Which way to Albury Buddhist Temple?

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The street sign ‘Buddhist Temple’ used to direct the public to the temple on Abercorn Street has recently been removed. The place has stopped its function as a Buddhist temple since the end of August to allow the authority to solve the long running issue of the ownership of the place.

It is rather sad, however the Sunday service of WatAlbury still goes on for all members and general public. With the generous support from AISHA FLOW YOGA in Thurgoona, Ajahn Satit is conducting the service at the AISHA FLOW YOGA premises every Sunday.

“It might be a bit further away from Albury but people who were return  would find the same warm welcoming community as it used to be in South Albury.” Said Ajahn Satit.

Meditation Time

He would also like to appeal to the local media to inform to the public that while the issue of the place in South Albury hasn’t been finalised, everyone is welcome to join the Buddhist community on Sunday at 10.00am at its temporary home of 88 Finlay Rd, Thurgoona.

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Third Anniversary

Third Anniversary of Wat Albury, another milestone that Ajahn Satit and members of Wat Albury have reached. It has not been a rosy journey but they have managed to go through the hurdles and difficulties and turned crisis into opportunities. They become value experiences for all involved. Now they can proudly say that they really start the wheel of Dhamma turning here at the border.

Third Anniversary of Wat Albury

Since the last Sunday service of 25th August, 2013 when the group has to vacate the premises at Abercorn Street, South Albury, many people might not know that Ajahn Satit has commenced the service again on Sunday 8th September 2013 at a new temporary home generously provided by AISHA FLOW YOGA. This, according to Ajahn Satit and members of Wat Albury, has turned their dark day into the brighter one tremendously.

Dhammakaya Meditation Centre Albury

One more good news that marks the celebration of the 3rd Anniversary is, this year, from their hard work for the past 3 years, the Albury centre is formally recognised as one of the overseas Dhammakaya centres. So they are now called Dhammakaya Meditation Centre, Albury, and when they have their own place in the near future, It will be officially called Wat Phra Dhammakaya, Albury.

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The celebration was joined by the temple regular comers plus visitors from Sydney and Melbourne. Everyone was so happy with the positive spiritual energy in the ceremony and variety of delicious Thai food for lunch.

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The Third Anniversary cake was cut to remark the celebration with the victory chanting from the Buddhist monk.

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The Resumption of Buddhist Sunday Service to the Border

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After the unfortunate disruption caused by the ownership issue of the property on Abercorn Street, Wat Buddhavongsayaram Inc. is extremely happy to announce that it  resumed its regular Sunday service for the people of the border region at the new temporary home in Thurgoona on Sunday 8th September 2013.

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The place has been very generously offered for us to use for Sunday service by the owner of AISHA FLOW YOGA. “It would be sad if the Sunday service that is regularly held at the temple in Albury will be no longer available to the people of this city. So if my place can be of use for Sunday service while they cannot find a new place, I’m very happy to have them here on Sunday” she said

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The last Sunday service at the temple on Abercorn Street had a large gathering. The new temporary place that has been offered has brought a smile to everyone’s face. They were happy that they will not miss out on the Sunday service for too long and that they will see each other again in only 2 weeks time.

The future for a permanent place is still uncertain. Wat Buddhavongsayaram Inc. will work closely with Consumer Affairs of Victoria and local MPs to resolve the issue of the temple property on Abercorn Street. At least if Wat Buddhavongsayaram Inc. cannot obtain this place, then hopefully some other Buddhist organisation can legally operate it as a Buddhist temple.

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The mystery has not yet come to the end.

Buddhist Temple Abercorn Street

It has been more than a year since the Consumer Affair of Victoria (CAV) made public announcement  in Albury-Wodonga Newsweekly about the winding up and distributing of the properties of the deregistered association, Wat Phouthavongsayaram Lao Buddhist Association Inc. Apparently, the issue has not yet been finalised which makes the ownership of the temple at Abercorn Street still uncertain.

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The newly registered association, Wat Bhuddavongsayaram Inc., has been taking the challenge in using this property to run the Buddhist Service every Sunday since the end of 2010. The service has been going so well for the past 3 years. There were more than 50 participants attended their 2nd Anniversary last November and 20-30 participants for their regular service every Sunday.

