Board of Directors
- Peter Kingsford
- Rosiana Lim
- Lean Lee
- Dr Chien Hoong Gooi
- Peter Athaite
- Manager: Andy You (~December 2022)
- Manager: Su Sian Teh (maternity leave)
- Senior Librarian: Molly Lim
- Book Keeper: Marion Richards
- Administrator: Aggi Badtke
- Social Media Artisan: Amy Lee
- Publisher Extraordinaire: Bronwyn Sweeney
- Web Enhancer: Nee Shuang Heng
Kah Yee Goh
Venerable Sister Sudhira
Dr Chien Hoong Gooi
Bhante Tejadhammo is the Spiritual Director of the Association of Engaged Buddhists founded in 1993, and senior resident monk at Sangha Lodge, Sydney. Apart from giving Buddhist teachings, he also works with people who are seriously ill in various hospitals, hospices and their homes in and around Sydney. Bhante teaches and conducts regular retreats and is a founding member of the Australian Monastic Encounter, which seeks to promote inter-religious and inter monastic dialogue. Bhante has taught in Thai Universities and jails. He works with people who are seriously ill and dying as well as with prisoners seeking more skillful and beneficial ways to deal with their problems. He also offers teachings for many other Buddhist groups as well as Adult Education groups in Sydney and throughout Australia.
Dr Chien Hoong Gooi is a Clinical Psychologist and the Director of the Psychology Clinic at UNSW where he provides supervision and training to postgraduate Clinical Psychology students. Chien Hoong is also a teacher of Buddhism and Buddhist meditation in the insight and mindfulness traditions. He previously served as the Buddhist Chaplain at the UNSW.
Jim has been a Buddhist teacher for more than twenty 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.
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 Center. He currently leads introductory and day-long courses in Sydney and Wollongong, and also regularly teaches longer intensive retreats in the United States. Grahame has also helped pioneer a workshop format of teaching that enhances the transfer of mindfulness from the formal sitting practice into daily life. He teaches a classical tradition of insight meditation with a relaxed, accessible style.
Patricia has been a Buddhist practitioner for over 20 years. Her meditation training is in the Burmese Theravada tradition. Buddhism is integral to her daily life. She previously worked as a clinical psychologist and is now retired. She worked in HIV/AIDS services, carried out research into the mental health of detained asylum seekers, and for 19 years provided psychological therapy to the bereaved at St. Vincent’s Hospital. Patricia is married and lives on the NSW Central Coast.
Bhante Sujato is an Australian Theravada Buddhist monk ordained in Thailand in 1994. He played in a not-so-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.
Bhante 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, Hongkong, Taiwan, 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.
Bhante Sujato has become well known for his articulate 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, Bhante 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 of Buddhist Studies, and Australian Religious Response to Climate Change.
Bhante Sujato is also the founder of SuttaCentral.net.
John Barclay began practicing mindfulness meditation in 1995 with the Lotus Buds group on Wednesday evenings at the Buddhist Library. He received the lamp transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh in 2004. His teacher’s transmission poem encouraged him to share the dharma with young people and in 2011, after retiring from paid work, he became a volunteer SRE teacher through the NSW Buddhist Council. Today he continues to share mindfulness and Buddhist values with young people in both primary and high schools as well as facilitating Wednesday evenings at the Buddhist Library with the Lotus Bud group. He has also enjoyed a long and continued association with Unibuds, Sydney Wake Up group, the youth at Minh Quang Temple in Canley Vale and in running workshops for new Buddhist SRE Teachers through NSWBC.
Dr Susan Murphy, Zen Roshi, is the founding teacher of Zen Open Circle in Sydney. She is in a lay lineage that draws Soto and Rinzai (koan) style of practice together, with a special interest in the way Zen and Indigenous Australian sense of “care for country” come together.
Susan is a writer, freelance radio producer, and film writer and director. She directs the annual Buddhist Film Festival in Sydney, established in 2003, and teaches a postgraduate course in Chan/Zen Buddhism for the Masters in Applied Buddhist Studies at Nan Tien Institute in Wollongong.
She is the author of Upside Down Zen, Minding the Earth, Mending the World: Zen and the Art of Planetary Crisis, and Red Thread Zen: Humanly Entangled in Emptiness. Currently she is writing a book commissioned by Shambhala, titled ‘A Fire Runs Through All Things’, taking crisis as the invitation into Zen koan mind.
