MEDITATION COURSE 14TH 15TH & 16TH APRIL, 1979
A three day meditation course was held at the Centre during the Easter holidays. On the third day, Monday the 16th, students on the course undertook 7 precepts. Training was given in the techniques of giving 'DANA' (food offerings) to the hungry ghosts. Those undertaking the course reported considerable clarification of the mind.
SCHOOLS' COMMISSION PROJECT
Mr. W. Royals a teacher with the Education Department of Vic. has been given slides and tapes and information which was documented under the Schools Commission grant. He is undertaking pilot testing at a Victorian Technical school. Bill Royals attended the Easter meditation course at the Centre. He has interest in the concepts of Buddhist Dharma.
CHENTSE RINPOCHE - AUSTRALIAN VISIT
Chentse Rinpoche and his attendant Lama Yonten visited Australia and opened a new Kagyu Dhamma Centre at 32 Porter Street, Prahran, Melbourne. The new Centre's Meditation Hall was consecrated on April 21st 1979.
Chentse Rinpoche was accompanied by his translator a young Canadian, Shakayadorje. The name given to the new Centre by his Excellence was Kagyu Ewam Chokholing. Doug Keen and Morris Simmonds have worked for two years to make 32 Porter Street Prahran suitable for a Centre.
Another Australian Centre has been founded in Sydney and Chentse Rinpoche has indicated that His Holiness Karmarpa will be visiting Australia in the future. The consecration of the Mediation Hall ceremony was taped and photographed by John Hughes and could become another "unit" of the program for the Australian Schools Commission.
Several members of the Buddhist Discussion Centre (Upwey) attended the Kagyu Centre and much goodwill was evident. One of the Buddhist Discussion Centre (Upwey) students Melva Neilson took initiation from His Excellence Chentse Rinpoche. Chentse Rinpoche taught at Tara House for Wisdom Culture at Kew and ran a three day meditation course at Tara Institute at Vesper, 80 miles from Melbourne.
PUBLICITY OF THE CENTRE
The activities of the Centre were written up in the local newspaper THE FREE PRESS. Details of the Centre's activities are listed in the Shire of Sherbrooke's publication of community activities called SCAN. The International Buddhist Forum quarterly vol. 1 No. 3 Winter 1978-1979 published the details of our last newsletter.
The Centre thanks Douglas Pannavaro for his kindness in making this information more widely available.
VAISAKH CEREMONY 12TH MAY, 1979
In the morning of 12th May, 'dana' was made to Tan Acharn Boonyarith Pandito at his Richmond Monastery by members of the Centre. In the afternoon, Tan Acharn and members came to the Centre at Brooking Street, Upwey. Chanting in Pali and English was performed. After a Dhamma talk by Tan Acharn, Meditation was undertaken.
Phra David Sudassano has arrived in Melbourne from Thailand and was welcomed by members of the Centre
NSA VISITORS FROM JAPAN
On Tuesday 15th May, John Hughes and a member of the Centre met several Japanese Buddhist visitors from Soka Gakkai at Maggy Marques home at Kew. John Hughes recorded this meeting and much goodwill was evident.
FAREWELL TO JOAN MCCAULEY
Joan McCauley from Ireland has spent six months in Australia practicing Meditation with Tan Acharn Boonyarith. On Thursday the 24th May, members of the Centre went to a farewell party for Joan at Joyce Evans home in Toorak. Joan has made many friends among members of the Centre during her Australian visit and much loving kindness follows her on her flight back to Ireland on the 27th of May. It is sincerely hoped that Joan will return to Australia at some future date.
VENTURERS MEETING TAN ACHARN BOONYARITH PANDITO
IOn Wednesday evening, 30th May, 1979 the Venturers (Members of the Scouts Association), who had earlier spent two days at the Centre, attended the Richmond Monastery of Tan Acharn where Tan Acharn gave a Dhamma talk.
NEW THANKA AT THE CENTRE
On her recent visit to India Mrs. Zarna Somaia carried a letter signed by the members of the Centre expressing Loving Kindness to his Holiness the Dalai Lama and Tibetan people. His Holiness in his great generosity presented a Thanka of Sakyamuni Buddha to the Centre. May the merit of this gift bring innumerable beings towards Enlightenment.
FURTHER TIBETAN IMAGES AT CENTRE
John Hughes with members of the Centre visited the Asian Exhibition held in Melbourne on 8th June 1979. Two Tibetan Bronze images were purchased from Nepal Craft Emporium, Katmandu, Nepal. One of these images is a Tara, her right hand is turned outwards in the Varadamudra while her left hand is in a different Mudra. The other image is a Tibetan Bronze of Vajrasattva with a Dorji in the right hand and a Dorjibell in the left. Vajrasattva is seated on a double lotus throne. Both images are provided with seals indicating their authenticity.