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The uncertainty of the ownership issue has prevented Wat Buddhavongsayaram Inc. to be independent enough to continue running and more importantly develop the place. Thus, it has come to the decision to call the day. Sunday 25th August 2013 will be the last Sunday service of Wat Albury at Abercorn Street. The news was announced to the members which brought the sad feeling to many regular comers who had so much good time on Sunday here in the past few years.

Meditation Wat Albury

Ajahn Satit who took leadership in managing Wat Buddhavongsayaram Inc. said.

We have run the temple so well and I can see the need of a Buddhist temple in Albury. But the uncertainty of the ownership has prevented us to independently developing it. We may find a place elsewhere to establish a new centre or we may comeback to this historic Buddhist temple if and when the Consumer Affair of Victoria has resolved this issue.”

Wat Buddhavongsayaram Inc. is making their commitment to the community that they will be back to run a regular Sunday service in a new place within three month after its last Sunday service on 25th  August 2013.

Wat Buddhavongsayaram Inc.’s speaker suggests no any other Buddhist group should occupy the place while the process of the CAV is still going on. Any group who are interested in taking over the temple should contact CAV regarding this matter. It is the Registrar(CAV)’s position that since the cancellation of Wat Phouthavongsayaram Lao Buddhist Association Inc. on 25 October 2001, the Abercorn Street temple was vested in the Registrar.

In the mean time please follow its movement on www.facebook.com/watalbury 

Related links

http://watalbury.org/2012/02/27/the-buddhist-temple-mystery/

http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/1727360/thai-monks-on-the-move/?cs=11

http://alburywodonga.starcommunity.com.au/news/2013-08-15/temple-winds-up/

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The Opening Ceremony of Buddha Hall in Western Australia

The Opening Ceremony of Buddha Hall in Western Australia

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Over 30 Buddhist monks and lay people from Thailand and Dhammakaya Centres from various states in Australia have come to join the Buddhist community in Western Australia to witness the opening ceremony of the Buddha Hall of the Dhammakaya Centre in Mandurah.

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The Buddha Hall or Uposatha is the assembly for Buddhist Sangha in the temple for certain ceremonies such as monk ordination. In order to formally announce a building an Uposatha, it needs number of monks to chant to define the border of Uposatha (or Srima) which is marked by number of objects called Nimi.

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The main feature of every Uposatha is a Buddha Image. As for this new hall, it is the white jade Dhammakaya Buddha image. The construction of this Buddha hall and the Buddha image were greatly supported by the lay community led by Ms Pannarai Cherif who was appointed on the day to be the representative of the community to offer the Uposatha to the Sangha.

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It has been a long but fulfilling development for this centre from a group of Buddhist community that started its activities in a small house in Kingsley to having the permanent place of Wat Phra Dhammakaya Western Australia in this serene city of Mandurah.

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Wat Phra Dhammakaya Western Australia and its members always welcome new comers and visitors to visit anytime and/or participating in its monthly event of the first Sunday ceremony which activities include meditation, Dhamma talk, requesting of five precepts and alms offering.

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AUSTRALIAN OBSERVANCE OF THE UNIITED NATIONS DAY OF VESAK 2013

On the afternoon of Sunday, May 26th, 2013, the Australian Observance of the United Nations Day of Vesak took place at the Sydney Town Hall. This joyous and auspicious event was attended by more than 1,000 people from all Buddhist traditions.

Buddhist Chanting

The afternoon began with traditional Thai music and a video presentation, welcoming the arrival of the Venerable Sangha, distinguished guests, members of the Buddhist community and the general public, followed by chanting by the Venerable Sangha from the Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

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The opening speech was delivered eloquently by the Most Venerable Sudhammo, Chairman of the organising committee and President of the Buddhist Federation of Australia and he also delivered the message from His Holiness Somdej Phra Buddajarn followed by a message from the Grand Master Hsing Yun, Founder of Fo Guang Shan Monastery, Taiwan.
Andrew Williams
After which, in a refreshing break from the formalities, Dhamma teacher and Buddhist singer/songwriter Andrew Williams presented two original Dhamma songs entitled “The Enlightenment and the Teaching” and “One People” and a fun rendition of the well known “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.