International Guest Speakers
Venerable Buddharakkhita was born and raised in Uganda, Africa. He first encountered Buddhism in 1990 while living in India, and he began practicing meditation in 1993. He was ordained as a Buddhist monk by the late Venerable U Silananda in 2002 at the Tathagata Meditation Center in San Jose, California and then he spent eight years under the guidance of Bhante Gunaratana at the Bhavana Society, West Virginia. He is the founder of the Uganda Buddhist Center in Uganda. Besides spending time at the Buddhist Center in Uganda, he is the spiritual director of Flowering Lotus Meditation Center in Magnolia, Mississippi. He is on the council of spiritual advisers to the Global Buddhist Relief, New Jersey. Bhante has been teaching meditation in Africa, Australia, Europe, Asia, and the U.S, since 2005. His book, Planting Dhamma Seeds: The Emergence of Buddhism in Africa, tells the story of his religious and spiritual work in Africa.
Venerable Chao Khun Keng Vinayadhamma Vidhes, aka Ajahn Keng, is a Singaporean monk from the Thai Forest Tradition of Ajahn Mun Buridatto. He was ordained in 1987 under the recommendation of Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Ajahn Geoffrey). Luang Phor Jiak Cundo, the later generation of Ajahn Mun Buridatto’s disciples, was also one of his teachers. Ajahn Keng was conferred the title of “Chao Khun” in 2013 by the King of Thailand. Currently, Chao Khun Keng is the Abbott of Santi Forest Monastery (Malaysia) and the President of Palelai Buddhist Temple (Singapore) and Wat Pa Doi Charen Tham at Omkoi (Thailand).
Venerable Thubten Chodron has practiced the Buddha’s teachings for more than thirty-five 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 adviser 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 (www.sravasti.org). Many of her teachings are available on her web site (www.thubtenchodron.org) and on YouTube (www.youtube.com/sravastiabbey). You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
Ajahn Dtun was born in 1955 in Ayutthaya, Thailand. He was raised in Bangkok. After completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, he decided to become a monk at Wat Nong Pah Pong with Venerable Ajahn Chah as his preceptor. Presently, Ajahn Dtun is the Abbot of Wat Boonyawad in Chonburi. Wat Boonyawad has grown from being a hermitage with a few monks to a large monastery with close to sixty monks training with Tan Ajahn. He will be accompanied by Ajahn Tejapanno, his translator. Ajahn Tejapanno, born in England, has been a monk for 21 years, and has spent the last 17 years living with Ajahn Dtun.
Dungse Jampal Norbu is the son and dharma heir of Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. Rinpoche is the founder of Mangala Shri Bhuti and a lineage holder of the Dzogchen Longchen Nyingtik tradition. When Dungse Jampal was still an infant, Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche’s root teacher, instructed Kongtrul Rinpoche to train Dungse la to uphold and continue Kongtrul Rinpoche’s lineage. With life-long guidance from Kongtrul Rinpoche, particularly in traditional Buddhist shedra studies in India and the US, Dungse-la now teaches widely as well as engages in an annual 100-day long retreat at Longchen Jigme Samten Ling.
Dungse Jampal has lived and traveled extensively in Asia, but spent much of his youth in Colorado. If you were to ask Dungse la how long he has been studying the Buddhist path, he would say, “Since I was born.” Under his father’s wing he has received many teachings and transmissions, sometimes while the two were walking in the mountains of Crestone. Dungse la’s anecdotal style and first-hand curiosity about how Buddhism relates to actual experience imbue his teaching with a fresh perspective, and reveal a natural wisdom and humor.
James R. Doty, M.D. is a Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University School of Medicine and is the Founder and Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University. The CCARE, of which His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the founding benefactor, aims to support rigorous research on compassion. Dr. Doty collaborates with scientists from a number of disciplines examining the neural bases for compassion and altruism.
Dr. Doty is also an inventor, entrepreneur and a philanthropist. As a philanthropist, he supports a number of charitable organizations focused on peace and healthcare throughout the world. Additionally, he supports a variety of research initiatives and has provided scholarships and endowed chairs at multiple universities. He serves on the board of a number of non-profit organizations including as Chairman of the Dalai Lama Foundation and is on the International Advisory Board of the Council of the Parliament of the World’s Religions.
