was born in Port Adelaide in 1952 and raised a Christian. He wanted to be a minister in the church from age 5 and a monk from age 16. He began investigating Buddhism from 19 years of age and became more seriously engaged in 1978.

His first teachers were Ayya Khema and Phra Khantipalo at Wat Buddha Dhamma in the early 1980s. In 1995, he started studying and practising in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, meeting his own teacher, Most Venerable Thich Thanh Tu in Da Lat, Vietnam, in 2001. He was ordained a shramanera in Long Tan, Vietnam in 2004 and a Bhikkshu in San Diego in 2005.

Professionally, he worked as a teacher, a pastoral worker, a carer with people labelled intellectually disabled and a human rights advocate. From 2006 – 2010, he was the Buddhist chaplain at Flinders University, SA. Currently, he lives in Hobart studying a Ph D, training as a supervisor in Clinical Pastoral Education, working as the Buddhist chaplain at the University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus and establishing Buddhist Contemplative Care Tasmania with numerous other Buddhists there.

His other involvements are the contemplative care of people who have terminal illnesses and who are asylum seekers. He has an interest in Buddhist Anarchism and he lives with his 15 1/2 -year-old dog who reminds him that there is more going on in the universe than the constant round of human affairs. He is also a founding member of the ‘Non-Sectarian Post-Modern Western Freelancing Monastic Community – Hobart Division’.

Grahame White

Grahame pic

Grahame has been involved in Buddhist meditation practice for over 40 years. He began his study in England in 1969 before being ordained as a Buddhist monk for one year in BodhGaya, India in 1971. He took a primary role in the establishment of Vipassana meditation in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw in Australia and co-founded the Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre outside Sydney., Grahame leads introductory and day long courses in Illawarra & Sydney areas and regularly teaches longer intensive retreats in Honolulu, Hawaii where he is a guiding teacher with the meditation group Vipassana Hawaii. He also teaches yearly retreats in Sri Lanka with the Nirodha Trust. He has also helped pioneer a workshop format that enhances the transfer of mindfulness from the formal sitting practice into daily life. Grahame returns to Myanmar (Burma) regulary in order to deepen his own practice and study of the Buddha’s teachings ,at times assisting in the teaching of Vipassana retreats for foreigners. Grahame teaches a classical tradition of insight meditation with a relaxed, accessible style.

Venerable Dhammad?sa

Dhammadarsa

Dhammad?sa Bhikkhu was born in England in 1965, but migrated to Australia when he was young. From a young age, he was spiritually minded and was deeply committed to the only spiritual tradition he knew at the time, Protestant Christianity. He studied the Bible diligently and at one time aspired to be a missionary. From an early age, he was interested in languages and studied Greek, French, German, Chinese, Thai, P?li, Arabic, Sanskrit and Latin.

He became interested in Buddhism in 1985, and a year later, took ordination as a Thai Theravada Buddhist monk in Australia with Luang Por Somdet Phra Maha R?jamagal?chariya Wat Paknam, Bhasicharoen, as his preceptor. This was probably the first Therav?da Bhikkhu ordination in Australia.

Shortly after ordination, he started the Vijj? Dhammak?ya meditation system, with Phramah? Wanchai Selakun, a meditation teacher from Wat Paknam, Bhasicharoen, Bangkok. In 1988, he started the Mah?si Vipassan? meditation system with Ajahn Sawai at Samnak Vipassan? Vivekasom, Chonburi, Thailand. In Thailand in 1993, he met Buddhad?sa Bhikkhu, who encouraged him to focus on the Words of the Buddha, which he has done since then and which clarified greatly the Buddha’s teaching for him. From the year 2000, he has given various public talks and written various articles on the Buddha’s teaching. In 2004, he completed a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Studies in Religion (Buddhist Studies) and Mandarin (Modern Chinese Language) at the University of Queensland. In 2005, he published a book called “The Gift of the Buddha – A Happy Life” with an excellent foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Besides Buddhism, he is passionate about the environment and is actively involved with permaculture.

Jim Teoh

Jim pic

Jim has been a Buddhist teacher for over fifteen years and was one of the initiators of the earliest structured Buddhist programs presented at the Buddhist Library. He has taught numerous Buddhist courses in various organisations, such as the Buddhist Council of NSW, Buddhist Library, Indonesian Buddhist Society of NSW and Bodhikusuma Buddhist and Meditation Centre. Jim is a regular speaker and meditation workshop facilitator at University Buddhist organisations. He is also trained as a Hospital Buddhist Chaplain.

The MITRA Conference 2014 will be hosted by the following Masters of Ceremony (MC):

Tina Ng

tina_ng

Tina is the Principal Solicitor of Metta Legal, a role which encourages her to bring Buddhist ethical principles into her practice of law. She has participated in University Buddhist societies, and is an active member of the Buddhist community generally. She is interested in sharing the Buddha’s teachings in all kinds of forums and media. Some of these projects include writing for print and online publications, editing Buddhist books, organising Buddhist community events and also appearing briefly on television. Click here to view some of Tina’s writings.

Steven Daghlian

Steve

Steven Daghlian works as a Market Analyst at CommSec, providing sharemarket updates for Channel 10, Sky News, ABC, Channel 9 and a number of radio stations across Australia. He attended a 10-day Vipassana Meditation retreat in the Blue Mountains a few years ago, which changed his life for the better (and also made him cry!). He is in awe and inspired by those who dedicate their lives to the re-discovery of universal truths and the deepening of wisdom. Outside of work, he has been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over five years, meditates, plays music with a band called NAH74 each week and is fascinated by experiments relating to intention’s influence on living things.

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The 2014 MITRA Conference lineup includes the following guest speakers:

His Eminence (H.E.) Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche

Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche

Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist Monk and is currently residing in the Kyegu Buddhist Institute (“KBI”) in Sydney.

At the age of five, decease His Holiness Sakya Trizin, the Head of Sakyapa Order of Tibetan Buddhism, recognised him as the reincarnation of his predecessor. Aenpo Kyabgon is one of the very few Tulkus (reincarnated Rinpoches) in all of Tibet who possesses the ‘Kyabgon’ title.

Following his early monastic studies, Rinpoche began his higher studies in Sutra, Tantra and Shastras under the late Venerable Khenpo Migmar Tsering and other teachers at Sakya College, the noted Institute of Higher Buddhist Studies (in Rajpur, near Dehra Dun in Northern India). Rinpoche graduated in 1998 with the Kachupa degree, equivalent to a B.A.

Rinpoche has received numerous initiations and teachings from His Holiness the Sakya Trizin, His Eminence Luding Khenchen Rinpoche (Head of the Ngorpa lineage of the Sakya Tradition), and special Tantric teachings from late Khenpo Appey Rinpoche, the founder of Sakya College in India and the International Buddhist Academy in Nepal. Rinpoche, well versed in English, survived a major car accident in 1998 after graduating from Sakya College.  Rinpoche has kindly been travelling widely to bestow empowerments and give teachings to many students from South East Asia, and Australia.

Rinpoche has a unique approach to his teachings, in particular, being able to relate to his students of various ages and experiences. He brings loving kindness, compassion, encouragement and inspiration through his teachings. Many of his students find Rinpoche as a relaxed and genuine teacher who is also fun with a great sense of humour.

For more information on Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche’s biography, teachings and projects please go to the KBI website.

Venerable Thubten Chodron

Ven Thubten Chodron updated

Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron has practiced the Buddha’s teachings for nearly forty years. A native of Los Angeles, she ordained as a nun in the Tibetan tradition in 1977 and received the full ordination of a bhikshuni in Taiwan in 1986. Venerable Chodron has studied extensively with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsenzhap Serkhong Rinpoche, Zopa Rinpoche, and Lama Thubten Yeshe among many other Tibetan masters. With a clear, practical, and humorous style, she teaches Buddhist philosophy and meditation worldwide.

Her numerous books, published in several languages, include Open Heart, Clear Mind; Buddhism for Beginners; Taming the Mind; Guided Meditations on the Stages of the Path; and, most recently, Don’t Believe Everything You Think and was editor for Wisdom’s publication of Insight Into Emptiness.

Venerable Chodron has been the resident teacher at Amitabha Buddhist Center in Singapore, and was the resident teacher and spiritual advisor for Dharma Friendship Foundation in Seattle for ten years. She is currently the Abbess of Sravasti Abbey, a Buddhist monastic community in Newport, Washington, which she founded in 2003. Many of her teachings are available on her website and on YouTube. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Venerable Sujato

Sujato pic

Venerable Sujato is an Australian Theravanda Buddhist Monk ordained in a monastery in Chieng Mai in Thailand during the 1990s. He played in a successful rock band called Martha’s Vineyard for many years before he joined an intensive Buddhist retreat in Thailand which introduced him to the Buddha’s teachings.

Besides spending 3 years in the Bodhinyana monastery with Ajahn Brahm, he also spent several years in remote hermitages and caves in Thailand in Malaysia.

Venerable Sujato has taught the Dhamma and meditation to a varied audience in Australia and internationally such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, The USA, Germany, Norway, India, Sri Lanka and many others, and has spoken at several major International Buddhist conferences and events. He also helped to establish the Santi Forest Monastery in Bundanoon, where he was the abbot for many years.

Venerable Sujato has become well known for his articulate and support for the fully ordained Bhikkhuni lineage. A special field of interest is the role of women in Buddhism and particularly the revival of the Bhikkhuni order within the Theravada tradition. As well as being a meditator and teacher, Venerable Sujato is a scholar of early Buddhism, with several books and essays of original and often groundbreaking research. He contributes to Buddhism in Australia through a wide variety of forums and organisations, including the Australian Sangha Association, Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils, Australia Partnership of Religious Organisations, Australian Association of Buddhist Councillors and Psychotherapists, Australian Association fo Buddhist Studies, and Australian Religious Response to Climate Change.

Venerable Brahmali

Ajahn Brahmali pic

Ajahn Brahmali was born in Norway in 1964. He first became interested in Buddhism and meditation in his early 20s after a visit to Japan. He completed Masters degrees in Engineering and Finance, before renouncing the world of industry and commerce to ordain as a Bhikkhu with Ajahn Brahm as his preceptor in 1996.

Apart from being responsible for all the building work at Bodhinyana, Ajahn Brahmali also teaches the monastic rules (the Vinaya) and gives Pali classes (the language of the texts).

Ajahn Brahmali’s clear and thoughtful talks make the teachings of the Buddha accessible to all and are very popular downloads on the BSWA (Buddhist Society of Western Australia) website. He teaches regularly at BSWA and in Singapore. Ajahn Brahmali has also published a number of articles on important points of the Dhamma. Ajahn Brahmali is currently involved with the development of the Sutta Central, which is an online correspondence of early Buddhist discourses containing early Buddhist texts, translations and parallels.

Venerable Huifeng

Ven Hui Feng

Venerable Huifeng is a New Zealand monk in the Chinese Mahayana tradition, currently residing and teaching in Taiwan.

Having been introduced to Buddhism in his early teens, he committed himself to Buddhist practice in the 1990s.  Studying at several of Fo Guang Shan Monastery’s Buddhist Colleges, he received full ordination as a Bhikkhu in 2004. From 2006 to 2011 he studied a Masters and then completed a PhD degree in Buddhist studies at the University of Hong Kong. His PhD dissertation was entitled “Chiasmus in the Early Prajnaparamita: Literary Parallelism Connecting Criticism & Hermeneutics in an Early Mahayana Sutra”.

Presently he is one of five Vice-Abbots for Fo Guang Shan Monastery, and an Assistant Professor at the Department of Buddhist Studies at Fo Guang University, Taiwan.  His areas of academic focus include Indian Buddhism, in particular early Mah?y?na s?tra and ??stra, translation and hermeneutics, and practices of contemporary Taiwanese Buddhism.  Practice wise, he practices and teaches both classic Indian and Chinese forms of Buddhist meditation, in addition to a little hatha yoga.

For more information on Venerable Huifeng, his teachings and projects please check out his Facebook page and his Prajnacara Blog.

Sarah Napthali

Sarah Napthali

Mother of two school aged boys, Sarah Napthali is a practising Buddhist from the Insight tradition attending Bluegum Sangha in Crows Nest where she is secretary. Her working life has ranged from teaching English as a Second Language and corporate training, to human rights activism and interpreting. Since becoming a mother, she has focussed on writing, initially for companies and later for individuals wanting to record their memoirs. Her first book Buddhism for Mothers, which has sold 54,000 copies around the world, has been translated into nine languages. She is also the author of Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children and the recently released Buddhism for Mothers of Schoolchildren. She has written twelve biographies for members of the community to share with their families and friends.

Venerable Dhammadhira

IMG_3618-001

Ayya Dhammadhira grew up in California, USA. After receiving her BA in Social Sciences and MA in Education, she worked as a school teacher for ten years. Upon learning more about Buddhism and experiencing significant life changes, she decided to enter monastic life in England in 2001. For eleven years, she trained at Amaravati and Chithurst Monasteries before returning to the US in 2012. Back in America, Ayya took Bhikkhuni ordination and continued her life as a nun at Mahapajapati Monastery. In 2013, Ayya was invited to join the group of nuns at Santi Forest Monastery in Bundanoon, NSW where she currently resides. Ayya Dhammadhira brings the teaching of the Buddha to life and teaches the Dhamma in an engaging, down-to-earth and enlightening manner that captures the attention of the audience.

Venerable Guo Jun

guojun

Venerable Guo Jun is a Singaporean Mahayana Monk ordained under Venerable Song Nian of Mahabodi Temple in Singapore. He has studied and practised in all areas of Tibetan, Theravada, Mahayana Buddhism and Ch’an Buddhism for many years under the guidance of Venerable Master Sheng-yen.

He has studied and completed various University undergraduate degrees in Biotechnology, Buddhist Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology and more recently a Masters of Buddhist Studies from the University of Sydney.

He speaks Mandarin, Korean and English and has travelled worldwide to Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, the United States, Luxemburg, Poland, Croatia and Switzerland to teach the Dharma and share his experiences.

He is a member of the Australian Psychological Society and currently is the abbot of Mahabodi Temple in Singapore.

Dr. Chien Hoong Gooi

Chien pic

Dr Chien Hoong Gooi is a Clinical Psychologist and Buddhist teacher who seeks to integrate western psychology with the practices of Buddhist meditation. He was previously involved in clinical research applying mindfulness practices in the treatment of anxiety disorders at The University of Sydney and also served as the Buddhist Chaplain at the University of New South Wales. He is currently in private practice and is a committee member for the Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP).

Dr Hoong Gooi works from an integrated approach, combining Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with Mindfulness and Acceptance-based strategies. He conducts mindfulness meditation courses and workshops, locally and abroad, as part of his personal involvement in community outreach. He also has a special interest working with grief and loss. He assists adults with anxiety, phobias, grief and loss, depression, stress management, and psychological and emotional wellbeing.

