Places are currently limited to 50 on a first-come basis. Face masks are highly encouraged to be worn.
The sessions will also be available over Zoom, please email office@engagedbuddhists.
For information about what safety measures the Library is taking, please check buddhistlibrary.org.au/
Every Thursday from 11 February 2021
Time: 7.30 pm – 9.00 pm (doors open from 7pm)
The Association’s primary weekly activity for 2021 will be our Thursday night Dhamma talk (Buddhist teachings) and meditation practice. Dhamma talks are focused on aspects of Buddhism and Buddhist practice, and are usually conducted by our Spiritual Teacher Ven. Tejadhammo. From time to time Dhamma talks may be conducted by a guest teacher. An up to date schedule of guest teachers will be available for 2021 at https://www.
The sessions will also be available as Zoom meetings with the meeting opening at 7pm. Interaction via Zoom will be limited to chat as we are primarily making this available as a service to those who can’t attend in person. Please email office@engagedbuddhists.
Venerable Tejadhammo Bhikku is the Spiritual Director of the Association of Engaged Buddhists. Bhante teaches and conducts regular courses and retreats which are open to the general public, and is regularly invited to teach other groups of ordained Sangha. Apart from these teaching and retreat activities, Bhante works with people who are seriously ill in various hospitals, hospices and their homes in and around Sydney, teaching healing meditation, providing spiritual support and assisting people in dealing with the end stages of life.
Venerable Tejadhammo Bhikku was ordained by Venerable Tanchaokhun Phra Visalsalmanagun, Chaokhana Changwat, Phuket, in Thailand. Bhante has a background in Western Philosophy and Theology, and has studied and taught at Silpakorn University, Thailand. Before returning to Australia he taught in Thai universities and jails. Although ordained in the Theravada tradition, he has also studied with Tibetan and Mahayana teachers and has a commitment to the Dharma that he believes encompasses all traditional expressions of it. He is a founding member of Australian Monastic Encounter which seeks to promote inter-religious and inter monastic dialogue.
Why meditate? How do we meditate? These are two questions we must ask ourselves before engaging in meditation because as with any activity or program, it is crucial to have clarity about the reasons, method and goal. Along with the increasing popularity of meditation, more specifically mindfulness as a panacea for all ills, there is also an increasing number of people who report negative effects of meditation and talk about the “dark side” of the Dhamma. Therefore, it is important to realize that meditation in whatever form, whether it is secular mindfulness done a few minutes or a committed practice of the traditional Buddhist variety, aims to change the software of the mind to some extent. Secular mindfulness has narrow objectives such as stress reduction or targeting a specific psychopathology whereas bhavana in Buddhism, combined with ethics, concentration and analysis, has a much grander goal of enabling one to see reality as it is. In short, a total upgrade of the mind’s software, sometimes with unexpected side-effects. Thus, while even a few minutes of mindfulness is likely to have beneficial effects, meditation done regularly over a long period of time is what makes major changes to our attitudes, cognitive processes and overall texture of the mind. In Theravada Buddhism alone, there are 38 to 40 methods of meditation where sati (mindfulness) is an essential aspect and comprises the two strands of samatha (tranquillity) and vipassana (insight). They are supported by the narrative provided by the Dhamma – uncovering the three characteristics (impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and non-self) of all phenomena of existence starting with our mind-body complex. Thus, the narrative we choose helps determine the nature and extent of the changes we wish to make to our minds.
Chand R. Sirimanne
Thursday 11th March: Dr. Jonathan Page (details to follow)
Thursday 18th March: Dr. Eng Kong Tan (details to follow)
Thursday 8th April: Winton Higgins (details to follow)