Joah has spent the last two years leading a groundbreaking research project concerning meditation in Burma/Myanmar, the result of which is a printed guide to help Dhamma seekers coming to the Golden Land. The project is one of the representation of dana, meaning all contributors are volunteers, and the work is freely available as an e-book download for those hoping to make use of it.
LP Piak is one of Thailand’s most respected teachers of Dhamma and meditation. Born in 1948, Luang Por Piak’s given name is Prasobchai but he was nicknamed ‘Piak’. As a child and young man Luang Por Piak did not have much interest in religion or meditation. It was when he was studying for his Masters in New York that Luang Por Piak began to develop an interest about the mind. When he returned to Thailand from New York for medical treatment, he spent some time in a monastery under the guidance of Luang Pu Boon Nah (disciple of Luang Pu Kao Wang). He soon discovered he has a genuine affinity for the practice and decided to ordain as a monk for the annual 3-month rains retreat.
When Luang Por Piak met Luang Por Chah, he had a strong intuitive sense that this was the right teacher for him. On 3 July 1976, Venerable Piak received full Bhikkhu ordination from Luang Por Chah. Luang Por Piak is now the abbot of Wat Pah Cittabhavana, Pathumthani, Thailand.
He will be accompanied by Ajahn Mudito, his translator. Ajahn Mudito, born in Brazil, has been a monk for 12 years, and has spent the last 7 years living with Luang Por.
Brother Phap Hai is a senior monastic student of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. He was ordained in 1997 and formally authorised to teach by Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh in January 2003. Originally from Australia, he is an active meditation teacher who leads retreats, days of mindfulness, workshops and talks throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, South America and Asia.
Brother Phap Hai has the ability to offer a charming blend of ancient wisdom, Dharma scholarship and contemporary applications, sharing deep teachings in a warm, accessible and humorous manner. In addition to numerous online teachings and classes, his first book, Nothing to It: Ten Ways to Be at Home with Yourself, was published by Parallax Press and second book, “The Eight Realizations, Buddhist Wisdom for Waking Up to Who You Really Are” is coming in July 2021.
Ajahn Sumedho was born in the USA, became a bhikkhu in 1967 and trained nine years under Ajahn Chah at Wat Pah Pong, a forest monastery in Ubon province, Thailand. In 1976 he was invited to Britain; he established Cittaviveka (Chithurst Buddhist Monastery) in West Sussex in 1979, and Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in Hertfordshire in 1984.
During his thirty-four years of being based in Britain, he taught extensively throughout the world, has inducted more than a hundred aspirants of many nationalities into the sama?a life, and also authorized the establishment of six other monasteries. Many of his talks are available in audio versions, and some have been transcribed and edited into a collection of books.
In November 2010, Ajahn Sumedho put aside his duties as abbot and teacher and is practicing in more secluded environments.
Ajahn Tiradhammo was born in New Westminster, British Columbia in 1949. In 1973 he became a novice and took his higher ordination one year later at Wat Meung Man in Chiang Mai with Venerable Tong. In 1975 he moved, in order to be with Ajahn Chah, staying at Wat Pah Pong and Wat Pa Nanachat. He went on several tudong journeys through the northeast of Thailand and the mountains of Chiang Mai, visiting many famous forest meditation masters.
He was invited to England in 1982 to help with developments there. He spent two years at Chithurst Monastery, and three years in charge of Harnham Vihara in Northumberland. In 1988 he helped establish Dhammapala Monastery near Bern, Switzerland and also later at its new location in the Bernese Alpine village of Kandersteg where he was the senior monk until 2005. In July 2005 he assumed the position of Abbot at Bodhinyanarama, Wellington, NZ, until 2012. He has since retired and is now a wandering monk, currently staying at Wat Buddha Dhamma, near Sydney.
Ajahn Vimokkha is the abbot of Pippaliwanaram Forest Monastery, Rayong, Thailand. He obtained his M.A. Buddhist studies and Ph.D. Buddhist studies from Mahachulalongkorn University. He has an extensive experience in teaching insight meditation and has been engaged by numerous organizations both in Thailand including Dhammasathan Chulalongkorn university and abroad such as Buddhist associations in Kuala Lumpur, Penang associations in Kuala Lampur, Penang and Singapore.