Dr Hoong Gooi is a member of Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA), Australian Psychology Society (APS), Australian Association of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (AACBT), Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP) and Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology (MSCP).

Phil Carlisle

Phil

Phil Carlisle first met Lama Ole Nydahl in 1995 at a public talk. His relaxed style and western approach inspired Phil to begin practising Diamond Way Buddhism in the Karma Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism.The Karma Kagyu lineage is one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. As a lineage of direct oral transmission, it especially treasures meditation and, through interaction with a qualified teacher, can bring about the full and direct experience of the nature of mind. As a lay practitioner, Phil runs a successful multimedia business, integrating his Buddhist practice with living in the modern world. In 2007 Lama Ole asked Phil to begin teaching Diamond Way Buddhism in Australasia and spread these precious teachings as transparently as possible to idealistic, clear-thinking Westerners. Phil Carlisle has been a student of Lama Ole Nydahl for many years, travelling extensively with Lama Ole throughout Australia and New Zealand as well as Europe. Phil and his Media company have recorded and produced video documentary of Lama Ole’s lectures as well as producing a concise teaching series used in centres world wide. Phil has been teaching Buddhism for a number of years within Australia and New Zealand and completed a teaching tour of Russia. Bringing his many years of experience and knowledge, Phil delivers the Buddha’s Teachings in a relaxed and understandable style.

Venerable Thích Trúc Thông Pháp

Thich Thong Phap pic

Venerable Thích Trúc Thông Pháp was born in Port Adelaide in 1952 and raised a Christian. He wanted to be a minister in the church from age 5 and a monk from age 16. He began investigating Buddhism from 19 years of age and became more seriously engaged in 1978.

His first teachers were Ayya Khema and Phra Khantipalo at Wat Buddha Dhamma in the early 1980s. In 1995, he started studying and practising in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, meeting his own teacher, Most Venerable Thich Thanh Tu in Da Lat, Vietnam, in 2001. He was ordained a shramanera in Long Tan, Vietnam in 2004 and a Bhikkshu in San Diego in 2005.

Professionally, he worked as a teacher, a pastoral worker, a carer with people labelled intellectually disabled and a human rights advocate. From 2006 – 2010, he was the Buddhist chaplain at Flinders University, SA. Currently, he lives in Hobart studying a Ph D, training as a supervisor in Clinical Pastoral Education, working as the Buddhist chaplain at the University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus and establishing Buddhist Contemplative Care Tasmania with numerous other Buddhists there.

His other involvements are the contemplative care of people who have terminal illnesses and who are asylum seekers. He has an interest in Buddhist Anarchism and he lives with his 15 1/2 -year-old dog who reminds him that there is more going on in the universe than the constant round of human affairs. He is also a founding member of the ‘Non-Sectarian Post-Modern Western Freelancing Monastic Community – Hobart Division’.

Grahame White

Grahame pic

Grahame has been involved in Buddhist meditation practice for over 40 years. He began his study in England in 1969 before being ordained as a Buddhist monk for one year in BodhGaya, India in 1971. He took a primary role in the establishment of Vipassana meditation in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw in Australia and co-founded the Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre outside Sydney., Grahame leads introductory and day long courses in Illawarra & Sydney areas and regularly teaches longer intensive retreats in Honolulu, Hawaii where he is a guiding teacher with the meditation group Vipassana Hawaii. He also teaches yearly retreats in Sri Lanka with the Nirodha Trust. He has also helped pioneer a workshop format that enhances the transfer of mindfulness from the formal sitting practice into daily life. Grahame returns to Myanmar (Burma) regulary in order to deepen his own practice and study of the Buddha’s teachings ,at times assisting in the teaching of Vipassana retreats for foreigners. Grahame teaches a classical tradition of insight meditation with a relaxed, accessible style.

Venerable Dhammad?sa

Dhammadarsa

Dhammad?sa Bhikkhu was born in England in 1965, but migrated to Australia when he was young. From a young age, he was spiritually minded and was deeply committed to the only spiritual tradition he knew at the time, Protestant Christianity. He studied the Bible diligently and at one time aspired to be a missionary. From an early age, he was interested in languages and studied Greek, French, German, Chinese, Thai, P?li, Arabic, Sanskrit and Latin.

He became interested in Buddhism in 1985, and a year later, took ordination as a Thai Theravada Buddhist monk in Australia with Luang Por Somdet Phra Maha R?jamagal?chariya Wat Paknam, Bhasicharoen, as his preceptor. This was probably the first Therav?da Bhikkhu ordination in Australia.

Shortly after ordination, he started the Vijj? Dhammak?ya meditation system, with Phramah? Wanchai Selakun, a meditation teacher from Wat Paknam, Bhasicharoen, Bangkok. In 1988, he started the Mah?si Vipassan? meditation system with Ajahn Sawai at Samnak Vipassan? Vivekasom, Chonburi, Thailand. In Thailand in 1993, he met Buddhad?sa Bhikkhu, who encouraged him to focus on the Words of the Buddha, which he has done since then and which clarified greatly the Buddha’s teaching for him. From the year 2000, he has given various public talks and written various articles on the Buddha’s teaching. In 2004, he completed a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Studies in Religion (Buddhist Studies) and Mandarin (Modern Chinese Language) at the University of Queensland. In 2005, he published a book called “The Gift of the Buddha – A Happy Life” with an excellent foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Besides Buddhism, he is passionate about the environment and is actively involved with permaculture.

Jim Teoh

Jim pic

Jim has been a Buddhist teacher for over fifteen years and was one of the initiators of the earliest structured Buddhist programs presented at the Buddhist Library. He has taught numerous Buddhist courses in various organisations, such as the Buddhist Council of NSW, Buddhist Library, Indonesian Buddhist Society of NSW and Bodhikusuma Buddhist and Meditation Centre. Jim is a regular speaker and meditation workshop facilitator at University Buddhist organisations. He is also trained as a Hospital Buddhist Chaplain.

The MITRA Conference 2014 will be hosted by the following Masters of Ceremony (MC):

Tina Ng

tina_ng

Tina is the Principal Solicitor of Metta Legal, a role which encourages her to bring Buddhist ethical principles into her practice of law. She has participated in University Buddhist societies, and is an active member of the Buddhist community generally. She is interested in sharing the Buddha’s teachings in all kinds of forums and media. Some of these projects include writing for print and online publications, editing Buddhist books, organising Buddhist community events and also appearing briefly on television. Click here to view some of Tina’s writings.

Steven Daghlian

Steve

Steven Daghlian works as a Market Analyst at CommSec, providing sharemarket updates for Channel 10, Sky News, ABC, Channel 9 and a number of radio stations across Australia. He attended a 10-day Vipassana Meditation retreat in the Blue Mountains a few years ago, which changed his life for the better (and also made him cry!). He is in awe and inspired by those who dedicate their lives to the re-discovery of universal truths and the deepening of wisdom. Outside of work, he has been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over five years, meditates, plays music with a band called NAH74 each week and is fascinated by experiments relating to intention’s influence on living things.

booktickets

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The 2014 MITRA Conference lineup includes the following guest speakers:

His Eminence (H.E.) Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche

Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche

Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist Monk and is currently residing in the Kyegu Buddhist Institute (“KBI”) in Sydney.

At the age of five, symptoms His Holiness Sakya Trizin, info the Head of Sakyapa Order of Tibetan Buddhism, recognised him as the reincarnation of his predecessor. Aenpo Kyabgon is one of the very few Tulkus (reincarnated Rinpoches) in all of Tibet who possesses the ‘Kyabgon’ title.

Following his early monastic studies, Rinpoche began his higher studies in Sutra, Tantra and Shastras under the late Venerable Khenpo Migmar Tsering and other teachers at Sakya College, the noted Institute of Higher Buddhist Studies (in Rajpur, near Dehra Dun in Northern India). Rinpoche graduated in 1998 with the Kachupa degree, equivalent to a B.A.

Rinpoche has received numerous initiations and teachings from His Holiness the Sakya Trizin, His Eminence Luding Khenchen Rinpoche (Head of the Ngorpa lineage of the Sakya Tradition), and special Tantric teachings from late Khenpo Appey Rinpoche, the founder of Sakya College in India and the International Buddhist Academy in Nepal. Rinpoche, well versed in English, survived a major car accident in 1998 after graduating from Sakya College.  Rinpoche has kindly been travelling widely to bestow empowerments and give teachings to many students from South East Asia, and Australia.

Rinpoche has a unique approach to his teachings, in particular, being able to relate to his students of various ages and experiences. He brings loving kindness, compassion, encouragement and inspiration through his teachings. Many of his students find Rinpoche as a relaxed and genuine teacher who is also fun with a great sense of humour.

For more information on Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche’s biography, teachings and projects please go to the KBI website.

Venerable Thubten Chodron

Ven Thubten Chodron updated

Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron has practiced the Buddha’s teachings for nearly forty years. A native of Los Angeles, she ordained as a nun in the Tibetan tradition in 1977 and received the full ordination of a bhikshuni in Taiwan in 1986. Venerable Chodron has studied extensively with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsenzhap Serkhong Rinpoche, Zopa Rinpoche, and Lama Thubten Yeshe among many other Tibetan masters. With a clear, practical, and humorous style, she teaches Buddhist philosophy and meditation worldwide.

Her numerous books, published in several languages, include Open Heart, Clear Mind; Buddhism for Beginners; Taming the Mind; Guided Meditations on the Stages of the Path; and, most recently, Don’t Believe Everything You Think and was editor for Wisdom’s publication of Insight Into Emptiness.

Venerable Chodron has been the resident teacher at Amitabha Buddhist Center in Singapore, and was the resident teacher and spiritual advisor for Dharma Friendship Foundation in Seattle for ten years. She is currently the Abbess of Sravasti Abbey, a Buddhist monastic community in Newport, Washington, which she founded in 2003. Many of her teachings are available on her website and on YouTube. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Venerable Sujato

Sujato pic

Venerable Sujato is an Australian Theravanda Buddhist Monk ordained in a monastery in Chieng Mai in Thailand during the 1990s. He played in a successful rock band called Martha’s Vineyard for many years before he joined an intensive Buddhist retreat in Thailand which introduced him to the Buddha’s teachings.

Besides spending 3 years in the Bodhinyana monastery with Ajahn Brahm, he also spent several years in remote hermitages and caves in Thailand in Malaysia.

Venerable Sujato has taught the Dhamma and meditation to a varied audience in Australia and internationally such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, The USA, Germany, Norway, India, Sri Lanka and many others, and has spoken at several major International Buddhist conferences and events. He also helped to establish the Santi Forest Monastery in Bundanoon, where he was the abbot for many years.

Venerable Sujato has become well known for his articulate and support for the fully ordained Bhikkhuni lineage. A special field of interest is the role of women in Buddhism and particularly the revival of the Bhikkhuni order within the Theravada tradition. As well as being a meditator and teacher, Venerable Sujato is a scholar of early Buddhism, with several books and essays of original and often groundbreaking research. He contributes to Buddhism in Australia through a wide variety of forums and organisations, including the Australian Sangha Association, Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils, Australia Partnership of Religious Organisations, Australian Association of Buddhist Councillors and Psychotherapists, Australian Association fo Buddhist Studies, and Australian Religious Response to Climate Change.

Dr. Susan Murphy Roshi

Susan pic

Dr. Susan Murphy Roshi is the founding teacher of Zen Open Circle in Sydney Australia. She is also teacher for the Melbourne Zen Group, conducting a number of sesshin (7 day retreats) in both cities each year. She is the dharma heir of John Tarrant Roshi (Pacific Zen Institute) and Ross Bolleter Roshi (Diamond Sangha – Robert Aitken), in a lay lineage that draws Soto and Rinzai (koan) style of practice together.

Susan is a writer, radio producer and film director, as well as teaching and mentoring writing in private consultation and occasional meditation and writing retreats. She taught film for many years at the University of Technology, Sydney, has co-written three books on film, and directs the annual Buddhist Film Festival in Sydney established in 2003. She has a special interest in the way Zen and indigenous Australian sense of ‘care for country’ come together, co-leading occasional retreats in country with Dulumunmun, Uncle Max Harrison,Yuin Elder.

Susan is the author of the book, Upside Down Zen and her latest book is Minding the Earth, Mending the World: The Offer We Can No Longer Refuse, a Zen response to our slow-burning planetary emergency.

Venerable Brahmali

Ajahn Brahmali pic

Ajahn Brahmali was born in Norway in 1964. He first became interested in Buddhism and meditation in his early 20s after a visit to Japan. He completed Masters degrees in Engineering and Finance, before renouncing the world of industry and commerce to ordain as a Bhikkhu with Ajahn Brahm as his preceptor in 1996.

Apart from being responsible for all the building work at Bodhinyana, Ajahn Brahmali also teaches the monastic rules (the Vinaya) and gives Pali classes (the language of the texts).

Ajahn Brahmali’s clear and thoughtful talks make the teachings of the Buddha accessible to all and are very popular downloads on the BSWA (Buddhist Society of Western Australia) website. He teaches regularly at BSWA and in Singapore. Ajahn Brahmali has also published a number of articles on important points of the Dhamma. Ajahn Brahmali is currently involved with the development of the Sutta Central, which is an online correspondence of early Buddhist discourses containing early Buddhist texts, translations and parallels.

Venerable Huifeng

Ven Hui Feng

Venerable Huifeng is a New Zealand monk in the Chinese Mahayana tradition, currently residing and teaching in Taiwan.

Having been introduced to Buddhism in his early teens, he committed himself to Buddhist practice in the 1990s.  Studying at several of Fo Guang Shan Monastery’s Buddhist Colleges, he received full ordination as a Bhikkhu in 2004. From 2006 to 2011 he studied a Masters and then completed a PhD degree in Buddhist studies at the University of Hong Kong. His PhD dissertation was entitled “Chiasmus in the Early Prajnaparamita: Literary Parallelism Connecting Criticism & Hermeneutics in an Early Mahayana Sutra”.

Presently he is one of five Vice-Abbots for Fo Guang Shan Monastery, and an Assistant Professor at the Department of Buddhist Studies at Fo Guang University, Taiwan.  His areas of academic focus include Indian Buddhism, in particular early Mah?y?na s?tra and ??stra, translation and hermeneutics, and practices of contemporary Taiwanese Buddhism.  Practice wise, he practices and teaches both classic Indian and Chinese forms of Buddhist meditation, in addition to a little hatha yoga.

For more information on Venerable Huifeng, his teachings and projects please check out his Facebook page and his Prajnacara Blog.

