Vesak 2017 in Shepparton

Vesak - May 2017

Millions of Buddhists worldwide celebrate Vesak Day (this year – 10th of May 2016), an officially recognised United Nations (UN) observance that commemorates the birth, enlightenment (nirvāna), and death (Parinirvāna) of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.

Vesak is the most  important Buddhist Festival held on the full moon of the ancient lunar month of Vesakha, which usually falls in May annually.

Two years ago we celebrated our first Vesak Day event in Shepparton thanks to generous support from City of Greater Shepparton, Ethnic Council of Shepparton, People Supporting People, Sri Lankan Community and local Buddhist community.

For the third consecutive year, we are celebrating Vesak Day 2017 on Saturday 13th of May at Queens Gardens.

We would love to invite you to come and celebrate “Vesak” or “Buddha Purnima” with us from 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm on Saturday 13th of May 2017.

Should you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact Sam Atukorala on 03 5831 2395.

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UN Vesak Celebration 2017

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Many Buddhist communities are now aware that this year’s UN Vesak  Celebrations will be at Paul Keating Park, Bankstown NSW on Saturday 6th May 2017. The change of venue this year from the Sydney Town Hall has allowed for more variety, including an information stall, a Food stall and other activities on the grounds of the park.

10322697_581763821922829_7613507396911589023_nThe Buddhist Federation of Australia first initiated in Sydney The Australian Observance of the United Nations Day of Vesak in 2007. Its purpose was to promote Vesak Day to enable the celebration to become well known to the public.

13244860_939442929488248_4881062722848726674_nBy holding this event year by year another benefit has emerged. It has allowed the various Buddhist groups, cultures and traditions to unite and work together as one to promote the Vesak Day Celebrations, united in their hearts to promote and honor the Buddhas Day.

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The celebration provides a good opportunity for many who are interested in Buddhism and wish to experience and meet Buddhist monks or Buddhist organizations from various traditions and nationalities. 

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However, the UN Vesak Celebrations can be enjoyed by anyone not only Buddhists. The theme for this year is “Living in Harmony”. The event will help to bring a colorful peaceful culture to Bankstown on the day. Apart from the Buddhist cerebrations there will be International food, Cultural performances and children’s activities which will ensure a pleasant family atmosphere and a great day for all at Paul Keating Park from 9.30am-3.00pm on Saturday 6th May 2017.

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A joyful day in Cabramatta

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It was a joyful day for many people in Cabramatta at Freedom Plaza. Vassa Festival was a worthy course for many volunteers to put their tirelessly work days and nights to make this event successful. Theravadin monks from various national background were invited to be field of merit in this ceremony. 60th Dhammachai Education Foundation organized this event for the second year to bring Buddhist concept to simple practice that help create peaceful culture.

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Generosity, toward the Sangha who are worthy of respect always bring joyfulness to all Buddhists. This festival remarks the beginning of the traditional rain retreat for the Sangha which can also be applied to laypeople. This three months duration will be used in self-training for monks in particular place with other Sangha.

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The congregation of Buddhist followers will customary organise the offering of necessity for monks to use in this retreat. Symbolically, the candle to provide light for study Dhamma at night even though we all know these days electricity is used instead but people still happily make the same offering as they did in the past when candle was essential to provide light for the temple.

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Congregation of twenty monks attended the service leaded by Chow Khun Phrasudhammyanavites Vi (The Most Venerable Sudhammo). Mr  Nhan Tran, representative of the local council gave welcome speech to begin the ceremony. The leader of the Sangha, in his sermon mentioned that in this rain retreat people should take this opportunity to do something good for themselves as well for example practice meditation every day.

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Activities today including Sangha Dana – offering necessities to the Sangha, making merit and dedicating the merit to ancestors, paying homage to relics of the Buddha. Flow of Buddhist followers and many passing-by participated in these activities all day until the end of this festival at 3pm.

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Photographer: Saranya J Lim & Niky Tanakaan

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Proud to be one of the regional Buddhist temples

screen capture from Shepparton News online

Screen capture from Shepparton News online

After the Buddhist ceremony to celebrate the 4th Anniversary of the Aroi Thai Restaurant in Shepparton on the 29th March 2016, the Buddhist community in Albury who participated in the celebration felt proud that their city had a Buddhist Temple.  Shepparton have long had a Buddhist community however do not have a Temple of their own.

Having a Buddhist Temple means so much to the Buddhist community as they have monastic order who preserves the teachings of the Buddha, theoretically and practically. It is hard for people who are interested in the teachings and only have the internet as a means of research. It is far easier when you have direct access to a trained Buddhist Monk.

The abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, Luang Por Dhammajayo ('Luang Por' meaning Venerable Father), greeting laypeople at the Wat

The abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, Luang Por Dhammajayo (‘Luang Por’ meaning Venerable Father), greeting laypeople at the Wat

With the kindness of Phrathepyanmahamuni the Abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, Thailand, who’s vision is to bring peace to the world. He has sent experienced Buddhist Monks and lay Buddhists overseas to share Buddhist knowledge and Meditation. The first Dhammakaya centre in Australia was established in Sydney in 1998 and then Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth. The work in Albury commenced with a very humble beginning in an abandoned Temple located in South Albury. The Temple relocated to a temporary premises that were generously offered by Aisha Flow Yoga while the team searched for a permanent home.

“I feel very proud that we carefully selected the best place to offer to the Buddha to be our Buddhist Temple. Our Temple building might not be so magnificent but for the beauty of the surrounding view, which would be hard to find elsewhere.” Said Phra Satit

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The permanent place at 302 East Street, East Albury has a converted a triple garage as a meditation room which will allow for up to 30 people on a Sunday and also acts as a residence for the Buddhist Monks. The regular Sunday service operated for the first time at its new home on the 26th July 2015. Apart from regular Sunday services the Temple has been able to offer accommodation to travelling Buddhist Monks who sometimes come to provide Buddhist services in this city. There are also some other services that the Temple is able to offer to the community here when needed, such as funeral services.

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Dhammakaya Meditation Centre Albury or Wat Phra Dhammakaya Albury in Thai (Wat translates in English as Buddhist Temple) is the only Dhammakaya centre in regional cities across Australia. All other centres are in the capital city of each state and mostly accommodate Thai communities while Wat Phra Dhammakaya Albury aims to reach all local people. So the service here uses English as the main communication language. The centre has been well supported accommodating local audiences.

Australian Buddhists are aware that there are many traditions of Buddhist schools and that they all practice differently. However, Buddhism has been well recognised as one of the most peaceful religious no matter which school they are.

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What is Dhammakaya? Dhammakaya is a Pali word meaning “body of Dhamma” or the Enlightened body. Wat Phra Dhammakaya using this name as the aim for practicing meditation to attend the Dhammakaya. You could notice every temple has their own name related to the Buddha or Dhamma or Sangha which are the triple gems of Buddhism (the Dhamma being the teachings and the Sangha representing the monastic followers)

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The word Dhammakaya that you might come across on the internet or mass media mostly means the Dhammakaya Temple. Dhammakaya Temple is a Thai Theravada Buddhist Temple. The Temple operation is very organised and has a million dedicated followers. The Temple has faced many criticisms in past years. Even though negative news has been mentioned in the Thai mass media, the Dhammakaya followers still continue to attend their Temple. It demonstrates that the message the people who visit the temple experience and understand must be different from that which is represented in some of the media.

Dhammakaya Chapel

Phra Satit Thitadhammo the teaching monk at Dhammakaya Meditation Centre Albury shared the experience that he first came to the Dhammakaya Temple, Thailand when he was only two years old in 1979 with his mother. His father passed away even before he was one. His mother brought him up alone with financial assistance from relatives and her own work. So he confirms that you don’t need to be rich to come to the Temple, rather you need to be good, to come to the Temple. He and his Mother were picked up every week by a good friend, who went to the Temple every Sunday. At that time the Temple was small and located on 71 acres of land. The number of people attending ranged from a several hundred to a few thousand on some special occasions. The activities at the Temple were mostly chanting, meditating and listening to the Dhamma talk. People donate within their capacity and some of the younger generation do volunteer work at the Temple.

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“What I saw at that time was that people who were taught at the Temple and followed the Dhamma in an effort to keep their life on the right path were very happy. With the leadership provided by Phrathepyanmahamuni they were confident that they could share the same happiness with more people. They then found that larger facilities with bigger capacities were needed so they were happy to support the growth that allowed the Temple to grow rapidly.” Said Phra Satit.

The word “wealth” is often confused in Buddhism and perhaps with people who are interested in the Buddhist concept, however to make it clear we can look at the opposite word which is “poverty”. Poverty (daliddiya) is in no place praised or encouraged in Buddhism. The Buddha said, “Poverty is a suffering in the world for a layman.” He also said, “Woeful in the world is poverty and debt” (A.III.350,352). Though monks should be contented and have few wishes, poverty is never encouraged, even for the Monks.,

The main point is that wealth in itself is not to be praised or blamed, the importance is the way one acquires and uses it.

The advice about wealth is listed below:

Mundane

  1. Seeking wealth lawfully and unarbitrarily.
  2. Making oneself happy and cheerful.
  3. Sharing with others and doing meritorious deeds.

Trans mundane.