Venerable Dr. has designed and conducted the popular program: “Development of mindfulness and Awareness” in the work place for various private organizations and also state government. He has vast experience in insight meditation gained from his practicing under various renowned meditation masters and from his own astute and intuitive exploration. His style of teaching meditation is approachable, candid and experiential. He is known as Loung Phor Vimokkha because it was used in his book on “The development of mindfulness for insight meditation” which was given a forward by professor Praves Vasee and Professor Rapee Sakrick for his pragmatic approach to the development of mindfulness.
Guest Monastic Teachers
Venerable Chao Khun Samai was born in Laos in 1943. He was promoted to a highest rank by the King of Thailand on his birthday in 2011 and presently known as Phra Thepsilaporn. He became a novice monk in 1956 and received his full ordination in June 1963. He excelled in his Dhamma studies and the language of Pali during his time as young novice monk. Venerable Chao Khun Samai was later admitted to study in Mahamakut University where he took additional three years in secular studies. He graduated from Mahamakut University in 1972 and came to Sydney in 1974 to help look after a newly established Thai monastery in Stanmore for 14 years. Later in 1984, he established and become the Abbot of Wat Pa Buddharangsee in Leumeah, where he presently resides. Furthermore, Mahamakut University has conferred upon him PhD Honorary Degree in May 2003, acknowledging his long service in spreading the Buddha’s Teachings. He currently serves as the spiritual patron of Bodhikusuma Meditation Centre (Haymarket) and Unibuds (University of New South Wales Buddhist Society). For more information, please refer to: www.mahamakut.org.au
Bhante Shravasti Dhammika was born in Australia in 1951 and converted to Buddhism at the age of 18. In 1973 he went to Thailand with the intention of becoming a monk, then to Laos, Burma and finally to India, where he was ordained as a monk under Venerable Matiwella Sangharatna, the last disciple of Anagarika Dharmapala.
He studied Pali at Sri Lanka Vidyalaya in Sri Lanka from 1976, and later became a co-founder and teacher of Nilambe Meditation Centre in Kandy. Since then, he has spent most of his time in Sri Lanka and Singapore. Currently, he is the spiritual advisor to The Buddha Dhamma Mandala Society in Singapore.
Bhante Dhammika had written over 25 books and scores of articles on Buddhism and related subjects. His most popular book, Good Question Good Answer, has been translated into 36 languages. He is also well-known for his public talks and represented Theravada Buddhism at the European Buddhist Millennium Conference in Berlin in 2000.
Apart from Buddhist philosophy and meditation, Bhante Dhammika has a deep interest in the historical topography of Buddhism and the tradition of pilgrimage and has travelled widely in India and other Buddhist lands.
Ajahn was born in Vietnam in 1966. At the age of nine he moved with his family to live in California, USA. He obtained his BA in Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College, Southern California. Except for a brief stint as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger, West Africa, most of his jobs have been in the Banking/Finance Sector. While working as a stockbroker in Bangkok, he became interested in Buddhism and meditation. He began his monastic training at Wat Pah Nanachat, Thailand in 1999, and was ordained as a Bhikkhu in Ajahn Chah’s Tradition in 2000. Since 2005, Ajahn Khemavaro has lead numerous retreats in Singapore , USA , Norway , and Australia . Currently, he is the abbot of Wat Buddha Dhamma. For more information, please refer to: www.wbd.org.au
Venerable Phra Mana Viriyarampo was born in the busy city of Bangkok, Thailand. He studied as a medical student for 3 years before undertaking his religious vows. He has undergone meditation practice and training with several great teachers in Thailand and abroad. Throughout his first 14 years’ experience as a monk, he has traveled to more than 30 countries teaching Buddhism and meditation, attending symposiums, conferences, religious events and many more. In the year 2000, for the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, Buddhism was represented by monks as volunteers for the Religious Centre in the Games Village. Venerable Phra Mana Viriyarampo was chosen as the Buddhist Chaplain together with other Buddhist monks from different traditions to teach meditation to the athletes and contingents of the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Today, he focuses his training in teaching meditation and cultivating a healthy diet with exercise and wholesome living through Sunnataram Forest Monastery as Abbot. He continues to steer, guide and touch the lives of the Australian community through the Dhamma (teachings of the Buddha) and meditation to achieve happiness, calm and peace. He is a picture of health, an animator, a strong believer in the power of positive thought, a yoga & Tai Chi enthusiast and an inspiration both to the Sangha (monastic order of monks and nuns) and the lay community.