Sarah Napthali

Sarah Napthali

Mother of two school aged boys, Sarah Napthali is a practising Buddhist from the Insight tradition attending Bluegum Sangha in Crows Nest where she is secretary. Her working life has ranged from teaching English as a Second Language and corporate training, to human rights activism and interpreting. Since becoming a mother, she has focussed on writing, initially for companies and later for individuals wanting to record their memoirs. Her first book Buddhism for Mothers, which has sold 54,000 copies around the world, has been translated into nine languages. She is also the author of Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children and the recently released Buddhism for Mothers of Schoolchildren. She has written twelve biographies for members of the community to share with their families and friends.

Venerable Dhammadhira

IMG_3618-001

Ayya Dhammadhira grew up in California, USA. After receiving her BA in Social Sciences and MA in Education, she worked as a school teacher for ten years. Upon learning more about Buddhism and experiencing significant life changes, she decided to enter monastic life in England in 2001. For eleven years, she trained at Amaravati and Chithurst Monasteries before returning to the US in 2012. Back in America, Ayya took Bhikkhuni ordination and continued her life as a nun at Mahapajapati Monastery. In 2013, Ayya was invited to join the group of nuns at Santi Forest Monastery in Bundanoon, NSW where she currently resides. Ayya Dhammadhira brings the teaching of the Buddha to life and teaches the Dhamma in an engaging, down-to-earth and enlightening manner that captures the attention of the audience.

Venerable Guo Jun

guojun

Venerable Guo Jun is a Singaporean Mahayana Monk ordained under Venerable Song Nian of Mahabodi Temple in Singapore. He has studied and practised in all areas of Tibetan, Theravada, Mahayana Buddhism and Ch’an Buddhism for many years under the guidance of Venerable Master Sheng-yen.

He has studied and completed various University undergraduate degrees in Biotechnology, Buddhist Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology and more recently a Masters of Buddhist Studies from the University of Sydney.

He speaks Mandarin, Korean and English and has travelled worldwide to Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, the United States, Luxemburg, Poland, Croatia and Switzerland to teach the Dharma and share his experiences.

He is a member of the Australian Psychological Society and currently is the abbot of Mahabodi Temple in Singapore.

Dr. Chien Hoong Gooi

Chien pic

Dr Chien Hoong Gooi is a Clinical Psychologist and Buddhist teacher who seeks to integrate western psychology with the practices of Buddhist meditation. He was previously involved in clinical research applying mindfulness practices in the treatment of anxiety disorders at The University of Sydney and also served as the Buddhist Chaplain at the University of New South Wales. He is currently in private practice and is a committee member for the Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP).

Dr Hoong Gooi works from an integrated approach, combining Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with Mindfulness and Acceptance-based strategies. He conducts mindfulness meditation courses and workshops, locally and abroad, as part of his personal involvement in community outreach. He also has a special interest working with grief and loss. He assists adults with anxiety, phobias, grief and loss, depression, stress management, and psychological and emotional wellbeing.

Dr Hoong Gooi is a member of Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA), Australian Psychology Society (APS), Australian Association of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (AACBT), Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP) and Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology (MSCP).

Phil Carlisle

Phil

Phil Carlisle first met Lama Ole Nydahl in 1995 at a public talk. His relaxed style and western approach inspired Phil to begin practising Diamond Way Buddhism in the Karma Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism.The Karma Kagyu lineage is one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. As a lineage of direct oral transmission, it especially treasures meditation and, through interaction with a qualified teacher, can bring about the full and direct experience of the nature of mind. As a lay practitioner, Phil runs a successful multimedia business, integrating his Buddhist practice with living in the modern world. In 2007 Lama Ole asked Phil to begin teaching Diamond Way Buddhism in Australasia and spread these precious teachings as transparently as possible to idealistic, clear-thinking Westerners. Phil Carlisle has been a student of Lama Ole Nydahl for many years, travelling extensively with Lama Ole throughout Australia and New Zealand as well as Europe. Phil and his Media company have recorded and produced video documentary of Lama Ole’s lectures as well as producing a concise teaching series used in centres world wide. Phil has been teaching Buddhism for a number of years within Australia and New Zealand and completed a teaching tour of Russia. Bringing his many years of experience and knowledge, Phil delivers the Buddha’s Teachings in a relaxed and understandable style.

Venerable Thích Trúc Thông Pháp

Thich Thong Phap pic

Venerable Thích Trúc Thông Pháp was born in Port Adelaide in 1952 and raised a Christian. He wanted to be a minister in the church from age 5 and a monk from age 16. He began investigating Buddhism from 19 years of age and became more seriously engaged in 1978.

His first teachers were Ayya Khema and Phra Khantipalo at Wat Buddha Dhamma in the early 1980s. In 1995, he started studying and practising in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, meeting his own teacher, Most Venerable Thich Thanh Tu in Da Lat, Vietnam, in 2001. He was ordained a shramanera in Long Tan, Vietnam in 2004 and a Bhikkshu in San Diego in 2005.

Professionally, he worked as a teacher, a pastoral worker, a carer with people labelled intellectually disabled and a human rights advocate. From 2006 – 2010, he was the Buddhist chaplain at Flinders University, SA. Currently, he lives in Hobart studying a Ph D, training as a supervisor in Clinical Pastoral Education, working as the Buddhist chaplain at the University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus and establishing Buddhist Contemplative Care Tasmania with numerous other Buddhists there.

His other involvements are the contemplative care of people who have terminal illnesses and who are asylum seekers. He has an interest in Buddhist Anarchism and he lives with his 15 1/2 -year-old dog who reminds him that there is more going on in the universe than the constant round of human affairs. He is also a founding member of the ‘Non-Sectarian Post-Modern Western Freelancing Monastic Community – Hobart Division’.

Grahame White

Grahame pic

Grahame has been involved in Buddhist meditation practice for over 40 years. He began his study in England in 1969 before being ordained as a Buddhist monk for one year in BodhGaya, India in 1971. He took a primary role in the establishment of Vipassana meditation in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw in Australia and co-founded the Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre outside Sydney., Grahame leads introductory and day long courses in Illawarra & Sydney areas and regularly teaches longer intensive retreats in Honolulu, Hawaii where he is a guiding teacher with the meditation group Vipassana Hawaii. He also teaches yearly retreats in Sri Lanka with the Nirodha Trust. He has also helped pioneer a workshop format that enhances the transfer of mindfulness from the formal sitting practice into daily life. Grahame returns to Myanmar (Burma) regulary in order to deepen his own practice and study of the Buddha’s teachings ,at times assisting in the teaching of Vipassana retreats for foreigners. Grahame teaches a classical tradition of insight meditation with a relaxed, accessible style.

Venerable Dhammad?sa

Dhammadarsa

Dhammad?sa Bhikkhu was born in England in 1965, but migrated to Australia when he was young. From a young age, he was spiritually minded and was deeply committed to the only spiritual tradition he knew at the time, Protestant Christianity. He studied the Bible diligently and at one time aspired to be a missionary. From an early age, he was interested in languages and studied Greek, French, German, Chinese, Thai, P?li, Arabic, Sanskrit and Latin.

He became interested in Buddhism in 1985, and a year later, took ordination as a Thai Theravada Buddhist monk in Australia with Luang Por Somdet Phra Maha R?jamagal?chariya Wat Paknam, Bhasicharoen, as his preceptor. This was probably the first Therav?da Bhikkhu ordination in Australia.

Shortly after ordination, he started the Vijj? Dhammak?ya meditation system, with Phramah? Wanchai Selakun, a meditation teacher from Wat Paknam, Bhasicharoen, Bangkok. In 1988, he started the Mah?si Vipassan? meditation system with Ajahn Sawai at Samnak Vipassan? Vivekasom, Chonburi, Thailand. In Thailand in 1993, he met Buddhad?sa Bhikkhu, who encouraged him to focus on the Words of the Buddha, which he has done since then and which clarified greatly the Buddha’s teaching for him. From the year 2000, he has given various public talks and written various articles on the Buddha’s teaching. In 2004, he completed a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Studies in Religion (Buddhist Studies) and Mandarin (Modern Chinese Language) at the University of Queensland. In 2005, he published a book called “The Gift of the Buddha – A Happy Life” with an excellent foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Besides Buddhism, he is passionate about the environment and is actively involved with permaculture.

Jim Teoh

Jim pic

Jim has been a Buddhist teacher for over fifteen years and was one of the initiators of the earliest structured Buddhist programs presented at the Buddhist Library. He has taught numerous Buddhist courses in various organisations, such as the Buddhist Council of NSW, Buddhist Library, Indonesian Buddhist Society of NSW and Bodhikusuma Buddhist and Meditation Centre. Jim is a regular speaker and meditation workshop facilitator at University Buddhist organisations. He is also trained as a Hospital Buddhist Chaplain.

The MITRA Conference 2014 will be hosted by the following Masters of Ceremony (MC):

Tina Ng

tina_ng

Tina is the Principal Solicitor of Metta Legal, a role which encourages her to bring Buddhist ethical principles into her practice of law. She has participated in University Buddhist societies, and is an active member of the Buddhist community generally. She is interested in sharing the Buddha’s teachings in all kinds of forums and media. Some of these projects include writing for print and online publications, editing Buddhist books, organising Buddhist community events and also appearing briefly on television. Click here to view some of Tina’s writings.

Steven Daghlian

Steve

Steven Daghlian works as a Market Analyst at CommSec, providing sharemarket updates for Channel 10, Sky News, ABC, Channel 9 and a number of radio stations across Australia. He attended a 10-day Vipassana Meditation retreat in the Blue Mountains a few years ago, which changed his life for the better (and also made him cry!). He is in awe and inspired by those who dedicate their lives to the re-discovery of universal truths and the deepening of wisdom. Outside of work, he has been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over five years, meditates, plays music with a band called NAH74 each week and is fascinated by experiments relating to intention’s influence on living things.

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After 4 years of anticipation, more info the Mitra Conference is back again. We’ve been busy making this year’s conference awesome. Just like all our previous conferences it will feature main talks from renowned international and local speakers, panels, workshops, a short film screening, performances, stalls and more.

We will be also be providing a sumptious vegan morning and afternoon tea and lunch

On the day registrations will be available. Just show up.

The conference theme this year “Destination Mindfulness“, focuses on using Buddhist teachings and philosophy to help us find and maintain balance in our busy lives. Presentation and discussion topics at the conference include: methods to cope with daily stress and changes, handling situations that compromise and conflict with our personal and spiritual ethics, finding meaning in our professional and personal lives, as well as a focus on how to live mindfully, finding ways to integrate the Buddha’s teachings into our everyday lives, in a fast-paced and ever changing world.

Check out the program and our speakers if you haven’t done so already and you can also stay up to date on our facebook page.. Hope to see you all there!

 

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The 2014 MITRA Conference lineup includes the following guest speakers:

His Eminence (H.E.) Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche

Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche

Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist Monk and is currently residing in the Kyegu Buddhist Institute (“KBI”) in Sydney.

At the age of five, decease His Holiness Sakya Trizin, the Head of Sakyapa Order of Tibetan Buddhism, recognised him as the reincarnation of his predecessor. Aenpo Kyabgon is one of the very few Tulkus (reincarnated Rinpoches) in all of Tibet who possesses the ‘Kyabgon’ title.

Following his early monastic studies, Rinpoche began his higher studies in Sutra, Tantra and Shastras under the late Venerable Khenpo Migmar Tsering and other teachers at Sakya College, the noted Institute of Higher Buddhist Studies (in Rajpur, near Dehra Dun in Northern India). Rinpoche graduated in 1998 with the Kachupa degree, equivalent to a B.A.

Rinpoche has received numerous initiations and teachings from His Holiness the Sakya Trizin, His Eminence Luding Khenchen Rinpoche (Head of the Ngorpa lineage of the Sakya Tradition), and special Tantric teachings from late Khenpo Appey Rinpoche, the founder of Sakya College in India and the International Buddhist Academy in Nepal. Rinpoche, well versed in English, survived a major car accident in 1998 after graduating from Sakya College.  Rinpoche has kindly been travelling widely to bestow empowerments and give teachings to many students from South East Asia, and Australia.

Rinpoche has a unique approach to his teachings, in particular, being able to relate to his students of various ages and experiences. He brings loving kindness, compassion, encouragement and inspiration through his teachings. Many of his students find Rinpoche as a relaxed and genuine teacher who is also fun with a great sense of humour.

For more information on Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche’s biography, teachings and projects please go to the KBI website.

Venerable Thubten Chodron

Ven Thubten Chodron updated

Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron has practiced the Buddha’s teachings for nearly forty years. A native of Los Angeles, she ordained as a nun in the Tibetan tradition in 1977 and received the full ordination of a bhikshuni in Taiwan in 1986. Venerable Chodron has studied extensively with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsenzhap Serkhong Rinpoche, Zopa Rinpoche, and Lama Thubten Yeshe among many other Tibetan masters. With a clear, practical, and humorous style, she teaches Buddhist philosophy and meditation worldwide.

Her numerous books, published in several languages, include Open Heart, Clear Mind; Buddhism for Beginners; Taming the Mind; Guided Meditations on the Stages of the Path; and, most recently, Don’t Believe Everything You Think and was editor for Wisdom’s publication of Insight Into Emptiness.

Venerable Chodron has been the resident teacher at Amitabha Buddhist Center in Singapore, and was the resident teacher and spiritual advisor for Dharma Friendship Foundation in Seattle for ten years. She is currently the Abbess of Sravasti Abbey, a Buddhist monastic community in Newport, Washington, which she founded in 2003. Many of her teachings are available on her website and on YouTube. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Venerable Sujato

Sujato pic

Venerable Sujato is an Australian Theravanda Buddhist Monk ordained in a monastery in Chieng Mai in Thailand during the 1990s. He played in a successful rock band called Martha’s Vineyard for many years before he joined an intensive Buddhist retreat in Thailand which introduced him to the Buddha’s teachings.

Besides spending 3 years in the Bodhinyana monastery with Ajahn Brahm, he also spent several years in remote hermitages and caves in Thailand in Malaysia.

Venerable Sujato has taught the Dhamma and meditation to a varied audience in Australia and internationally such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, The USA, Germany, Norway, India, Sri Lanka and many others, and has spoken at several major International Buddhist conferences and events. He also helped to establish the Santi Forest Monastery in Bundanoon, where he was the abbot for many years.

Venerable Sujato has become well known for his articulate and support for the fully ordained Bhikkhuni lineage. A special field of interest is the role of women in Buddhism and particularly the revival of the Bhikkhuni order within the Theravada tradition. As well as being a meditator and teacher, Venerable Sujato is a scholar of early Buddhism, with several books and essays of original and often groundbreaking research. He contributes to Buddhism in Australia through a wide variety of forums and organisations, including the Australian Sangha Association, Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils, Australia Partnership of Religious Organisations, Australian Association of Buddhist Councillors and Psychotherapists, Australian Association fo Buddhist Studies, and Australian Religious Response to Climate Change.