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What followed was an inspiring and informative keynote speech by Dr Royce Wiles, formerly of the National Museum and National Archives of Afghanistan, entitled “Buddhist Heritage of Afghanistan”, which focused on the desired preservation of the newly discovered ancient Buddhist city of “Mes Ayanak” and the ancient Bamiyan Valley Buddha statues.

4speakersAlso, messages were delivered by representatives of his Eminence BanKi-Moon, United Nations Secretary-General; the Honourable Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia; the Honourable Tony Abbott, Federal Opposition Leader; the Honourable Barry O’Farrell, Premier of New South Wales and the Councillor Irene Doutney of City of Sydney

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It was a lovely touch when gifts were presented by the Most Venerable Sudhammo on behalf of the organising committee, to the distinguished guests, as a show of appreciation.

The formal part of the afternoon was perfectly rounded off with a guided meditation for peace and well-being and a dedication of merits.

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Then everyone sat back, relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful performances as we travelled the world at the Sydney Town Hall, Australia. There were traditional dances, songs and presentations from Cambodia, Burma, Vietnam, Taiwan and Korea, classical Chinese music, Shaolin Kung Fu and a performance of “Life of Buddha” by the Thai Temple 60th Dhammachai Education School.

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Special mention must also be given to members of the organising committee for their invaluable contribution and hard work, namely The Most Venerable Sudhammo, Secretary Phra Satit, Deputy Chair Mr Henry Dang, performance organisers Dr Jeff Wilson and Mrs Phuong Nguyen, MC’s – Mr Andrew Williams and Miss Tisarat Pancharoen and all of the many inspiring and hardworking volunteers and performers for the preparation and execution of this beautiful and precious event.

A most enjoyable and harmonious time was had by all who attended.We rejoice in the merits.

Reported by Andrew Williams

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The new exercise

Youths Target Temple

Once again the Buddhist temple in Albury has reacted to the recent incident of vandalism, in the way that complies with the principle of one of the world most peaceful religions.

Last year, when the temple was twice broken into and most of the equipments used for Sunday service together with garden tools were stolen; the monk analysed that the thieves were driven by greed. His solution to stop the thieves to come back was to donate any valuable things that remain in the temple to the local charities. He then could keep the temple a peaceful place again.

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As for the recent incidents of vandalism which happened repeatedly, five times in three weeks; the monk chose a non-aggressive approach, not even a word was said, to the vandals. The second incident was found on Sunday 7th April 2013 morning when Ajahn Satit has just arrived from Sydney for Sunday service. He found windows were broken by number of rocks thrown in, which were evidenced on the ground. He left the problem aside and carried on the Sunday service as usual. At the Dhamma talk he said to the audience that the attack was an exercise of tolerance for all. Whoever conducts bad deeds will receive the consequence themselves.

Dhamma Talk WatAlbury

The vandals were continuing their action; they may feel proud of their evil achievement when they should really be ashamed of their doing – what they did was vandalising the residence of a harmless man.

Ajahn Satit changed the crisis, the result of the incident that day, to be an opportunity for those who attended the temple on the day, to gain extra merit in helping to fix the windows, putting away the broken glass and so on.

The media have been very helpful in bringing this evil act to the public knowledge and may even help bring this vandalism to an end. With the coverage in the Border Mail and both local TV channels (Win TV and Prime TV), people around town have been talking about the incidents. Many come to visit the temple, some sent words of care and comfort on the temple facebook page, some come to make donation. It seems that everyone in town now knows the monk who lives at South Albury temple and they care for his welfare.

Ajahn Satit and members of Wat Albury are very grateful to all the kind gestures shown by the community towards the temple, they are very much appreciated. Also a special thank and appreciation to Innovative Security Group Australia Pty Ltd, Michel McLeish CEO and the team who offer to help patrolling the street at the time it is most needed.

Related links

http://au.prime7.yahoo.com/v1/news/a/-/local/16792963/buddhist-monk-rocked-by-attacks-video/

http://au.prime7.yahoo.com/v1/news/a/-/local/16808285/monks-attacker-caught-on-film-video/

http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/1442887/buddhist-egging-attacks-peace/?cs=11

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