Khenpo la born in a Tibetan refugee family 1962 in Northern India, Khenpo Ngawang Damchoe became ordained at the age of nine. After ten years of training, in 1980, Khenpo went to study under Khenchen Appey Rinpoche in the Sakya College of Dhradun, and completed his final masters in 1991. In March 2002, Loppon Ngawang Damchoe was given the title of Khenpo at Bir Monastery presided over by His Eminence Ratna Vajra Rinpoche. In late 1994, Khenpo arrived in Australia to spread the teachings of the Buddha, following the instructions of His Holiness Sakya Trizin. In October 2009, Drogmi Buddhist Institute was founded by Khenpo, where regular weekly Buddhist philosophy studies, pujas, and meditation sessions are being conducted under his guidance. For the past 15 years, with his fluent English, Khenpo has been teaching all around Australia and internationally, in areas such as central and western Sydney, the Blue Mountains, South Coast of New South Wales, Queensland and more. For more information, please refer to: www.drogmi.org
Venerable Sister Sudhira Bhikkhuni took her novice ordination in 2000 and her higher ordination as a full bhikkuni in July 2004 under the Most Venerable Rahatungoda Saddha Sumana, a senior Bhikkhuni from a small nunnery in Eheliyagoda, Sri Lanka. Sister is currently based in Sydney and holds a chaplaincy position at the Prince of Wales Hospital and generously gives her time as a volunteer at the Buddhist Library. A very personable and gentle teacher, Sister brings to her teaching a deep sense of kindness and compassion
Ven Thubten Chokyi is the Spiritual Program Coordinator for VI and one of our esteemed teachers. She is also the Director of Liberation Prison Project, a social services project affiliated to FPMT that offers spiritual advice and teachings, as well as books and materials, to people in prison interested in exploring, studying and practising Buddhism. Ven Chokyi is a member of the Women’s Interfaith Network in Sydney.
Akaliko Bhikkhu is an Australian monk in the Theravada forest tradition. Bhante Akaliko first encountered Buddhism as a teenager and spent over twenty years practising in different traditions before taking full ordination with Ajahn Brahm as his preceptor at Bodhinyana monastery in 2016. He currently resides at Lokanta Vihara (the Monastery at the End of the World) in Sydney, Australia.
Bhante Akaliko is the founder of Rainbodhi LGBTQIA+ Buddhist Community and a Buddhist chaplain at Western Sydney University. He is also on the board of directors of the Buddhist Council of NSW.
Bom Hyon Sunim is from the Korean Zen tradition and is resident at the Korean Jong Bop Sa Temple in Sydney. Sunim relocated to Sydney in 2017, having lived in Victoria for the previous 8 years, where she was the resident teacher of the Bodhi Ahm Buddhist Centre and founded the Healthcare Chaplaincy program for the Buddhist Council. She is presently a PhD candidate at Western Sydney University and the Senior Buddhist Chaplain for the Australian Defence Forces – also Chairperson of the Australian Sangha Association (ASA).
Sunim conducts teachings and retreats and is active in interfaith, welcoming engagement with all who are spiritually and ecologically motivated to live in right relationship to the planet and all beings.
Venerable Dr Juewei Shi is Head of Program for Humanistic Buddhism, Director of the Humanistic Buddhism Centre, and Senior Lecturer at Nan Tien Institute in Australia. She teaches subjects related to Humanistic Buddhism and Chinese Buddhism, supported by her research and development that revolves around acculturation and application of Buddhist teachings in the modern world. She has also authored Parading the Buddha: localising Buddha’s birthday celebrations.
Venerable Dr Juewei began her career as an applied R&D engineer in Artificial Intelligence systems, then moved on to management positions in Singapore’s statutory bodies. She holds a PhD in Religious Studies and an MA in Buddhist Studies, as well as an MBA and an MSc in Computer Science and Engineering. She made her millennial decision to join the Fo Guang Shan order when she realised that she could be of the best service to humanity through promoting humanistic values in an increasingly divided world.