Venerable Brahmali

Ajahn Brahmali pic

Ajahn Brahmali was born in Norway in 1964. He first became interested in Buddhism and meditation in his early 20s after a visit to Japan. He completed Masters degrees in Engineering and Finance, before renouncing the world of industry and commerce to ordain as a Bhikkhu with Ajahn Brahm as his preceptor in 1996.

Apart from being responsible for all the building work at Bodhinyana, Ajahn Brahmali also teaches the monastic rules (the Vinaya) and gives Pali classes (the language of the texts).

Ajahn Brahmali’s clear and thoughtful talks make the teachings of the Buddha accessible to all and are very popular downloads on the BSWA (Buddhist Society of Western Australia) website. He teaches regularly at BSWA and in Singapore. Ajahn Brahmali has also published a number of articles on important points of the Dhamma. Ajahn Brahmali is currently involved with the development of the Sutta Central, which is an online correspondence of early Buddhist discourses containing early Buddhist texts, translations and parallels.

Venerable Huifeng

Ven Hui Feng

Venerable Huifeng is a New Zealand monk in the Chinese Mahayana tradition, currently residing and teaching in Taiwan.

Having been introduced to Buddhism in his early teens, he committed himself to Buddhist practice in the 1990s.  Studying at several of Fo Guang Shan Monastery’s Buddhist Colleges, he received full ordination as a Bhikkhu in 2004. From 2006 to 2011 he studied a Masters and then completed a PhD degree in Buddhist studies at the University of Hong Kong. His PhD dissertation was entitled “Chiasmus in the Early Prajnaparamita: Literary Parallelism Connecting Criticism & Hermeneutics in an Early Mahayana Sutra”.

Presently he is one of five Vice-Abbots for Fo Guang Shan Monastery, and an Assistant Professor at the Department of Buddhist Studies at Fo Guang University, Taiwan.  His areas of academic focus include Indian Buddhism, in particular early Mah?y?na s?tra and ??stra, translation and hermeneutics, and practices of contemporary Taiwanese Buddhism.  Practice wise, he practices and teaches both classic Indian and Chinese forms of Buddhist meditation, in addition to a little hatha yoga.

For more information on Venerable Huifeng, his teachings and projects please check out his Facebook page and his Prajnacara Blog.

Sarah Napthali

Sarah Napthali

Mother of two school aged boys, Sarah Napthali is a practising Buddhist from the Insight tradition attending Bluegum Sangha in Crows Nest where she is secretary. Her working life has ranged from teaching English as a Second Language and corporate training, to human rights activism and interpreting. Since becoming a mother, she has focussed on writing, initially for companies and later for individuals wanting to record their memoirs. Her first book Buddhism for Mothers, which has sold 54,000 copies around the world, has been translated into nine languages. She is also the author of Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children and the recently released Buddhism for Mothers of Schoolchildren. She has written twelve biographies for members of the community to share with their families and friends.

Venerable Dhammadhira

IMG_3618-001

Ayya Dhammadhira grew up in California, USA. After receiving her BA in Social Sciences and MA in Education, she worked as a school teacher for ten years. Upon learning more about Buddhism and experiencing significant life changes, she decided to enter monastic life in England in 2001. For eleven years, she trained at Amaravati and Chithurst Monasteries before returning to the US in 2012. Back in America, Ayya took Bhikkhuni ordination and continued her life as a nun at Mahapajapati Monastery. In 2013, Ayya was invited to join the group of nuns at Santi Forest Monastery in Bundanoon, NSW where she currently resides. Ayya Dhammadhira brings the teaching of the Buddha to life and teaches the Dhamma in an engaging, down-to-earth and enlightening manner that captures the attention of the audience.

Venerable Guo Jun

guojun

Venerable Guo Jun is a Singaporean Mahayana Monk ordained under Venerable Song Nian of Mahabodi Temple in Singapore. He has studied and practised in all areas of Tibetan, Theravada, Mahayana Buddhism and Ch’an Buddhism for many years under the guidance of Venerable Master Sheng-yen.

He has studied and completed various University undergraduate degrees in Biotechnology, Buddhist Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology and more recently a Masters of Buddhist Studies from the University of Sydney.

He speaks Mandarin, Korean and English and has travelled worldwide to Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, the United States, Luxemburg, Poland, Croatia and Switzerland to teach the Dharma and share his experiences.

He is a member of the Australian Psychological Society and currently is the abbot of Mahabodi Temple in Singapore.

Dr. Chien Hoong Gooi

Chien pic

Dr Chien Hoong Gooi is a Clinical Psychologist and Buddhist teacher who seeks to integrate western psychology with the practices of Buddhist meditation. He was previously involved in clinical research applying mindfulness practices in the treatment of anxiety disorders at The University of Sydney and also served as the Buddhist Chaplain at the University of New South Wales. He is currently in private practice and is a committee member for the Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP).

Dr Hoong Gooi works from an integrated approach, combining Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with Mindfulness and Acceptance-based strategies. He conducts mindfulness meditation courses and workshops, locally and abroad, as part of his personal involvement in community outreach. He also has a special interest working with grief and loss. He assists adults with anxiety, phobias, grief and loss, depression, stress management, and psychological and emotional wellbeing.

Dr Hoong Gooi is a member of Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA), Australian Psychology Society (APS), Australian Association of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (AACBT), Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP) and Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology (MSCP).

Phil Carlisle

Phil

Phil Carlisle first met Lama Ole Nydahl in 1995 at a public talk. His relaxed style and western approach inspired Phil to begin practising Diamond Way Buddhism in the Karma Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism.The Karma Kagyu lineage is one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. As a lineage of direct oral transmission, it especially treasures meditation and, through interaction with a qualified teacher, can bring about the full and direct experience of the nature of mind. As a lay practitioner, Phil runs a successful multimedia business, integrating his Buddhist practice with living in the modern world. In 2007 Lama Ole asked Phil to begin teaching Diamond Way Buddhism in Australasia and spread these precious teachings as transparently as possible to idealistic, clear-thinking Westerners. Phil Carlisle has been a student of Lama Ole Nydahl for many years, travelling extensively with Lama Ole throughout Australia and New Zealand as well as Europe. Phil and his Media company have recorded and produced video documentary of Lama Ole’s lectures as well as producing a concise teaching series used in centres world wide. Phil has been teaching Buddhism for a number of years within Australia and New Zealand and completed a teaching tour of Russia. Bringing his many years of experience and knowledge, Phil delivers the Buddha’s Teachings in a relaxed and understandable style.

Venerable Thích Trúc Thông Pháp

Thich Thong Phap pic

Venerable Thích Trúc Thông Pháp was born in Port Adelaide in 1952 and raised a Christian. He wanted to be a minister in the church from age 5 and a monk from age 16. He began investigating Buddhism from 19 years of age and became more seriously engaged in 1978.

His first teachers were Ayya Khema and Phra Khantipalo at Wat Buddha Dhamma in the early 1980s. In 1995, he started studying and practising in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, meeting his own teacher, Most Venerable Thich Thanh Tu in Da Lat, Vietnam, in 2001. He was ordained a shramanera in Long Tan, Vietnam in 2004 and a Bhikkshu in San Diego in 2005.

Professionally, he worked as a teacher, a pastoral worker, a carer with people labelled intellectually disabled and a human rights advocate. From 2006 – 2010, he was the Buddhist chaplain at Flinders University, SA. Currently, he lives in Hobart studying a Ph D, training as a supervisor in Clinical Pastoral Education, working as the Buddhist chaplain at the University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus and establishing Buddhist Contemplative Care Tasmania with numerous other Buddhists there.

His other involvements are the contemplative care of people who have terminal illnesses and who are asylum seekers. He has an interest in Buddhist Anarchism and he lives with his 15 1/2 -year-old dog who reminds him that there is more going on in the universe than the constant round of human affairs. He is also a founding member of the ‘Non-Sectarian Post-Modern Western Freelancing Monastic Community – Hobart Division’.

Grahame White

Grahame pic

Grahame has been involved in Buddhist meditation practice for over 40 years. He began his study in England in 1969 before being ordained as a Buddhist monk for one year in BodhGaya, India in 1971. He took a primary role in the establishment of Vipassana meditation in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw in Australia and co-founded the Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre outside Sydney., Grahame leads introductory and day long courses in Illawarra & Sydney areas and regularly teaches longer intensive retreats in Honolulu, Hawaii where he is a guiding teacher with the meditation group Vipassana Hawaii. He also teaches yearly retreats in Sri Lanka with the Nirodha Trust. He has also helped pioneer a workshop format that enhances the transfer of mindfulness from the formal sitting practice into daily life. Grahame returns to Myanmar (Burma) regulary in order to deepen his own practice and study of the Buddha’s teachings ,at times assisting in the teaching of Vipassana retreats for foreigners. Grahame teaches a classical tradition of insight meditation with a relaxed, accessible style.

Venerable Dhammad?sa

Dhammadarsa

Dhammad?sa Bhikkhu was born in England in 1965, but migrated to Australia when he was young. From a young age, he was spiritually minded and was deeply committed to the only spiritual tradition he knew at the time, Protestant Christianity. He studied the Bible diligently and at one time aspired to be a missionary. From an early age, he was interested in languages and studied Greek, French, German, Chinese, Thai, P?li, Arabic, Sanskrit and Latin.

He became interested in Buddhism in 1985, and a year later, took ordination as a Thai Theravada Buddhist monk in Australia with Luang Por Somdet Phra Maha R?jamagal?chariya Wat Paknam, Bhasicharoen, as his preceptor. This was probably the first Therav?da Bhikkhu ordination in Australia.

Shortly after ordination, he started the Vijj? Dhammak?ya meditation system, with Phramah? Wanchai Selakun, a meditation teacher from Wat Paknam, Bhasicharoen, Bangkok. In 1988, he started the Mah?si Vipassan? meditation system with Ajahn Sawai at Samnak Vipassan? Vivekasom, Chonburi, Thailand. In Thailand in 1993, he met Buddhad?sa Bhikkhu, who encouraged him to focus on the Words of the Buddha, which he has done since then and which clarified greatly the Buddha’s teaching for him. From the year 2000, he has given various public talks and written various articles on the Buddha’s teaching. In 2004, he completed a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Studies in Religion (Buddhist Studies) and Mandarin (Modern Chinese Language) at the University of Queensland. In 2005, he published a book called “The Gift of the Buddha – A Happy Life” with an excellent foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Besides Buddhism, he is passionate about the environment and is actively involved with permaculture.

Jim Teoh

Jim pic

Jim has been a Buddhist teacher for over fifteen years and was one of the initiators of the earliest structured Buddhist programs presented at the Buddhist Library. He has taught numerous Buddhist courses in various organisations, such as the Buddhist Council of NSW, Buddhist Library, Indonesian Buddhist Society of NSW and Bodhikusuma Buddhist and Meditation Centre. Jim is a regular speaker and meditation workshop facilitator at University Buddhist organisations. He is also trained as a Hospital Buddhist Chaplain.

The MITRA Conference 2014 will be hosted by the following Masters of Ceremony (MC):

Tina Ng

tina_ng

Tina is the Principal Solicitor of Metta Legal, a role which encourages her to bring Buddhist ethical principles into her practice of law. She has participated in University Buddhist societies, and is an active member of the Buddhist community generally. She is interested in sharing the Buddha’s teachings in all kinds of forums and media. Some of these projects include writing for print and online publications, editing Buddhist books, organising Buddhist community events and also appearing briefly on television. Click here to view some of Tina’s writings.

Steven Daghlian

Steve

Steven Daghlian works as a Market Analyst at CommSec, providing sharemarket updates for Channel 10, Sky News, ABC, Channel 9 and a number of radio stations across Australia. He attended a 10-day Vipassana Meditation retreat in the Blue Mountains a few years ago, which changed his life for the better (and also made him cry!). He is in awe and inspired by those who dedicate their lives to the re-discovery of universal truths and the deepening of wisdom. Outside of work, he has been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over five years, meditates, plays music with a band called NAH74 each week and is fascinated by experiments relating to intention’s influence on living things.

booktickets

booktickets

The 2014 MITRA Conference lineup includes the following guest speakers:

His Eminence (H.E.) Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche

Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche

Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist Monk and is currently residing in the Kyegu Buddhist Institute (“KBI”) in Sydney.

At the age of five, symptoms His Holiness Sakya Trizin, info the Head of Sakyapa Order of Tibetan Buddhism, recognised him as the reincarnation of his predecessor. Aenpo Kyabgon is one of the very few Tulkus (reincarnated Rinpoches) in all of Tibet who possesses the ‘Kyabgon’ title.

Following his early monastic studies, Rinpoche began his higher studies in Sutra, Tantra and Shastras under the late Venerable Khenpo Migmar Tsering and other teachers at Sakya College, the noted Institute of Higher Buddhist Studies (in Rajpur, near Dehra Dun in Northern India). Rinpoche graduated in 1998 with the Kachupa degree, equivalent to a B.A.

Rinpoche has received numerous initiations and teachings from His Holiness the Sakya Trizin, His Eminence Luding Khenchen Rinpoche (Head of the Ngorpa lineage of the Sakya Tradition), and special Tantric teachings from late Khenpo Appey Rinpoche, the founder of Sakya College in India and the International Buddhist Academy in Nepal. Rinpoche, well versed in English, survived a major car accident in 1998 after graduating from Sakya College.  Rinpoche has kindly been travelling widely to bestow empowerments and give teachings to many students from South East Asia, and Australia.

Rinpoche has a unique approach to his teachings, in particular, being able to relate to his students of various ages and experiences. He brings loving kindness, compassion, encouragement and inspiration through his teachings. Many of his students find Rinpoche as a relaxed and genuine teacher who is also fun with a great sense of humour.

For more information on Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche’s biography, teachings and projects please go to the KBI website.

Venerable Thubten Chodron

Ven Thubten Chodron updated

Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron has practiced the Buddha’s teachings for nearly forty years. A native of Los Angeles, she ordained as a nun in the Tibetan tradition in 1977 and received the full ordination of a bhikshuni in Taiwan in 1986. Venerable Chodron has studied extensively with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsenzhap Serkhong Rinpoche, Zopa Rinpoche, and Lama Thubten Yeshe among many other Tibetan masters. With a clear, practical, and humorous style, she teaches Buddhist philosophy and meditation worldwide.

Her numerous books, published in several languages, include Open Heart, Clear Mind; Buddhism for Beginners; Taming the Mind; Guided Meditations on the Stages of the Path; and, most recently, Don’t Believe Everything You Think and was editor for Wisdom’s publication of Insight Into Emptiness.