  1. Making use of one’s wealth without greed and longing, without infatuation, heedful of danger and possessed of the insight that sustains spiritual freedom.

(*from Ethics, Wealth, and Salvation R.F. Sizemore 1989 p.45)

So wealth can be wishful for lay Buddhists as long as they acquire and use it correctly. That does not contradict the practice. The more you have, means the more you can share with others as well.

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Rather than make this article too long, the Dhammakaya Temple in Albury is here and open each Sunday at 10.00am for anyone to come and see for themselves what we teach and what we practice.

 

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The 5th Anniversary

The 5th Anniversary on Sunday 29th November 2015 will be another significant milestone for the Buddhist Centre in Albury (Dhammakaya Meditation Centre Albury) when things are all in place. They bought the permanent place on a beautiful mountain view site in East Albury last year. The place has been developed to meet the council requirement to be a place of public worship capable to accommodate 30 people for the Sunday service.  The service started soon after they had the approval by the end of July 2015. A part from servicing people locally, the centre also welcome visitors from big cities like Sydney and Melbourne who are very impressed with the peaceful environment and friendly community in Albury.

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The celebration expect to get the usual interest from main stream media which will be a great spark to raise awareness to the community that the centre is now opened and welcome the public to experience the Buddhist practice on Sunday at their permanent place.

Bodhi tree transplantation

Bodhi tree transplantation last time was 3 years ago in South Albury

The celebration highlights are VDO presentation of the work in the past 5 years, Bodhi tree transplantation, Fundraising for the Air-condition system of the meditation room (Robe offering). Thai lunch will be served to all participant with compliment from Aloy Thai Restaurant, Shepparton, VIC and other Thai members.

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The 5th Anniversary Celebration

Venue: 302 East Street, East Albury NSW 2640

Program

9.30     Registration

10.00   Welcoming Speech (MC)

10.10   5th Anniversary Remarked by Phra Satit

10.15   5th Anniversary VDO Presentation

10.25   5th Anniversary Reflection from Supporters

10.45   Meditation

10.55   Buddhist ceremony

11.15   Blessing

11.20   Bodhi tree transplantation

11.30   Compliment Lunch

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Enquiry call Barry 0459 727 316

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1001307106593893/

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Free Meditation Class

The Most Venerable Phra Thepyanmahamuni

The Most Venerable Phra Thepyanmahamuni

This coming Thursday, 27th August marked the 47th anniversary of The Most Venerable Phra Thepyanmahamuni’s (the Dhammakaya Temple’s Abbot) ordination. We call this day Dhammachai Day. For this occasion, the Dhammakaya Meditation Centre, Albury will be providing a free meditation class for a whole day, every one hour starting from 10am till 7pm.

Brisbane One Day Meditation Course

You are invited to join this event held at 302 East Street, East Albury.

The program for the 1 hr of each session includes:

Introduction to Dhammakaya Meditation

Meditation Guide (English)

Q&A

Tea/Coffee

Except at 4.00pm, the meditation will be guided in Thai broadcasting live from the World Dhammakaya Centre, Thailand.

For further information please e-mail to psatit@live.com.au or call 0411 453 946

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Welcome to our new home

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Since the last Sunday services in September last year (2014) at our temporary home which was generously provided by AISHA FLOW YOGA. Our Buddhist community have been in the transition of settle the new home. Our teaching monk, Phra Satit Thitadhammo has been planning and working for the new place since January 2014. We had took slow steps but stable and secure. We minimise all the risk for the future with our experience in managing Buddhist organisation. The good planning also allow us to reduce cost of setting up the new place and our running cost in the future. The convenience access to the services was one of our priority when we was seeking for the new home. It was a fortune that we had got all the options that we was seeking for convenience access, beautiful of the nature, the large size of the land and the existing building that be able to turn to a good size meditation room. Essentially it was in the town planning zone that can officially permitted to be a Buddhist temple.

Right now all the hard work has been done, we are gladly to announce that our new home for Buddhist community in Albury is now due to open door. The first Sunday service will be this Sunday 26th July 2015 10.00-12.30 it is not the official opening, we call “Welcome to our new home” All new and regular comer are welcome. The internal facility and decoration of the meditation room is not 100% finish at this stage. But we have been waiting to meet each other for too long so we better get the soonest possible to come to meet.

10.00 Meditation
10.30 Dhamma talks
11.10 Requesting Five Precepts
11.15 Food Offering to Monks
11.20 Receive Blessing
11.30 Having Lunch

What to bring?

For regular comers would normally bring some food to offer to the Buddhist Monks and share for lunch.
How about the dressing?
Coming to the temple, it is best to remind ourselves that we come to practice so dressing politely in white is suggested however for coming the first time we would not mind as we know you might not have time to prepare.

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