Guest Speakers and Teachers
Ana started practising meditation in 2004 under the guidance of Dharma teacher Master Behram Ghista. She then became interested in Vipassana meditation and met her now main meditation teacher, Ariya Baumann (nee Ariya Ñani), in 2008. Ana has attended more than 18 intensive meditation retreats in both the Tibetan and Theravada traditions, and started teaching mindfulness meditation for beginners in 2008. Her background as a scientist makes her classes practical and simple, yet with heart.
Chris Barker has practiced meditation for some twenty years, of which the last fifteen have been with The Lotus Buds sangha, a group in the tradition of Zen teacher Thich Naht Hanh, which stresses the value of mindful living in the present moment. He is also interested in the teachings of Zen teacher Bernie Glassman of the Zen peace maker Order and in what has become known as ‘secular Buddhism’. Chris has been a teacher in schools and universities for most of his professional life and in recent years taught a course called “Happiness: causes and conditions’, which was underpinned by core Buddhist principles and practices along with so-called ‘positive psychology.
Danyah Preston is a Mindfulness and Compassion teacher in the contemporary Theravada Insight Meditation tradition, and also a graduate Mindfulness MBSR Level 1 Teacher. She is passionate about exploring and sharing the liberating wisdom teachings of the Buddhadharma, and practices Tranquillity (Samatha) and Insight (Vipassana) meditation as one path of practice.
Dr. Eng-Kong Tan is a friend and supporter of our Buddhist Library since the establishment day. He has presented many talks on Buddhism, Psychotherapy, Meditation and Spirituality in this room under the auspices of many organisations. Many of us will know of him as a doctor, a psychiatrist and as a Buddhist Psychotherapist. He is Founder President of the Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP). He is a former Chairman of Training of the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Association of Australia (PPAA). He established the Metta Clinic in Pymble, a group psychological practice, here in Sydney and he offers individual, couple and group therapies including a weekly mindfulness training group.
Frank found the Dhamma at quite an early stage in life. According to his words he has been on a pilgrimage ever since then. He has seen the Dhamma spreading, the growth of Buddhism locally in the past 50 years. He want to return something from the wonderful teachings he received from the great teachers of the past such as Ayya Khema, Phra Khantipalo…etc.
Giles Barton commenced his regular practice of meditation in 1992 and has taken part in many weekend and ten day retreats with well known local and international monks including two three month silent retreats at Bodhinyana monastery with Ajahn Brahm in 2000 and 2003. He has been a regular teacher at the Buddhist library for the last ten years and has also been active in supporting Buddhist communities in NSW. In addition to facilitating a number of retreats for young people and adults he has presented at the 2000 Australian Suicide prevention conference on a Buddhist approach to suicide prevention and contributed a chapter in 2007 to the book ‘Spirited Practices’ based on people’s use of their spirituality in the helping professions. He commenced working with children and their families in the oncology unit at the old Royal Alexander Children’s hospital in Camperdown in 1989, in which time he also commenced volunteer work with teenagers with Cancer (CanTeen) and served on both the state committee and was a member of the National Board from 1992-1995. After leaving the Children’s hospital he went on to specialise in Child & Adolescent psychiatry and continues to work in the field on Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental health as a Clinical coordinator for inpatient and community services for the local health district where there is an increasing emphasis on trauma informed interventions. He has a post graduate diploma in child and adolescent development and Masters in Behavioural Science (Distinction) for research into adolescent spirituality.
Gawaine Powell Davies has had an interest in Buddhism since reading Christmas Humphreys’ book Buddhism at the age of thirteen, and studying Eastern philosophy. It all makes much more sense to him since he learnt to meditate and became involved in the Insight Buddhist community. He has been a member of Bluegum Sangha for ten years, and is chairman of Sydney Insight Meditators and chairman of the Buddhist Council of NSW. In his other life he has recently retired as a primary health care researcher at the University of NSW, and is looking forward to being able to engage more fully in the Buddhist community.