Venerable Chodron has been the resident teacher at Amitabha Buddhist Center in Singapore, and was the resident teacher and spiritual advisor for Dharma Friendship Foundation in Seattle for ten years. She is currently the Abbess of Sravasti Abbey, a Buddhist monastic community in Newport, Washington, which she founded in 2003. Many of her teachings are available on her website and on YouTube. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Venerable Sujato

Sujato pic

Venerable Sujato is an Australian Theravanda Buddhist Monk ordained in a monastery in Chieng Mai in Thailand during the 1990s. He played in a successful rock band called Martha’s Vineyard for many years before he joined an intensive Buddhist retreat in Thailand which introduced him to the Buddha’s teachings.

Besides spending 3 years in the Bodhinyana monastery with Ajahn Brahm, he also spent several years in remote hermitages and caves in Thailand in Malaysia.

Venerable Sujato has taught the Dhamma and meditation to a varied audience in Australia and internationally such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, The USA, Germany, Norway, India, Sri Lanka and many others, and has spoken at several major International Buddhist conferences and events. He also helped to establish the Santi Forest Monastery in Bundanoon, where he was the abbot for many years.

Venerable Sujato has become well known for his articulate and support for the fully ordained Bhikkhuni lineage. A special field of interest is the role of women in Buddhism and particularly the revival of the Bhikkhuni order within the Theravada tradition. As well as being a meditator and teacher, Venerable Sujato is a scholar of early Buddhism, with several books and essays of original and often groundbreaking research. He contributes to Buddhism in Australia through a wide variety of forums and organisations, including the Australian Sangha Association, Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils, Australia Partnership of Religious Organisations, Australian Association of Buddhist Councillors and Psychotherapists, Australian Association fo Buddhist Studies, and Australian Religious Response to Climate Change.

Dr. Susan Murphy Roshi

Susan pic

Dr. Susan Murphy Roshi is the founding teacher of Zen Open Circle in Sydney Australia. She is also teacher for the Melbourne Zen Group, conducting a number of sesshin (7 day retreats) in both cities each year. She is the dharma heir of John Tarrant Roshi (Pacific Zen Institute) and Ross Bolleter Roshi (Diamond Sangha – Robert Aitken), in a lay lineage that draws Soto and Rinzai (koan) style of practice together.

Susan is a writer, radio producer and film director, as well as teaching and mentoring writing in private consultation and occasional meditation and writing retreats. She taught film for many years at the University of Technology, Sydney, has co-written three books on film, and directs the annual Buddhist Film Festival in Sydney established in 2003. She has a special interest in the way Zen and indigenous Australian sense of ‘care for country’ come together, co-leading occasional retreats in country with Dulumunmun, Uncle Max Harrison,Yuin Elder.

Susan is the author of the book, Upside Down Zen and her latest book is Minding the Earth, Mending the World: The Offer We Can No Longer Refuse, a Zen response to our slow-burning planetary emergency.

Venerable Brahmali

Ajahn Brahmali pic

Ajahn Brahmali was born in Norway in 1964. He first became interested in Buddhism and meditation in his early 20s after a visit to Japan. He completed Masters degrees in Engineering and Finance, before renouncing the world of industry and commerce to ordain as a Bhikkhu with Ajahn Brahm as his preceptor in 1996.

Apart from being responsible for all the building work at Bodhinyana, Ajahn Brahmali also teaches the monastic rules (the Vinaya) and gives Pali classes (the language of the texts).

Ajahn Brahmali’s clear and thoughtful talks make the teachings of the Buddha accessible to all and are very popular downloads on the BSWA (Buddhist Society of Western Australia) website. He teaches regularly at BSWA and in Singapore. Ajahn Brahmali has also published a number of articles on important points of the Dhamma. Ajahn Brahmali is currently involved with the development of the Sutta Central, which is an online correspondence of early Buddhist discourses containing early Buddhist texts, translations and parallels.

Venerable Huifeng

Ven Hui Feng

Venerable Huifeng is a New Zealand monk in the Chinese Mahayana tradition, currently residing and teaching in Taiwan.

Having been introduced to Buddhism in his early teens, he committed himself to Buddhist practice in the 1990s.  Studying at several of Fo Guang Shan Monastery’s Buddhist Colleges, he received full ordination as a Bhikkhu in 2004. From 2006 to 2011 he studied a Masters and then completed a PhD degree in Buddhist studies at the University of Hong Kong. His PhD dissertation was entitled “Chiasmus in the Early Prajnaparamita: Literary Parallelism Connecting Criticism & Hermeneutics in an Early Mahayana Sutra”.

Presently he is one of five Vice-Abbots for Fo Guang Shan Monastery, and an Assistant Professor at the Department of Buddhist Studies at Fo Guang University, Taiwan.  His areas of academic focus include Indian Buddhism, in particular early Mah?y?na s?tra and ??stra, translation and hermeneutics, and practices of contemporary Taiwanese Buddhism.  Practice wise, he practices and teaches both classic Indian and Chinese forms of Buddhist meditation, in addition to a little hatha yoga.

For more information on Venerable Huifeng, his teachings and projects please check out his Facebook page and his Prajnacara Blog.

Sarah Napthali

Sarah Napthali

Mother of two school aged boys, Sarah Napthali is a practising Buddhist from the Insight tradition attending Bluegum Sangha in Crows Nest where she is secretary. Her working life has ranged from teaching English as a Second Language and corporate training, to human rights activism and interpreting. Since becoming a mother, she has focussed on writing, initially for companies and later for individuals wanting to record their memoirs. Her first book Buddhism for Mothers, which has sold 54,000 copies around the world, has been translated into nine languages. She is also the author of Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children and the recently released Buddhism for Mothers of Schoolchildren. She has written twelve biographies for members of the community to share with their families and friends.

Venerable Dhammadhira

IMG_3618-001

Ayya Dhammadhira grew up in California, USA. After receiving her BA in Social Sciences and MA in Education, she worked as a school teacher for ten years. Upon learning more about Buddhism and experiencing significant life changes, she decided to enter monastic life in England in 2001. For eleven years, she trained at Amaravati and Chithurst Monasteries before returning to the US in 2012. Back in America, Ayya took Bhikkhuni ordination and continued her life as a nun at Mahapajapati Monastery. In 2013, Ayya was invited to join the group of nuns at Santi Forest Monastery in Bundanoon, NSW where she currently resides. Ayya Dhammadhira brings the teaching of the Buddha to life and teaches the Dhamma in an engaging, down-to-earth and enlightening manner that captures the attention of the audience.

Venerable Guo Jun

guojun

Venerable Guo Jun is a Singaporean Mahayana Monk ordained under Venerable Song Nian of Mahabodi Temple in Singapore. He has studied and practised in all areas of Tibetan, Theravada, Mahayana Buddhism and Ch’an Buddhism for many years under the guidance of Venerable Master Sheng-yen.

He has studied and completed various University undergraduate degrees in Biotechnology, Buddhist Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology and more recently a Masters of Buddhist Studies from the University of Sydney.

He speaks Mandarin, Korean and English and has travelled worldwide to Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, the United States, Luxemburg, Poland, Croatia and Switzerland to teach the Dharma and share his experiences.

He is a member of the Australian Psychological Society and currently is the abbot of Mahabodi Temple in Singapore.

Dr. Chien Hoong Gooi

Chien pic

Dr Chien Hoong Gooi is a Clinical Psychologist and Buddhist teacher who seeks to integrate western psychology with the practices of Buddhist meditation. He was previously involved in clinical research applying mindfulness practices in the treatment of anxiety disorders at The University of Sydney and also served as the Buddhist Chaplain at the University of New South Wales. He is currently in private practice and is a committee member for the Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP).

Dr Hoong Gooi works from an integrated approach, combining Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with Mindfulness and Acceptance-based strategies. He conducts mindfulness meditation courses and workshops, locally and abroad, as part of his personal involvement in community outreach. He also has a special interest working with grief and loss. He assists adults with anxiety, phobias, grief and loss, depression, stress management, and psychological and emotional wellbeing.

Dr Hoong Gooi is a member of Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA), Australian Psychology Society (APS), Australian Association of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (AACBT), Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP) and Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology (MSCP).

Phil Carlisle

Phil

Phil Carlisle first met Lama Ole Nydahl in 1995 at a public talk. His relaxed style and western approach inspired Phil to begin practising Diamond Way Buddhism in the Karma Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism.The Karma Kagyu lineage is one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. As a lineage of direct oral transmission, it especially treasures meditation and, through interaction with a qualified teacher, can bring about the full and direct experience of the nature of mind. As a lay practitioner, Phil runs a successful multimedia business, integrating his Buddhist practice with living in the modern world. In 2007 Lama Ole asked Phil to begin teaching Diamond Way Buddhism in Australasia and spread these precious teachings as transparently as possible to idealistic, clear-thinking Westerners. Phil Carlisle has been a student of Lama Ole Nydahl for many years, travelling extensively with Lama Ole throughout Australia and New Zealand as well as Europe. Phil and his Media company have recorded and produced video documentary of Lama Ole’s lectures as well as producing a concise teaching series used in centres world wide. Phil has been teaching Buddhism for a number of years within Australia and New Zealand and completed a teaching tour of Russia. Bringing his many years of experience and knowledge, Phil delivers the Buddha’s Teachings in a relaxed and understandable style.

Venerable Thích Trúc Thông Pháp

Thich Thong Phap pic

Venerable Thích Trúc Thông Pháp was born in Port Adelaide in 1952 and raised a Christian. He wanted to be a minister in the church from age 5 and a monk from age 16. He began investigating Buddhism from 19 years of age and became more seriously engaged in 1978.

His first teachers were Ayya Khema and Phra Khantipalo at Wat Buddha Dhamma in the early 1980s. In 1995, he started studying and practising in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, meeting his own teacher, Most Venerable Thich Thanh Tu in Da Lat, Vietnam, in 2001. He was ordained a shramanera in Long Tan, Vietnam in 2004 and a Bhikkshu in San Diego in 2005.

Professionally, he worked as a teacher, a pastoral worker, a carer with people labelled intellectually disabled and a human rights advocate. From 2006 – 2010, he was the Buddhist chaplain at Flinders University, SA. Currently, he lives in Hobart studying a Ph D, training as a supervisor in Clinical Pastoral Education, working as the Buddhist chaplain at the University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus and establishing Buddhist Contemplative Care Tasmania with numerous other Buddhists there.

His other involvements are the contemplative care of people who have terminal illnesses and who are asylum seekers. He has an interest in Buddhist Anarchism and he lives with his 15 1/2 -year-old dog who reminds him that there is more going on in the universe than the constant round of human affairs. He is also a founding member of the ‘Non-Sectarian Post-Modern Western Freelancing Monastic Community – Hobart Division’.

Grahame White

Grahame pic

Grahame has been involved in Buddhist meditation practice for over 40 years. He began his study in England in 1969 before being ordained as a Buddhist monk for one year in BodhGaya, India in 1971. He took a primary role in the establishment of Vipassana meditation in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw in Australia and co-founded the Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre outside Sydney., Grahame leads introductory and day long courses in Illawarra & Sydney areas and regularly teaches longer intensive retreats in Honolulu, Hawaii where he is a guiding teacher with the meditation group Vipassana Hawaii. He also teaches yearly retreats in Sri Lanka with the Nirodha Trust. He has also helped pioneer a workshop format that enhances the transfer of mindfulness from the formal sitting practice into daily life. Grahame returns to Myanmar (Burma) regulary in order to deepen his own practice and study of the Buddha’s teachings ,at times assisting in the teaching of Vipassana retreats for foreigners. Grahame teaches a classical tradition of insight meditation with a relaxed, accessible style.

Venerable Dhammad?sa

Dhammadarsa

Dhammad?sa Bhikkhu was born in England in 1965, but migrated to Australia when he was young. From a young age, he was spiritually minded and was deeply committed to the only spiritual tradition he knew at the time, Protestant Christianity. He studied the Bible diligently and at one time aspired to be a missionary. From an early age, he was interested in languages and studied Greek, French, German, Chinese, Thai, P?li, Arabic, Sanskrit and Latin.

He became interested in Buddhism in 1985, and a year later, took ordination as a Thai Theravada Buddhist monk in Australia with Luang Por Somdet Phra Maha R?jamagal?chariya Wat Paknam, Bhasicharoen, as his preceptor. This was probably the first Therav?da Bhikkhu ordination in Australia.

Shortly after ordination, he started the Vijj? Dhammak?ya meditation system, with Phramah? Wanchai Selakun, a meditation teacher from Wat Paknam, Bhasicharoen, Bangkok. In 1988, he started the Mah?si Vipassan? meditation system with Ajahn Sawai at Samnak Vipassan? Vivekasom, Chonburi, Thailand. In Thailand in 1993, he met Buddhad?sa Bhikkhu, who encouraged him to focus on the Words of the Buddha, which he has done since then and which clarified greatly the Buddha’s teaching for him. From the year 2000, he has given various public talks and written various articles on the Buddha’s teaching. In 2004, he completed a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Studies in Religion (Buddhist Studies) and Mandarin (Modern Chinese Language) at the University of Queensland. In 2005, he published a book called “The Gift of the Buddha – A Happy Life” with an excellent foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Besides Buddhism, he is passionate about the environment and is actively involved with permaculture.

Jim Teoh

Jim pic

Jim has been a Buddhist teacher for over fifteen years and was one of the initiators of the earliest structured Buddhist programs presented at the Buddhist Library. He has taught numerous Buddhist courses in various organisations, such as the Buddhist Council of NSW, Buddhist Library, Indonesian Buddhist Society of NSW and Bodhikusuma Buddhist and Meditation Centre. Jim is a regular speaker and meditation workshop facilitator at University Buddhist organisations. He is also trained as a Hospital Buddhist Chaplain.

The MITRA Conference 2014 will be hosted by the following Masters of Ceremony (MC):

Tina Ng

tina_ng

Tina is the Principal Solicitor of Metta Legal, a role which encourages her to bring Buddhist ethical principles into her practice of law. She has participated in University Buddhist societies, and is an active member of the Buddhist community generally. She is interested in sharing the Buddha’s teachings in all kinds of forums and media. Some of these projects include writing for print and online publications, editing Buddhist books, organising Buddhist community events and also appearing briefly on television. Click here to view some of Tina’s writings.

Steven Daghlian

Steve

Steven Daghlian works as a Market Analyst at CommSec, providing sharemarket updates for Channel 10, Sky News, ABC, Channel 9 and a number of radio stations across Australia. He attended a 10-day Vipassana Meditation retreat in the Blue Mountains a few years ago, which changed his life for the better (and also made him cry!). He is in awe and inspired by those who dedicate their lives to the re-discovery of universal truths and the deepening of wisdom. Outside of work, he has been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over five years, meditates, plays music with a band called NAH74 each week and is fascinated by experiments relating to intention’s influence on living things.

booktickets

 

After 4 years of anticipation, more info the Mitra Conference is back again. We’ve been busy making this year’s conference awesome. Just like all our previous conferences it will feature main talks from renowned international and local speakers, panels, workshops, a short film screening, performances, stalls and more.