TIBETAN VAISAKH CEREMONY AT MONASH UNIVERSITY, 10/6/79
Members of the Centre attended Vaisakh Ceremony at the Religious Centre at Monash University. This ceremony was arranged by John Chow of Monash University Buddhist Society. 'Dana' was made to Tan Acharn and Dhamma talks were given. It was good to see Australians and Asians united as friends of the Dhamma in the ceremony. John Hughes thanked John Chow for his efforts in arranging this ceremony. Members of the Centre appreciated the friendship which is built between Monash Buddhist Society and the Buddhist Discussion Centre (Upwey). A room in the Monash Religious Centre has been set aside as a permanent Temple.
VISIT TO THE CHINESE JOSS HOUSE, BENDIGO
On the 23rd of May 1979 John Hughes visited the Bendigo Joss House and did Puja for the departed Chinese.
PRIORITIES IN EDUCATION FOR THE 1980s
International Conference on Education is to be held in Melbourne in the near future. The theme of the conference is Education for the 1980s. The conference organisers have asked interested persons and organisations to submit their perceptions of the needs of Australian Education for this period. John Hughes has forwarded a statement relating to Mediation techniques. A copy of which is enclosed herewith this newsletter.
TAN ACHARN BOONYARITH - DHAMMA WRITINGS
Tan Acharn has provided the Centre with some notes on aspects of Buddhist Dhamma. These are enclosed with this newsletter.
BUDDHA IMAGE GIFT TO SHREE ASHAPURIMATAJI TEMPLE AT SURAT, GUJARAT, INDIA
Zarna Somaia's brother, Mr. Nayan Munim visited Australia during June and undertook training in Meditation at the Centre. Nayan Munim is a trustee of Shree Ashapurimataji Temple and was given replicas of two Buddha images from the Centre prior to his departure for India on 17th June, 1979. One of these images will be placed in the Temple and the other in his own family's temple. The Centre extends hospitality to all those who seek the path.
PUJA SHRI HARJIVAN SOMAIA
Upon hearing of the passing away of Shri Harjivan Somaia, Puja was done on 15th June, 1979. Shri Harjivan Somaia is the father of Anil Somaia who has been involved in the work of the Centre.
ZARNA SOMAIA'S BIRTHDAY, 17/6/79
Zarna's birthday and 'dana' to Tan Acharn Boonyarith (regular fortnightly offerings made by the members of the Centre) coincided on the same day. Under the guidance of Tan Acharn Zarna gave the 5 precepts to all those gathered and a special Dhamma talk was delivered by Tan Acharn.
Zarna Somaia has agreed to teach Sanskrit to interested students on the Sunday afternoon following 'dana' offerings to Tan Acharn Boonyarith Pandito. Lessons commence on 1st July, 1979.
The study of the Sanskrit language will lead to the study of Pali language in the future.
TRANSLATION OF CHINESE BUDDHIST TEXT
John Chow's mother has agreed to translate a 2 volume Chinese text History of Chinese Buddhism into English. This text was obtained from a Chinese Buddhist nun in Taiwan.
BOREDOM AND BUSY
Boredom is the natural sickness of mind especially of men and women. Nearly every day sometimes it happens, its cause may be physical. But even with health body we cannot be normal with time. Not having - bore, having too much - bore, having enough - bore! The idea of going now and burst out ones brain or skull happens to many - for some it leads to real conclusion - for others it is impulsion to be controlled - for all it is only impetuous whim; but in mild degree this boredom bores the hearts of all men from time to time and for some all day! That explains why men go to places not proper to go to, the things better not done and why the world is plenty of legal and illegal pleasure places to destroy themselves violently or gradually; why men do stupid and shameful things and try all kinds of hobbies, exercises, distractions, drop-in, drop-out socially. Boredom sure is nature of men - not of Arahants. For hardpressed men those in difficult positions or slaves or hard labour captives the hardship is so oppressive that it is pressed down into the heart waiting to explode.
Without practice of the Middle Way in the Four Noble Truths shown by the Lord Buddha with success the end of boredom, loneliness, suffering could not come; because of the delusion about 'I', 'Ego', 'Self' and 'time'.
About 'time', lacking of Buddhist learning and practice especially the mindfulness leads men to forget that 'reality' without doubt is the 'present' - seeing, hearing, touching, thinking, perceiving, feeling 'now' - because now the past is memory and the future is hope or expectance or the 'don't know' 'not yet happened'.