Dr Jonathan has been a medical oncologist for 36 years and enjoys endurance cycling. He began his meditation practice in 1984 but to his chagrin was largely an erratic practitioner until 2004, generally employing meditation as a last resort to manage innumerable life crises (with variable impact).
He was persuaded to be more diligent in his meditation with the onset of a more difficult-to-shift despondency, particularly burnout mixed with depression. These were poorly managed by the “orthodox” medical establishment. Thankfully, over time, this crisis yielded to regular meditation and the comfort of the Three Jewels.
Jonathan’s journey with Dharma goes back to a visit to Sri Lanka as a child in the 1960’s where an encounter with Buddhist monastics left a strong impression. At University he studied Philosophy, Anthropology, Comparative Religion and Sanskrit, and discovered Vipassana Meditation. He attended several retreats at Wat Buddha Dhamma, formally took refuge in July 2007 and went on his first 10-day Vipassana Retreat in early 2008. In years past he has given courses in Buddhism at Warringah and Mosman Evening College. He has completed the Master of Buddhist Studies course at the University of Sydney. Jonathan works as a technical writer and instructional designer for a professional services company on the North Shore.
Jeff grew up at Shelly Beach, Australia, and trained as a Buddhist monk for 9 years in Burma. Throughout that time, he learnt many great qualities of the heart, of which forgiveness is one of the most important. Jeff has been teaching meditation for over 20 years and he found that forgiveness is perhaps the greatest foundation and preparation for meditation and for being a great person, living in peace and harmony and with a loving heart.
Jill began practicing insight meditation in Thailand in 1999, and since that time has lived and worked at several meditation centres and monasteries in the US, Australia, England, and Thailand.
She recently spent seven years on staff at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts, where she participated in several long retreats and Buddhist study programmes, as well as offering weekly meditation classes at a nearby men’s prison.
She is a graduate of the IMS / Spirit Rock teacher training program in the US, under the guidance of Joseph Goldstein and Gil Fronsdal.
Currently, she divides her time between the USA, Australia and New Zealand, teaching vipassana and brahma vihara retreats and offering ongoing study and practice groups focused on bringing the dharma into daily life.
Katy O’Neill PhD is a Clinical Psychologist practicing in the public sector. She is not a Pali scholar, and has never been ordained. Since stumbling into her first Sutta course at the Buddhist Library late last century she has volunteered for various Buddhist organisations, been on numerous retreats and attended as many Sutta courses as she could manage. She enjoys reading Suttas (especially short ones!) and wants to encourage others. She believes that there is a lot of wisdom and delight to be gained from the attempt, even while we continue (rightly) to rely on teachers and authors of leaned treatises to clarify our understanding.
Kynan Sutherland is an authorised Sensei (apprentice Zen teacher) in the Diamond Sangha tradition, founded by Anne Hopkins Aitken and Robert Aitken in 1959. He was invited to teach in 2019 by Susan Murphy Roshi, founding teacher of Zen Open Circle in NSW and one of the leading voices in Australian Zen Buddhism. He currently lives and works in Castlemaine, Victoria, where he offers dharma talks, dharma interviews and regular practice events for Castlemaine Zen.
Dr Malcolm Pearce is a Buddhist psychotherapist, currently engaged as a clinical supervisor of addiction counsellors with consultation rooms situated at North Sydney. He also manages the Karuna Sanctuary, a retreat centre in the Blue Mountains. Malcolm has been teaching meditation for thirty two years in Australia and the USA drawing upon Tendai and Kegon traditions as his principal sources. He is the author of ‘The Mandala Dancers‘ a transpersonal study published on-line by the University of Western Sydney.
Megan Thorpe is MA, Grad. Dip. Ed. Studies (Health), Dip. Teach., trained in Core Process Psychotherapy, a Buddhist-based psycho-spiritual psychotherapy, at the Karuna Institute in England. Megan is the manager of the Bereavement Counselling Service at Sacred Heart Hospice in Darlinghurst, Sydney. Prior to this, she worked as a Spiritual Care Counsellor for people in the last months of their lives, and managed a team of volunteer carers who offered support to palliative care patients and their families. Megan supervises the Chaplains in the Buddhist Council’s Chaplaincy programme. Megan is a faculty of member AABCAP’s two years professional training course. Over the last 25 years she has had experience in a number of different Buddhist traditions, and since 2003 she has been practicing in the Thai Forest tradition.