We will be also be providing a sumptious vegan morning and afternoon tea and lunch

On the day registrations will be available. Just show up.

The conference theme this year “Destination Mindfulness“, focuses on using Buddhist teachings and philosophy to help us find and maintain balance in our busy lives. Presentation and discussion topics at the conference include: methods to cope with daily stress and changes, handling situations that compromise and conflict with our personal and spiritual ethics, finding meaning in our professional and personal lives, as well as a focus on how to live mindfully, finding ways to integrate the Buddha’s teachings into our everyday lives, in a fast-paced and ever changing world.

Check out the program and our speakers if you haven’t done so already and you can also stay up to date on our facebook page.. Hope to see you all there!

 
 

After 4 years of anticipation, injection the Mitra Conference is back again. We’ve been busy making this year’s conference awesome. Just like all our previous conferences it will feature main talks from renowned international and local speakers, more panels, check workshops, a short film screening, performances, stalls and more.

We will be also be providing a sumptious vegan morning and afternoon tea and lunch

On the day registrations will be available. Just show up.

The conference theme this year “Destination Mindfulness“, focuses on using Buddhist teachings and philosophy to help us find and maintain balance in our busy lives. Presentation and discussion topics at the conference include: methods to cope with daily stress and changes, handling situations that compromise and conflict with our personal and spiritual ethics, finding meaning in our professional and personal lives, as well as a focus on how to live mindfully, finding ways to integrate the Buddha’s teachings into our everyday lives, in a fast-paced and ever changing world.

Check out the program and our speakers if you haven’t done so already and you can also stay up to date on our facebook page.. Hope to see you all there!

 

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Arial; font-size: 10px; padding: 2px 0 2px; margin: 1px; width: 100%; text-align: left;”>Online event registration for Mitra Conference powered by Eventbrite

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The 2014 MITRA Conference lineup includes the following guest speakers:

His Eminence (H.E.) Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche

Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche

Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist Monk and is currently residing in the Kyegu Buddhist Institute (“KBI”) in Sydney.

At the age of five, decease His Holiness Sakya Trizin, the Head of Sakyapa Order of Tibetan Buddhism, recognised him as the reincarnation of his predecessor. Aenpo Kyabgon is one of the very few Tulkus (reincarnated Rinpoches) in all of Tibet who possesses the ‘Kyabgon’ title.

Following his early monastic studies, Rinpoche began his higher studies in Sutra, Tantra and Shastras under the late Venerable Khenpo Migmar Tsering and other teachers at Sakya College, the noted Institute of Higher Buddhist Studies (in Rajpur, near Dehra Dun in Northern India). Rinpoche graduated in 1998 with the Kachupa degree, equivalent to a B.A.

Rinpoche has received numerous initiations and teachings from His Holiness the Sakya Trizin, His Eminence Luding Khenchen Rinpoche (Head of the Ngorpa lineage of the Sakya Tradition), and special Tantric teachings from late Khenpo Appey Rinpoche, the founder of Sakya College in India and the International Buddhist Academy in Nepal. Rinpoche, well versed in English, survived a major car accident in 1998 after graduating from Sakya College.  Rinpoche has kindly been travelling widely to bestow empowerments and give teachings to many students from South East Asia, and Australia.

Rinpoche has a unique approach to his teachings, in particular, being able to relate to his students of various ages and experiences. He brings loving kindness, compassion, encouragement and inspiration through his teachings. Many of his students find Rinpoche as a relaxed and genuine teacher who is also fun with a great sense of humour.

For more information on Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche’s biography, teachings and projects please go to the KBI website.

Venerable Thubten Chodron

Ven Thubten Chodron updated

Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron has practiced the Buddha’s teachings for nearly forty years. A native of Los Angeles, she ordained as a nun in the Tibetan tradition in 1977 and received the full ordination of a bhikshuni in Taiwan in 1986. Venerable Chodron has studied extensively with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsenzhap Serkhong Rinpoche, Zopa Rinpoche, and Lama Thubten Yeshe among many other Tibetan masters. With a clear, practical, and humorous style, she teaches Buddhist philosophy and meditation worldwide.

Her numerous books, published in several languages, include Open Heart, Clear Mind; Buddhism for Beginners; Taming the Mind; Guided Meditations on the Stages of the Path; and, most recently, Don’t Believe Everything You Think and was editor for Wisdom’s publication of Insight Into Emptiness.

Venerable Chodron has been the resident teacher at Amitabha Buddhist Center in Singapore, and was the resident teacher and spiritual advisor for Dharma Friendship Foundation in Seattle for ten years. She is currently the Abbess of Sravasti Abbey, a Buddhist monastic community in Newport, Washington, which she founded in 2003. Many of her teachings are available on her website and on YouTube. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Venerable Sujato

Sujato pic

Venerable Sujato is an Australian Theravanda Buddhist Monk ordained in a monastery in Chieng Mai in Thailand during the 1990s. He played in a successful rock band called Martha’s Vineyard for many years before he joined an intensive Buddhist retreat in Thailand which introduced him to the Buddha’s teachings.

Besides spending 3 years in the Bodhinyana monastery with Ajahn Brahm, he also spent several years in remote hermitages and caves in Thailand in Malaysia.

Venerable Sujato has taught the Dhamma and meditation to a varied audience in Australia and internationally such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, The USA, Germany, Norway, India, Sri Lanka and many others, and has spoken at several major International Buddhist conferences and events. He also helped to establish the Santi Forest Monastery in Bundanoon, where he was the abbot for many years.

Venerable Sujato has become well known for his articulate and support for the fully ordained Bhikkhuni lineage. A special field of interest is the role of women in Buddhism and particularly the revival of the Bhikkhuni order within the Theravada tradition. As well as being a meditator and teacher, Venerable Sujato is a scholar of early Buddhism, with several books and essays of original and often groundbreaking research. He contributes to Buddhism in Australia through a wide variety of forums and organisations, including the Australian Sangha Association, Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils, Australia Partnership of Religious Organisations, Australian Association of Buddhist Councillors and Psychotherapists, Australian Association fo Buddhist Studies, and Australian Religious Response to Climate Change.

Venerable Brahmali

Ajahn Brahmali pic

Ajahn Brahmali was born in Norway in 1964. He first became interested in Buddhism and meditation in his early 20s after a visit to Japan. He completed Masters degrees in Engineering and Finance, before renouncing the world of industry and commerce to ordain as a Bhikkhu with Ajahn Brahm as his preceptor in 1996.

Apart from being responsible for all the building work at Bodhinyana, Ajahn Brahmali also teaches the monastic rules (the Vinaya) and gives Pali classes (the language of the texts).

Ajahn Brahmali’s clear and thoughtful talks make the teachings of the Buddha accessible to all and are very popular downloads on the BSWA (Buddhist Society of Western Australia) website. He teaches regularly at BSWA and in Singapore. Ajahn Brahmali has also published a number of articles on important points of the Dhamma. Ajahn Brahmali is currently involved with the development of the Sutta Central, which is an online correspondence of early Buddhist discourses containing early Buddhist texts, translations and parallels.

Venerable Huifeng

Ven Hui Feng

Venerable Huifeng is a New Zealand monk in the Chinese Mahayana tradition, currently residing and teaching in Taiwan.

Having been introduced to Buddhism in his early teens, he committed himself to Buddhist practice in the 1990s.  Studying at several of Fo Guang Shan Monastery’s Buddhist Colleges, he received full ordination as a Bhikkhu in 2004. From 2006 to 2011 he studied a Masters and then completed a PhD degree in Buddhist studies at the University of Hong Kong. His PhD dissertation was entitled “Chiasmus in the Early Prajnaparamita: Literary Parallelism Connecting Criticism & Hermeneutics in an Early Mahayana Sutra”.

Presently he is one of five Vice-Abbots for Fo Guang Shan Monastery, and an Assistant Professor at the Department of Buddhist Studies at Fo Guang University, Taiwan.  His areas of academic focus include Indian Buddhism, in particular early Mah?y?na s?tra and ??stra, translation and hermeneutics, and practices of contemporary Taiwanese Buddhism.  Practice wise, he practices and teaches both classic Indian and Chinese forms of Buddhist meditation, in addition to a little hatha yoga.

For more information on Venerable Huifeng, his teachings and projects please check out his Facebook page and his Prajnacara Blog.

Sarah Napthali

Sarah Napthali

Mother of two school aged boys, Sarah Napthali is a practising Buddhist from the Insight tradition attending Bluegum Sangha in Crows Nest where she is secretary. Her working life has ranged from teaching English as a Second Language and corporate training, to human rights activism and interpreting. Since becoming a mother, she has focussed on writing, initially for companies and later for individuals wanting to record their memoirs. Her first book Buddhism for Mothers, which has sold 54,000 copies around the world, has been translated into nine languages. She is also the author of Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children and the recently released Buddhism for Mothers of Schoolchildren. She has written twelve biographies for members of the community to share with their families and friends.

Venerable Dhammadhira

IMG_3618-001

Ayya Dhammadhira grew up in California, USA. After receiving her BA in Social Sciences and MA in Education, she worked as a school teacher for ten years. Upon learning more about Buddhism and experiencing significant life changes, she decided to enter monastic life in England in 2001. For eleven years, she trained at Amaravati and Chithurst Monasteries before returning to the US in 2012. Back in America, Ayya took Bhikkhuni ordination and continued her life as a nun at Mahapajapati Monastery. In 2013, Ayya was invited to join the group of nuns at Santi Forest Monastery in Bundanoon, NSW where she currently resides. Ayya Dhammadhira brings the teaching of the Buddha to life and teaches the Dhamma in an engaging, down-to-earth and enlightening manner that captures the attention of the audience.

Venerable Guo Jun

guojun

Venerable Guo Jun is a Singaporean Mahayana Monk ordained under Venerable Song Nian of Mahabodi Temple in Singapore. He has studied and practised in all areas of Tibetan, Theravada, Mahayana Buddhism and Ch’an Buddhism for many years under the guidance of Venerable Master Sheng-yen.

He has studied and completed various University undergraduate degrees in Biotechnology, Buddhist Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology and more recently a Masters of Buddhist Studies from the University of Sydney.

He speaks Mandarin, Korean and English and has travelled worldwide to Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, the United States, Luxemburg, Poland, Croatia and Switzerland to teach the Dharma and share his experiences.

He is a member of the Australian Psychological Society and currently is the abbot of Mahabodi Temple in Singapore.

Dr. Chien Hoong Gooi

Chien pic

Dr Chien Hoong Gooi is a Clinical Psychologist and Buddhist teacher who seeks to integrate western psychology with the practices of Buddhist meditation. He was previously involved in clinical research applying mindfulness practices in the treatment of anxiety disorders at The University of Sydney and also served as the Buddhist Chaplain at the University of New South Wales. He is currently in private practice and is a committee member for the Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP).

Dr Hoong Gooi works from an integrated approach, combining Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with Mindfulness and Acceptance-based strategies. He conducts mindfulness meditation courses and workshops, locally and abroad, as part of his personal involvement in community outreach. He also has a special interest working with grief and loss. He assists adults with anxiety, phobias, grief and loss, depression, stress management, and psychological and emotional wellbeing.

Dr Hoong Gooi is a member of Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA), Australian Psychology Society (APS), Australian Association of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (AACBT), Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP) and Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology (MSCP).

Phil Carlisle

Phil

Phil Carlisle first met Lama Ole Nydahl in 1995 at a public talk. His relaxed style and western approach inspired Phil to begin practising Diamond Way Buddhism in the Karma Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism.The Karma Kagyu lineage is one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. As a lineage of direct oral transmission, it especially treasures meditation and, through interaction with a qualified teacher, can bring about the full and direct experience of the nature of mind. As a lay practitioner, Phil runs a successful multimedia business, integrating his Buddhist practice with living in the modern world. In 2007 Lama Ole asked Phil to begin teaching Diamond Way Buddhism in Australasia and spread these precious teachings as transparently as possible to idealistic, clear-thinking Westerners. Phil Carlisle has been a student of Lama Ole Nydahl for many years, travelling extensively with Lama Ole throughout Australia and New Zealand as well as Europe. Phil and his Media company have recorded and produced video documentary of Lama Ole’s lectures as well as producing a concise teaching series used in centres world wide. Phil has been teaching Buddhism for a number of years within Australia and New Zealand and completed a teaching tour of Russia. Bringing his many years of experience and knowledge, Phil delivers the Buddha’s Teachings in a relaxed and understandable style.

Venerable Thích Trúc Thông Pháp

Thich Thong Phap pic

Venerable Thích Trúc Thông Pháp was born in Port Adelaide in 1952 and raised a Christian. He wanted to be a minister in the church from age 5 and a monk from age 16. He began investigating Buddhism from 19 years of age and became more seriously engaged in 1978.

His first teachers were Ayya Khema and Phra Khantipalo at Wat Buddha Dhamma in the early 1980s. In 1995, he started studying and practising in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, meeting his own teacher, Most Venerable Thich Thanh Tu in Da Lat, Vietnam, in 2001. He was ordained a shramanera in Long Tan, Vietnam in 2004 and a Bhikkshu in San Diego in 2005.

Professionally, he worked as a teacher, a pastoral worker, a carer with people labelled intellectually disabled and a human rights advocate. From 2006 – 2010, he was the Buddhist chaplain at Flinders University, SA. Currently, he lives in Hobart studying a Ph D, training as a supervisor in Clinical Pastoral Education, working as the Buddhist chaplain at the University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus and establishing Buddhist Contemplative Care Tasmania with numerous other Buddhists there.

His other involvements are the contemplative care of people who have terminal illnesses and who are asylum seekers. He has an interest in Buddhist Anarchism and he lives with his 15 1/2 -year-old dog who reminds him that there is more going on in the universe than the constant round of human affairs. He is also a founding member of the ‘Non-Sectarian Post-Modern Western Freelancing Monastic Community – Hobart Division’.

Grahame White

Grahame pic

Grahame has been involved in Buddhist meditation practice for over 40 years. He began his study in England in 1969 before being ordained as a Buddhist monk for one year in BodhGaya, India in 1971. He took a primary role in the establishment of Vipassana meditation in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw in Australia and co-founded the Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre outside Sydney., Grahame leads introductory and day long courses in Illawarra & Sydney areas and regularly teaches longer intensive retreats in Honolulu, Hawaii where he is a guiding teacher with the meditation group Vipassana Hawaii. He also teaches yearly retreats in Sri Lanka with the Nirodha Trust. He has also helped pioneer a workshop format that enhances the transfer of mindfulness from the formal sitting practice into daily life. Grahame returns to Myanmar (Burma) regulary in order to deepen his own practice and study of the Buddha’s teachings ,at times assisting in the teaching of Vipassana retreats for foreigners. Grahame teaches a classical tradition of insight meditation with a relaxed, accessible style.