All these hearing, seeing, thinking, knowing presently are natural process, impermanent - the happenings. Themselves never say that word 'present' or 'time'. The sound touches ears that are not abnormal, so hearing happens naturally, instantly. Even thinking depends on many natural conditioning - conditions as past-experience-memory, body-mind-environment that happens presently-change, especially the Lord Buddha had discovered that Ignorance is the greatest factor for its occurrence.
Now thinking is thinking it is not cat, dog, man, woman. It is the happening, the result of many natural conditions - so it is natural happening, a phenomena, a Dhamma state. If one realised truely that state of Dhamma, truely the ignorance about it and all other states of Dhamma as it exists (especially body-mind-life-world of that one and of all other beings seen and not-seen like Devas, hell-beings) end definitively. The same for the 'hearing', seeing etc., instantly presently only happens, disappears. The Dhamma happenings, the natural happenings that never desire to happen because they are not 'a person' 'an individual'. There are simply natural states of Dhamma - even the ignorance is as natural depending on natural states - like sound touch ear hearing happens without any need of the idea 'I hear'. Ignorance is "AVISTA DHATU" (element) it is not any kind of self, person, being-individual that can have the ability to intend. End ignorance by the Middle Way developed end its effect - the suffering, the boredom because the Truth - the true that is highest happiness revealed resplendent. The Truth comes to be known when Ignorance disappears. Sacca Dhamma - Amata Dhamma - Immortal True Nature or True Nature of Nature, so ends Delusion of Time or invention of past, present future concept Sanya-perception-memory; Let this last one to be the mechanical working of DNA.
So no doubt of the FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS and the Absolute - the Nirvana, so no doubt about Buddha, Dhamma (Truth-Natural-and His teaching concerning it) Sangha (the disciple who can put His instructions into actuality, can turn the wheel of Dhamma). The Four Noble Truths actuality. If not it will not be wheel at all if stuck into the ground - a piece of wood!, a metal!
UNIVERSAL SYMPHONY - THE NATURAL CIRCLE
Blessing to all professors of Philosophy and Students going to today-too late world?
- Infinite Ignorance
- Infinite Laziness (body-minds)
- Infinite Lives
- Infinite Loves, angers, grieves, stupidities
- Infinite goodbye
- Infinite goodbye
- Infinite goodbye
- Infinite goodbye to all, to everythings, loved ones, even to no-one in this downfall world
- Infinite Deaths
- Infinite Births and problems connected
- Infinite Ignorance not yet extinguished
- Infinite Taking baths, going to toilets, sickness, old age, being slain
- Infinite repetitions of same boredoms
- Infinite Weariness and Passion
- Infinite Materialism world - only true - matter, money, hypocrisy
- Infinite Delusion and Stupidity
- Infinite Unsatiated heart and insincerity
- Infinite Miserable, horrible
and sometimes Exceptional, Pleasurable men, women, babies to be seen or live with, society, to live in animal, ghost, angel, devas, hell beings and what-not and WARS !
Infinite Infinite Infinite
That is the Prize of Laziness of Mind, to wake up and shut up darken heart or spirit by ignorance.
- Phra Boonyarith (Pandito)
- Forest Monastery
- Pidgeon Gully, Araluen,
- 1st April 1979 (BE 2522)
Given for Upwey Students from Tan Acharn on Sunday 24th June 1979.
THE FIVE GROUPS (Body - Mind)
Observe the instantly, natural change presently of the five groups. If understood, end all ignorance with them, end all attachment and concern with them.
- RUPA = Form, body
- VEDANA = Feeling, sensation in the body
- SANYA = Sense of existence of any kind, perception, memory
- SANKARA = All kinds of thoughts, moral and immoral
- VINYANA = Consciousness as thinking, knowing, thinking with intention
(So with ignorance, desire.)
NATURAL FACTS PURE
Listening inattentively to the 'Sounds' this Dhamma arise in me - functioning without desire sound touches ears hearing happens. This is the Dhamma - nature as it is without illusion, idea, function of 'I' (will do this, that....) Dhamma without illusion of illusive idea 'I will do this; I desire to do that, believe like that; that is true; not true' - No! It functions free! Free from intrusion (so free from idea 'I' who desire to do) because Nature is Nature, Dhamma is Dhamma.
Even that Ignorance that produces this illusive idea 'I' that is condition or cause of intrusion 'desire' has not Nature true, Nature Itself or Nature in Itself (without illusion of 'individuality') could not desire. Nature has no head - legs, eyes, body, mind, is not animal, man, being of any kind. It is Nature.