Patrick Kearney is an independent dharma teacher in the lineage of Mahasi Sayadaw. He has trained extensively in the Mahasi approach to insight meditation, his principal teachers being Panditarama Sayadaw and John Hale. He has also trained in the Diamond Sangha lineage of Zen Buddhism. His original teacher was Robert Aitken Roshi, and he has also studied with Paul Maloney Roshi.
Patrick has a particular interest in the original teachings of the Buddha – Buddhism as it was before Theravada or Mahayana were ever thought of. He studies Pali, the language of the earliest surviving Indian recension of the Buddha’s teachings, and seeks to bring his understanding of the early texts to the practice of dharma in the contemporary world.
Peter came to Buddhism in 1997, and immediately felt an affinity with the teachings, akin to ‘coming home’. A self-professed Dhamma addict, he has attended a number of silent vipassana retreats, as well as other,’daily life’ retreats, and strives to incorporate the teachings into all aspects of life. Peter is a long-time volunteer at the Buddhist library, and in his work as an airline pilot claims the Buddhist path is conducive to smoother landings.
Raul, who teaches our weekly Friday Tai Chi with Qigong class, has been practising Tai Chi and Qigong since 1992. He has learned from a number of traditional Chinese Tai Chi masters and is familiar with Static Style and Fluid Style Qigong. He has studied the principle Qigong meridian points (Zen acupressure). Raul is a retired teacher who lives in Sydney. As well as Tai Chi and Qigong, he practices Yoga and meditation.
Rod Lee is a director of the Tibetan Buddhist Society in Sydney and has been teaching meditation and Buddhist philosophy for over 30 years. His teacher since 1978 was Venerable Geshe Acharya Thubten Loden who passed way in 2011.
Rod has been involved in health care management and education for the past 40 years. He was an executive administrator for a medical rehabilitation centre and has designed and delivered, meditation, stress management, and mindfulness programs for corporate and private clients.
Rod has been a meditation instructor for Nature Care College of Natural Therapies, and he wrote and narrated the Qantas Airways’ and Malaysian Airlines’ in-flight meditation audio programs.
He is also a Shiatsu practitioner and has also been an instructor of Tai Chi for the past 37 years.
Rosiana is an accountant by profession and has been practising for a decade. And throughout her practice, she has been touched by the profundity of the Buddhist teaching. She was actively involved in the Buddhist community through her role as an English Dhamma Talk Coordinator. She likes to attend silent meditation retreats and believes it’s the conducive way to get in touch with her heart and to unveil the innate wisdom. She has attended a nine-day retreat with Ajahn Brahm and some weekend retreats with other senior teachers like Ajahn Dtun, Ajahn Viradhammo, Ariya Nani, and also some lay teachers.
Chand R. Sirimanne was born in Sri Lanka and migrated to Australia in 1990. She has worked as a freelance writer and an ESL instructor for over three decades mainly in Australia but also in Canada and Sri Lanka. Chand currently works as a writer/researcher, and she has written and translated several articles and works on Buddhism. She has a MA in Applied Linguistics from Macquarie University and a PhD from the Department of Studies in Religion, University of Sydney. Chand’s doctoral thesis was on The evolving relevance and therapeutic value of the ethico-psychological perspective of the mind-body complex and meditation in Therav?da Buddhism. She has been practising meditation since 2001.
Sue Toohey is an experienced Dhamma, meditation and yoga teacher, qualified in both Hatha and Dru styles of yoga. She regularly takes meditation drop-in classes at the Buddhist Library. Formerly a university lecturer in the School of Public Health at UNSW, she has a lifelong interest in using yoga to counteract depression and anxiety and develop mental well-being. She has been a Buddhist practitioner for more than 30 years.
Theresa Baw has been a Buddhist practitioner of insight meditation since 2001. She has benefited from the teachings in the Theravada traditions including: Mahasi Sayadaw; the Thai Forest tradition; and is currently practicing Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation. She has led regular group meditation sessions for the Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre. She is on the working group of Mettarama, which is establishing an urban bhikkhuni (nuns) monastery in Western Sydney. Theresa works as a barrister and also teaches meditation to others in her chambers.