Venerable Dhammad?sa

Dhammadarsa

Dhammad?sa Bhikkhu was born in England in 1965, but migrated to Australia when he was young. From a young age, he was spiritually minded and was deeply committed to the only spiritual tradition he knew at the time, Protestant Christianity. He studied the Bible diligently and at one time aspired to be a missionary. From an early age, he was interested in languages and studied Greek, French, German, Chinese, Thai, P?li, Arabic, Sanskrit and Latin.

He became interested in Buddhism in 1985, and a year later, took ordination as a Thai Theravada Buddhist monk in Australia with Luang Por Somdet Phra Maha R?jamagal?chariya Wat Paknam, Bhasicharoen, as his preceptor. This was probably the first Therav?da Bhikkhu ordination in Australia.

Shortly after ordination, he started the Vijj? Dhammak?ya meditation system, with Phramah? Wanchai Selakun, a meditation teacher from Wat Paknam, Bhasicharoen, Bangkok. In 1988, he started the Mah?si Vipassan? meditation system with Ajahn Sawai at Samnak Vipassan? Vivekasom, Chonburi, Thailand. In Thailand in 1993, he met Buddhad?sa Bhikkhu, who encouraged him to focus on the Words of the Buddha, which he has done since then and which clarified greatly the Buddha’s teaching for him. From the year 2000, he has given various public talks and written various articles on the Buddha’s teaching. In 2004, he completed a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Studies in Religion (Buddhist Studies) and Mandarin (Modern Chinese Language) at the University of Queensland. In 2005, he published a book called “The Gift of the Buddha – A Happy Life” with an excellent foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Besides Buddhism, he is passionate about the environment and is actively involved with permaculture.

Jim Teoh

Jim pic

Jim has been a Buddhist teacher for over fifteen years and was one of the initiators of the earliest structured Buddhist programs presented at the Buddhist Library. He has taught numerous Buddhist courses in various organisations, such as the Buddhist Council of NSW, Buddhist Library, Indonesian Buddhist Society of NSW and Bodhikusuma Buddhist and Meditation Centre. Jim is a regular speaker and meditation workshop facilitator at University Buddhist organisations. He is also trained as a Hospital Buddhist Chaplain.

The MITRA Conference 2014 will be hosted by the following Masters of Ceremony (MC):

Tina Ng

tina_ng

Tina is the Principal Solicitor of Metta Legal, a role which encourages her to bring Buddhist ethical principles into her practice of law. She has participated in University Buddhist societies, and is an active member of the Buddhist community generally. She is interested in sharing the Buddha’s teachings in all kinds of forums and media. Some of these projects include writing for print and online publications, editing Buddhist books, organising Buddhist community events and also appearing briefly on television. Click here to view some of Tina’s writings.

Steven Daghlian

Steve

Steven Daghlian works as a Market Analyst at CommSec, providing sharemarket updates for Channel 10, Sky News, ABC, Channel 9 and a number of radio stations across Australia. He attended a 10-day Vipassana Meditation retreat in the Blue Mountains a few years ago, which changed his life for the better (and also made him cry!). He is in awe and inspired by those who dedicate their lives to the re-discovery of universal truths and the deepening of wisdom. Outside of work, he has been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over five years, meditates, plays music with a band called NAH74 each week and is fascinated by experiments relating to intention’s influence on living things.

booktickets

booktickets

The 2014 MITRA Conference lineup includes the following guest speakers:

His Eminence (H.E.) Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche

Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche

Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist Monk and is currently residing in the Kyegu Buddhist Institute (“KBI”) in Sydney.

At the age of five, symptoms His Holiness Sakya Trizin, info the Head of Sakyapa Order of Tibetan Buddhism, recognised him as the reincarnation of his predecessor. Aenpo Kyabgon is one of the very few Tulkus (reincarnated Rinpoches) in all of Tibet who possesses the ‘Kyabgon’ title.

Following his early monastic studies, Rinpoche began his higher studies in Sutra, Tantra and Shastras under the late Venerable Khenpo Migmar Tsering and other teachers at Sakya College, the noted Institute of Higher Buddhist Studies (in Rajpur, near Dehra Dun in Northern India). Rinpoche graduated in 1998 with the Kachupa degree, equivalent to a B.A.

Rinpoche has received numerous initiations and teachings from His Holiness the Sakya Trizin, His Eminence Luding Khenchen Rinpoche (Head of the Ngorpa lineage of the Sakya Tradition), and special Tantric teachings from late Khenpo Appey Rinpoche, the founder of Sakya College in India and the International Buddhist Academy in Nepal. Rinpoche, well versed in English, survived a major car accident in 1998 after graduating from Sakya College.  Rinpoche has kindly been travelling widely to bestow empowerments and give teachings to many students from South East Asia, and Australia.

Rinpoche has a unique approach to his teachings, in particular, being able to relate to his students of various ages and experiences. He brings loving kindness, compassion, encouragement and inspiration through his teachings. Many of his students find Rinpoche as a relaxed and genuine teacher who is also fun with a great sense of humour.

For more information on Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche’s biography, teachings and projects please go to the KBI website.

Venerable Thubten Chodron

Ven Thubten Chodron updated

Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron has practiced the Buddha’s teachings for nearly forty years. A native of Los Angeles, she ordained as a nun in the Tibetan tradition in 1977 and received the full ordination of a bhikshuni in Taiwan in 1986. Venerable Chodron has studied extensively with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsenzhap Serkhong Rinpoche, Zopa Rinpoche, and Lama Thubten Yeshe among many other Tibetan masters. With a clear, practical, and humorous style, she teaches Buddhist philosophy and meditation worldwide.

Her numerous books, published in several languages, include Open Heart, Clear Mind; Buddhism for Beginners; Taming the Mind; Guided Meditations on the Stages of the Path; and, most recently, Don’t Believe Everything You Think and was editor for Wisdom’s publication of Insight Into Emptiness.

Venerable Chodron has been the resident teacher at Amitabha Buddhist Center in Singapore, and was the resident teacher and spiritual advisor for Dharma Friendship Foundation in Seattle for ten years. She is currently the Abbess of Sravasti Abbey, a Buddhist monastic community in Newport, Washington, which she founded in 2003. Many of her teachings are available on her website and on YouTube. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Venerable Sujato

Sujato pic

Venerable Sujato is an Australian Theravanda Buddhist Monk ordained in a monastery in Chieng Mai in Thailand during the 1990s. He played in a successful rock band called Martha’s Vineyard for many years before he joined an intensive Buddhist retreat in Thailand which introduced him to the Buddha’s teachings.

Besides spending 3 years in the Bodhinyana monastery with Ajahn Brahm, he also spent several years in remote hermitages and caves in Thailand in Malaysia.

Venerable Sujato has taught the Dhamma and meditation to a varied audience in Australia and internationally such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, The USA, Germany, Norway, India, Sri Lanka and many others, and has spoken at several major International Buddhist conferences and events. He also helped to establish the Santi Forest Monastery in Bundanoon, where he was the abbot for many years.

Venerable Sujato has become well known for his articulate and support for the fully ordained Bhikkhuni lineage. A special field of interest is the role of women in Buddhism and particularly the revival of the Bhikkhuni order within the Theravada tradition. As well as being a meditator and teacher, Venerable Sujato is a scholar of early Buddhism, with several books and essays of original and often groundbreaking research. He contributes to Buddhism in Australia through a wide variety of forums and organisations, including the Australian Sangha Association, Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils, Australia Partnership of Religious Organisations, Australian Association of Buddhist Councillors and Psychotherapists, Australian Association fo Buddhist Studies, and Australian Religious Response to Climate Change.

Dr. Susan Murphy Roshi

Susan pic

Dr. Susan Murphy Roshi is the founding teacher of Zen Open Circle in Sydney Australia. She is also teacher for the Melbourne Zen Group, conducting a number of sesshin (7 day retreats) in both cities each year. She is the dharma heir of John Tarrant Roshi (Pacific Zen Institute) and Ross Bolleter Roshi (Diamond Sangha – Robert Aitken), in a lay lineage that draws Soto and Rinzai (koan) style of practice together.

Susan is a writer, radio producer and film director, as well as teaching and mentoring writing in private consultation and occasional meditation and writing retreats. She taught film for many years at the University of Technology, Sydney, has co-written three books on film, and directs the annual Buddhist Film Festival in Sydney established in 2003. She has a special interest in the way Zen and indigenous Australian sense of ‘care for country’ come together, co-leading occasional retreats in country with Dulumunmun, Uncle Max Harrison,Yuin Elder.

Susan is the author of the book, Upside Down Zen and her latest book is Minding the Earth, Mending the World: The Offer We Can No Longer Refuse, a Zen response to our slow-burning planetary emergency.

Venerable Brahmali

Ajahn Brahmali pic

Ajahn Brahmali was born in Norway in 1964. He first became interested in Buddhism and meditation in his early 20s after a visit to Japan. He completed Masters degrees in Engineering and Finance, before renouncing the world of industry and commerce to ordain as a Bhikkhu with Ajahn Brahm as his preceptor in 1996.

Apart from being responsible for all the building work at Bodhinyana, Ajahn Brahmali also teaches the monastic rules (the Vinaya) and gives Pali classes (the language of the texts).

Ajahn Brahmali’s clear and thoughtful talks make the teachings of the Buddha accessible to all and are very popular downloads on the BSWA (Buddhist Society of Western Australia) website. He teaches regularly at BSWA and in Singapore. Ajahn Brahmali has also published a number of articles on important points of the Dhamma. Ajahn Brahmali is currently involved with the development of the Sutta Central, which is an online correspondence of early Buddhist discourses containing early Buddhist texts, translations and parallels.

Venerable Huifeng

Ven Hui Feng

Venerable Huifeng is a New Zealand monk in the Chinese Mahayana tradition, currently residing and teaching in Taiwan.

Having been introduced to Buddhism in his early teens, he committed himself to Buddhist practice in the 1990s.  Studying at several of Fo Guang Shan Monastery’s Buddhist Colleges, he received full ordination as a Bhikkhu in 2004. From 2006 to 2011 he studied a Masters and then completed a PhD degree in Buddhist studies at the University of Hong Kong. His PhD dissertation was entitled “Chiasmus in the Early Prajnaparamita: Literary Parallelism Connecting Criticism & Hermeneutics in an Early Mahayana Sutra”.

Presently he is one of five Vice-Abbots for Fo Guang Shan Monastery, and an Assistant Professor at the Department of Buddhist Studies at Fo Guang University, Taiwan.  His areas of academic focus include Indian Buddhism, in particular early Mah?y?na s?tra and ??stra, translation and hermeneutics, and practices of contemporary Taiwanese Buddhism.  Practice wise, he practices and teaches both classic Indian and Chinese forms of Buddhist meditation, in addition to a little hatha yoga.

For more information on Venerable Huifeng, his teachings and projects please check out his Facebook page and his Prajnacara Blog.

Sarah Napthali

Sarah Napthali

Mother of two school aged boys, Sarah Napthali is a practising Buddhist from the Insight tradition attending Bluegum Sangha in Crows Nest where she is secretary. Her working life has ranged from teaching English as a Second Language and corporate training, to human rights activism and interpreting. Since becoming a mother, she has focussed on writing, initially for companies and later for individuals wanting to record their memoirs. Her first book Buddhism for Mothers, which has sold 54,000 copies around the world, has been translated into nine languages. She is also the author of Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children and the recently released Buddhism for Mothers of Schoolchildren. She has written twelve biographies for members of the community to share with their families and friends.

Venerable Dhammadhira

IMG_3618-001

Ayya Dhammadhira grew up in California, USA. After receiving her BA in Social Sciences and MA in Education, she worked as a school teacher for ten years. Upon learning more about Buddhism and experiencing significant life changes, she decided to enter monastic life in England in 2001. For eleven years, she trained at Amaravati and Chithurst Monasteries before returning to the US in 2012. Back in America, Ayya took Bhikkhuni ordination and continued her life as a nun at Mahapajapati Monastery. In 2013, Ayya was invited to join the group of nuns at Santi Forest Monastery in Bundanoon, NSW where she currently resides. Ayya Dhammadhira brings the teaching of the Buddha to life and teaches the Dhamma in an engaging, down-to-earth and enlightening manner that captures the attention of the audience.

Venerable Guo Jun

guojun

Venerable Guo Jun is a Singaporean Mahayana Monk ordained under Venerable Song Nian of Mahabodi Temple in Singapore. He has studied and practised in all areas of Tibetan, Theravada, Mahayana Buddhism and Ch’an Buddhism for many years under the guidance of Venerable Master Sheng-yen.

He has studied and completed various University undergraduate degrees in Biotechnology, Buddhist Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology and more recently a Masters of Buddhist Studies from the University of Sydney.

He speaks Mandarin, Korean and English and has travelled worldwide to Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, the United States, Luxemburg, Poland, Croatia and Switzerland to teach the Dharma and share his experiences.

He is a member of the Australian Psychological Society and currently is the abbot of Mahabodi Temple in Singapore.

Dr. Chien Hoong Gooi

Chien pic

Dr Chien Hoong Gooi is a Clinical Psychologist and Buddhist teacher who seeks to integrate western psychology with the practices of Buddhist meditation. He was previously involved in clinical research applying mindfulness practices in the treatment of anxiety disorders at The University of Sydney and also served as the Buddhist Chaplain at the University of New South Wales. He is currently in private practice and is a committee member for the Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP).

Dr Hoong Gooi works from an integrated approach, combining Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with Mindfulness and Acceptance-based strategies. He conducts mindfulness meditation courses and workshops, locally and abroad, as part of his personal involvement in community outreach. He also has a special interest working with grief and loss. He assists adults with anxiety, phobias, grief and loss, depression, stress management, and psychological and emotional wellbeing.

Dr Hoong Gooi is a member of Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA), Australian Psychology Society (APS), Australian Association of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (AACBT), Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP) and Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology (MSCP).