Even the idea of SPACE-TIME NOT SPACE-TIME could not be applied to Nature - because the meaning of word nature is so that saying when Nature born or will die is nonsense.
It is TOTAL and the meaning of TOTAL does not permit the not included, so could not permit limit! Body, life, mind, beings of any kind are only some aspects manifested in Nature, but not the Nature itself, not the TOTAL. Like Movie Stars on the screen of a TV set, they are not the screen of the TV set.
Nature functions automatically free, naturally and effectively, perfectly 100% without any idea of 'I'll do this', without any desire. Nature true without idea 'I'. Never have troubles (dukkha) that is always relative (relative to 'I' - ego, self).
The Four Noble Truths are aspects or shades or rays of Nature - true thing Nature Nirvana only.
Natural Ignorance produces good and bad naturally.
Natural good produces good actions, good effects naturally.
Natural bad produces bad actions, bad effects naturally.
When Nature Light developed, darkness, Ignorance disappears.
- Phra Boonyarith (Pandito)
- Forest Monastery
- Pidgeon Gully, Araluen,
- March 2522
- Where is Nirvana to go to?
- - In the Heart, to the Heart -
- That when cleaned touch the Supreme.
- The Natural nature Immortal Sublime
- So we can touch Nirvana - could we ?
- Sure if your hand is cleaned
- By the only Natural Way - discipline.
- The Lord Buddha had discovered.
- With dirty hand how can touch purity, feel ?
- So how darken heart could contact Nirvana.
- So wake up oh heart, boys, girls, babies, all
- Wash your face, eyes, hands, heart
- Don't be lazy - that is all.
- Phra Boonyarith (Pandito)
- Forest Monastery
- Dhammarangsee, Pidgeon Gully
- Araluen, N.S.W.
- 1st April BE 2522 (1979)
- 17th April, 1979
Priorities in Education for the 1980's
Prepared by John D. Hughes, Dip. Chem. T.T.T.C.
1.0 Scope of the Statement
This statement is limited in scope and deals with an aspect of Education which has not been systematically approached in Australian educational systems. This involves learning skills which could avoid community disorders resulting from disordered living and appears as alcoholism, drug abuse and overeating. Such disorders are generally labelled psychosomatic and include such socio-pathic behavior as battered babies and many road accidents. The "inability to cope" or "suburban neurosis" is an aspect of this disorder. The position I hold is that there exists a range of skills which can be learnt by children and adults in Australia which would remedy these disorders.
2.0 Data Base for Rationale Used
The writer has a wide experience in many community organisations as well as fifteen years teaching experience in Victorian technical schools and fifteen years industrial experience in a range of companies. He has been active in the "talking through" process of the F.A.C.S. programs in the Shire of Sherbrooke and has had the benefits of discussions with the leaders of many welfare organisations both institutional and voluntary. Such bodies deal with community disorders as they manifest in the individual. The consensus of these bodies, which service a broad spectrum of the community, is that the various education systems do not teach skills enabling persons to handle problems of the type mentioned above. In table 17 of "Adult Education in Australia" Report of Survey of Provision - 1978 by Dr. C. Duke - (A.A.A.E. publishers) at page 32, the main priority in terms of values, among those responding to this inquiry, is in personal development orientated courses. The striking factor of the emphasis overall on 'personal development' is understandable on the assumption that the traditional school systems do not provide adequate skills in this area. It seems self-evident that adults would not be directing their time and energy to such courses if in fact they were satisfied with their own 'personal development'. Therefore, it is argued that the writer's data base is substantiated by the "hard" data base in the A.A.A.E. survey.
3.0 Methods and Strategies available to teach desired skills
The methods employed at the Buddhist Discussion Centre (Upwey) which have been found effective are based on a mixture of counselling techniques and Buddhist meditation. The counselling techniques are fairly standard and are those taught by C.G.C.S. and Department of Social Welfare by way of example. The Buddhist meditation techniques are comparatively easy to learn. The Yoga Education Centre and the Helen Vale Foundation combine counselling with Yoga meditation. A series of essays by these bodies was printed in 1977 under the title "Mind-Made Disease" editored by Shri Vijayadev Yogendra. In many western countries this combination has been found to be effective. Similar techniques are used by Prakash Mani who is administrative head of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University which has six hundred branches around the globe. The local branch is the Raj Yoga Meditation Centre. Within limits it does not seem important which type of meditation techniques is taught since they all seem effective.
It is recommended as a high priority that counselling and meditation techniques be taught.