Exploring Meaning – multi-faith climate change workshop

To get to the heart of the matter

In an atmosphere of equality, take the opportunity to explore what climate change means to us from the heart. Hear from faith leaders, an aboriginal elder and a climate scientist to understand what it means to them.

Prof. Lesley Hughes, Donna Jacobs Sife, Frances Bodkin and Bhante Sujato will speak to the meaning of climate change from the backgrounds of science, Judaism, Buddhism & Aboriginal culture. We will co-create the exploration of what it means to our selves, to others, and what diverse perspectives emerge through the journey.

ALL WELCOME

Book your free ticket here

6pm : Samosas, bananas and winter warming beverages served

📅 Thu, Jun 18 2015 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM

@ Mitchell Theatre, 280 Pitt Street Sydney NSW 2000, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Graeme Lyall has passed on

Dear friends,

On Vesak day, May 3 2015 at 3.40pm, Graeme Lyall passed away. Those familiar with Buddhism in Australia will know of Graeme’s unsurpssed service to Buddhism in this country and internationally. He was the senior Buddhist in the whole country, having been part of the original Buddhist Society of NSW from its inception in 1953.

I won’t give you a history of his life, but will share with you some of my memories of him as a man.

Graeme reminded me of the Monkey character from the classic show: his nature is irrepressible! He was an august and respected figure, but in the true Australian spirit never let that become pomposity or conceit. He laughed and joked all the time, and his humor always had a point to it.

Graeme was a man after my own heart, in that he was not afraid to speak his mind. If you think Buddhists are often too quiet in the face of events that need to be spoken of, you haven’t read Graeme’s amazing website. The domain seems to have lapsed recently and is now run by a different group. But you can still see snapshots on the Internet Archive; here’s the most recent:

http://web.archive.org/web/20141216234234/http://buddhismaustralia.org/

I met him for the last time a few months ago, and as always he was in fine spirits, and speaking of his work as a prison chaplain. Not for him the lazy retirement of the dignitary. He went straight to those most in need, and gave them his heart.

And he was still growing in his own heart. I was very privileged to see a little moment a few years ago that spoke so much to me. I don’t want to give any personal details, but there had been some disagreement between Graeme and someone else involved in the Buddhist scene. They ran into each other at a ceremony I was at, and when they saw each other there was a moment of recognition: and then a big hug! To me that’s a sign of a real practitioner. Not to be perfect, but to forgive and to move on.

While Graeme was deeply non-sectarian in his approach to Dhamma, he had a strong connection with the Chinese Pure Land tradition, and was a close student of Master Chin Kung. A number of years ago, when he was very ill, he laughed with me that he would be soon in the Pure Land. He was delighted at the prospect!

Wherever he is now, I have no doubt at all that he’s happy. He devoted his life to sharing the joy of the Dhamma, and I know that he would just want you to be happy as well. So let’s make his life meaningful by staying happy. And if anyone has some thoughts or memories of Graeme you’d like to share, please leave them below.

SuttaCentral now has donations

SuttaCentral is now accepting donations.

Donate to SuttaCentral

In the past we did not set up a donations facility, as we had enough funds for our limited needs. Now, however, we are employing a full time developer, in addition to several other ongoing costs, such as typing the texts in several languages. So we have set this up to guarantee our future stability.

The work behind the scenes has been mainly done by Deepika, who has set up the SuttaCentral Development Trust. Details are on our Donations page.

The facility has been set up using the secure modern payment system, Stripe.

If you think SuttaCentral is amazing, now you can help us make it even better.

9 day Sutta Retreat at Jhana Grove with Bhantes Sujato & Brahmali

This is a residential retreat organized by the Buddhist Fellowship. Ven Brahmali and myself will be presenting DN16 Mahaparinibbana Sutta, with time for discussions and meditations.

It’s Vesak season, so we’ll take the chance to spend some time with the Buddha as he slowly makes his way towards his final passing. It’s one of the most moving and powerful texts in all of Buddhism.

Friday, 24 April 2015 at 17:00—Sunday, 3 May 2015 at 11:00 (AWST)

Bookings are being organized through the Buddhist Fellowship in Singapore, who proposed and organized the retreat. You can email Eng Chin at:

engchin.ho@buddhistfellowship.org

Translating the Four Nikayas

Dear blog-friends, my apologies for abandoning you for the past several weeks, or is it months now? I have, as you may have suspected, been occupied with other things, primarily with doing work for SuttaCentral.

One of the reasons for my focus on SuttaCentral is that I am planning on taking an extended break in order to translate Pali suttas.

Since it’s mainly concerning SuttaCentral, I’ve put the main post on our Discourse forum, where you can read all about it and voice your comments:

Read about my translation project.

Aside

On aliens

Last night I did a talk at the BSWA on “Loving-kindness and aliens”, which will be up on the website soon. By pure chance, I came across this article today, which discusses the issue, how would different religions cope with the discovery of aliens?

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/religion-extraterrestrials-jesus-save-klingons/

Of course Buddhism is mentioned as a religion that is chill with aliens. But it doesn’t really acknowledge the fact that Buddhism, like other Indian religions, has a cosmology that not merely allows aliens, but assumes without question that life, sentient life, is found in countless places throughout the vast universe.

One thing aliens will, I have no doubt, share in common with us: they’ll suffer.