Phil Carlisle

Phil

Phil Carlisle first met Lama Ole Nydahl in 1995 at a public talk. His relaxed style and western approach inspired Phil to begin practising Diamond Way Buddhism in the Karma Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism.The Karma Kagyu lineage is one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. As a lineage of direct oral transmission, it especially treasures meditation and, through interaction with a qualified teacher, can bring about the full and direct experience of the nature of mind. As a lay practitioner, Phil runs a successful multimedia business, integrating his Buddhist practice with living in the modern world. In 2007 Lama Ole asked Phil to begin teaching Diamond Way Buddhism in Australasia and spread these precious teachings as transparently as possible to idealistic, clear-thinking Westerners. Phil Carlisle has been a student of Lama Ole Nydahl for many years, travelling extensively with Lama Ole throughout Australia and New Zealand as well as Europe. Phil and his Media company have recorded and produced video documentary of Lama Ole’s lectures as well as producing a concise teaching series used in centres world wide. Phil has been teaching Buddhism for a number of years within Australia and New Zealand and completed a teaching tour of Russia. Bringing his many years of experience and knowledge, Phil delivers the Buddha’s Teachings in a relaxed and understandable style.

Venerable Thích Trúc Thông Pháp

Thich Thong Phap pic

Venerable Thích Trúc Thông Pháp was born in Port Adelaide in 1952 and raised a Christian. He wanted to be a minister in the church from age 5 and a monk from age 16. He began investigating Buddhism from 19 years of age and became more seriously engaged in 1978.

His first teachers were Ayya Khema and Phra Khantipalo at Wat Buddha Dhamma in the early 1980s. In 1995, he started studying and practising in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, meeting his own teacher, Most Venerable Thich Thanh Tu in Da Lat, Vietnam, in 2001. He was ordained a shramanera in Long Tan, Vietnam in 2004 and a Bhikkshu in San Diego in 2005.

Professionally, he worked as a teacher, a pastoral worker, a carer with people labelled intellectually disabled and a human rights advocate. From 2006 – 2010, he was the Buddhist chaplain at Flinders University, SA. Currently, he lives in Hobart studying a Ph D, training as a supervisor in Clinical Pastoral Education, working as the Buddhist chaplain at the University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus and establishing Buddhist Contemplative Care Tasmania with numerous other Buddhists there.

His other involvements are the contemplative care of people who have terminal illnesses and who are asylum seekers. He has an interest in Buddhist Anarchism and he lives with his 15 1/2 -year-old dog who reminds him that there is more going on in the universe than the constant round of human affairs. He is also a founding member of the ‘Non-Sectarian Post-Modern Western Freelancing Monastic Community – Hobart Division’.

Grahame White

Grahame pic

Grahame has been involved in Buddhist meditation practice for over 40 years. He began his study in England in 1969 before being ordained as a Buddhist monk for one year in BodhGaya, India in 1971. He took a primary role in the establishment of Vipassana meditation in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw in Australia and co-founded the Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre outside Sydney., Grahame leads introductory and day long courses in Illawarra & Sydney areas and regularly teaches longer intensive retreats in Honolulu, Hawaii where he is a guiding teacher with the meditation group Vipassana Hawaii. He also teaches yearly retreats in Sri Lanka with the Nirodha Trust. He has also helped pioneer a workshop format that enhances the transfer of mindfulness from the formal sitting practice into daily life. Grahame returns to Myanmar (Burma) regulary in order to deepen his own practice and study of the Buddha’s teachings ,at times assisting in the teaching of Vipassana retreats for foreigners. Grahame teaches a classical tradition of insight meditation with a relaxed, accessible style.

Venerable Dhammad?sa

Dhammadarsa

Dhammad?sa Bhikkhu was born in England in 1965, but migrated to Australia when he was young. From a young age, he was spiritually minded and was deeply committed to the only spiritual tradition he knew at the time, Protestant Christianity. He studied the Bible diligently and at one time aspired to be a missionary. From an early age, he was interested in languages and studied Greek, French, German, Chinese, Thai, P?li, Arabic, Sanskrit and Latin.

He became interested in Buddhism in 1985, and a year later, took ordination as a Thai Theravada Buddhist monk in Australia with Luang Por Somdet Phra Maha R?jamagal?chariya Wat Paknam, Bhasicharoen, as his preceptor. This was probably the first Therav?da Bhikkhu ordination in Australia.

Shortly after ordination, he started the Vijj? Dhammak?ya meditation system, with Phramah? Wanchai Selakun, a meditation teacher from Wat Paknam, Bhasicharoen, Bangkok. In 1988, he started the Mah?si Vipassan? meditation system with Ajahn Sawai at Samnak Vipassan? Vivekasom, Chonburi, Thailand. In Thailand in 1993, he met Buddhad?sa Bhikkhu, who encouraged him to focus on the Words of the Buddha, which he has done since then and which clarified greatly the Buddha’s teaching for him. From the year 2000, he has given various public talks and written various articles on the Buddha’s teaching. In 2004, he completed a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Studies in Religion (Buddhist Studies) and Mandarin (Modern Chinese Language) at the University of Queensland. In 2005, he published a book called “The Gift of the Buddha – A Happy Life” with an excellent foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Besides Buddhism, he is passionate about the environment and is actively involved with permaculture.

Jim Teoh

Jim pic

Jim has been a Buddhist teacher for over fifteen years and was one of the initiators of the earliest structured Buddhist programs presented at the Buddhist Library. He has taught numerous Buddhist courses in various organisations, such as the Buddhist Council of NSW, Buddhist Library, Indonesian Buddhist Society of NSW and Bodhikusuma Buddhist and Meditation Centre. Jim is a regular speaker and meditation workshop facilitator at University Buddhist organisations. He is also trained as a Hospital Buddhist Chaplain.

The MITRA Conference 2014 will be hosted by the following Masters of Ceremony (MC):

Tina Ng

tina_ng

Tina is the Principal Solicitor of Metta Legal, a role which encourages her to bring Buddhist ethical principles into her practice of law. She has participated in University Buddhist societies, and is an active member of the Buddhist community generally. She is interested in sharing the Buddha’s teachings in all kinds of forums and media. Some of these projects include writing for print and online publications, editing Buddhist books, organising Buddhist community events and also appearing briefly on television. Click here to view some of Tina’s writings.

Steven Daghlian

Steve

Steven Daghlian works as a Market Analyst at CommSec, providing sharemarket updates for Channel 10, Sky News, ABC, Channel 9 and a number of radio stations across Australia. He attended a 10-day Vipassana Meditation retreat in the Blue Mountains a few years ago, which changed his life for the better (and also made him cry!). He is in awe and inspired by those who dedicate their lives to the re-discovery of universal truths and the deepening of wisdom. Outside of work, he has been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over five years, meditates, plays music with a band called NAH74 each week and is fascinated by experiments relating to intention’s influence on living things.

booktickets

 

After 4 years of anticipation, more info the Mitra Conference is back again. We’ve been busy making this year’s conference awesome. Just like all our previous conferences it will feature main talks from renowned international and local speakers, panels, workshops, a short film screening, performances, stalls and more.

We will be also be providing a sumptious vegan morning and afternoon tea and lunch

On the day registrations will be available. Just show up.

The conference theme this year “Destination Mindfulness“, focuses on using Buddhist teachings and philosophy to help us find and maintain balance in our busy lives. Presentation and discussion topics at the conference include: methods to cope with daily stress and changes, handling situations that compromise and conflict with our personal and spiritual ethics, finding meaning in our professional and personal lives, as well as a focus on how to live mindfully, finding ways to integrate the Buddha’s teachings into our everyday lives, in a fast-paced and ever changing world.

Check out the program and our speakers if you haven’t done so already and you can also stay up to date on our facebook page.. Hope to see you all there!

 
 

After 4 years of anticipation, injection the Mitra Conference is back again. We’ve been busy making this year’s conference awesome. Just like all our previous conferences it will feature main talks from renowned international and local speakers, more panels, check workshops, a short film screening, performances, stalls and more.

We will be also be providing a sumptious vegan morning and afternoon tea and lunch

On the day registrations will be available. Just show up.

The conference theme this year “Destination Mindfulness“, focuses on using Buddhist teachings and philosophy to help us find and maintain balance in our busy lives. Presentation and discussion topics at the conference include: methods to cope with daily stress and changes, handling situations that compromise and conflict with our personal and spiritual ethics, finding meaning in our professional and personal lives, as well as a focus on how to live mindfully, finding ways to integrate the Buddha’s teachings into our everyday lives, in a fast-paced and ever changing world.

Check out the program and our speakers if you haven’t done so already and you can also stay up to date on our facebook page.. Hope to see you all there!

 
 

After 4 years of anticipation, injection the Mitra Conference is back again. We’ve been busy making this year’s conference awesome. Just like all our previous conferences it will feature main talks from renowned international and local speakers, more panels, check workshops, a short film screening, performances, stalls and more.

We will be also be providing a sumptious vegan morning and afternoon tea and lunch

On the day registrations will be available. Just show up.

The conference theme this year “Destination Mindfulness“, focuses on using Buddhist teachings and philosophy to help us find and maintain balance in our busy lives. Presentation and discussion topics at the conference include: methods to cope with daily stress and changes, handling situations that compromise and conflict with our personal and spiritual ethics, finding meaning in our professional and personal lives, as well as a focus on how to live mindfully, finding ways to integrate the Buddha’s teachings into our everyday lives, in a fast-paced and ever changing world.

Check out the program and our speakers if you haven’t done so already and you can also stay up to date on our facebook page.. Hope to see you all there!

 

The programme:

Day 1 – Saturday 3rd May

Time Activity Speaker
8:00 Registration
9.00 Conference Opening MITRA and BCNSW
9.30 Talk 1: Mindfulness in the Digital Age Ven. Sujato
10.30 Morning Tea
11.00 Talk 2: What is this Mind? Know I, capsule
No Me, I Know
H.E. Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche
12.00 Lunch
1.00 Workshops/Breakout sessions
2.30 Talk 3: Keeping it Real – Living Gratitude Ven. Huifeng
3.30 Musical Performance – Reflection Steven Daghlian
3.45 Afternoon Tea
4.00 Panel: Future Faces of Buddhism: Dharma Renaissance or Tainted Tradition? Dr Chien Hoong Gooi, Grahame White, Ven. Guo Jun, Ven. Dhammadhira & Ven. Thubten Chodron
5.00 Film Screening about Sravasti Abbey  Ven Thubten Chodron

 

Day 2 – Sunday 4th May

Time Activity Speaker
8:30 Registration
9.30 Talk 1: Causes of Mindfulness Ven. Brahmali
10.00 Talk 2: Fruits of Clear Comprehension Ven. Dhammadhira
10.30 Morning Tea
11.00 Premiere Film Screening, Bhikkhuni – The Nuns Story Damith Herath
11.30 Talk 3: Creating Authentic and Compassionate Relationships Ven. Thubten Chodron
12.30 Lunch
1.30 Workshops/Breakout sessions
3.00 Afternoon Tea
3.15 Talk 4: Psychology Meets Buddhism Ven. Guo Jun
4.15 Panel: Spiritual Balance in a Competitive World Sarah Napthali, Ven. Huifeng, Ven. Dhammadaasa & Ven. Sujato
5.15 Video Clip – LOVE, Silence of Damith Herath
5.30 Close

Topic descriptions

Keeping it Real – Living Gratitude (by Ven. Huifeng)

We live in a world of incessant consumerism, where the latest objects of desire are constantly being updated and outdated. It is easy to fall onto a treadmill of constant desire where satisfaction becomes about having the ‘latest’ and trying to keep up with others. In this talk, Venerable Huifeng invites us to understand the true causes of contentment, and become aware of the happiness that is available to us right here and now.

What is this Mind? Know I, No Me, I Know (by H.E. Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche)

As we live day-to-day we tend to accept our reality and who we are without question. It is all too easy to forget the miracle of existence, created by our mind, and our place in it. In this discussion, H.E. Aenpo Kyabgon Rinpoche addresses the importance of knowing ourselves, in relation to our mind and the world around us, in a way that minimises our suffering and that of others.

Mindfulness in the Digital Age (by Ven. Sujato)

Are progress, technology and multi-tasking the enemies of mindfulness? Our lives are increasingly complex and busy, from cities and cyborgs to gadgets and Google. Can we actually live mindfully in a fast paced world, or are there too many distractions to remain present and aware in every moment? Experienced living in both remote hermitages and interfacing with the latest technology, hear what Venerable Sujato has to say about this challenging, compromising and all-pervading issue.

Causes of Mindfulness (by Ven. Brahmali)

Mindfulness is often spoken about and many people strive to achieve it. Benefits of mindfulness include a greater sense of wellbeing, inner peace, and increased appreciation of the world around us. However it is easy to forget that mindfulness does not just happen, nor is it exclusive to those in the realm of monastics. Venerable Brahmali will explain how we can all achieve mindfulness through the necessity of virtue (what we should and shouldn’t do), including mental virtue. Without a solid basis and the continuous development of virtue, mindfulness can be stressful! Mindfulness should be natural and easy, yet is achievable only with a pure mind.

Fruits of Clear Comprehension (by Ven. Dhammadhira)

Two people can share the same experience yet interpret it in entirely different ways. For instance, in the face of adverse circumstances one person may become confused or upset while another may find value and meaning. We often hear about mindfulness but overlook its close companion of clear comprehension. Clear comprehension (sampajanna in Pali) provides the context and purpose to our meditation practice in a way that yields the most complete results. Venerable Dhammadhira will not only remind us how to accomplish clear comprehension but also the importance of achieving it. It is not merely about sharpening a tool, but knowing how to skillfully use it. From her experiences in the United States desert to a Southern Highlands Monastery, hear this unique reflection on the benefits to understanding what really goes on in your mind.

Creating Authentic and Compassionate Relationships (by Ven. Thubten Chodron)

Television and other media frequently bombard us with stereotypes of so called ‘perfect’ relationships that are neither realistic nor fulfilling. The truth is tantalising – that rewarding relationships are both achievable and rewarding. Venerable Thubten Chodron returns to the Mitra Conference to help us understand how to form and nurture authentic, compassionate relationships in both peaceful and trying times.

Psychology Meets Buddhism (by Ven. Guo Jun)

Psychology, the science of the mind, has different roots to Buddhism but arguably many common goals. For example, both are concerned with how a person’s thoughts and beliefs influence their sense of wellbeing. With an interdisciplinary background Venerable Guo Jun will offer a refreshing perspective on this topic, discussing how Psychology and Buddhism relate to and can mutually inform one another. 

Panel topics

Future Faces of Buddhism: Dharma Renaissance or Tainted Tradition

Dr Chien Hoong Gooi, Grahame White, Ven Thubten Chodron, Ven Dhammadhira & Ven Guo Jun

(Orthodox or contemporary, the role of youth and women, influence of science and psychology, diluting of teachings for commercial benefit, social engagement, secular values, globalisation)

Spiritual Balance in a Competitive World

Sarah Napthali, Ven Dhammadaasa, Ven Sujato & Ven Huifeng

(Making ethical choices – At home, work, in the community and for the environment) 

Please note: The conference programme is accurate at the time of posting. MITRA Youth Buddhist Network reserves the right to change the conference programme and speakers as a result of circumstances beyond its control.