NSW: Mitra Conference 2019

Mitra Conference LogoThe 2019 Mitra Buddhist Conference will run from 30 November to 1 December at the University of Technology Sydney, Chippendale campus.

Spirituality is a term usually associated with a separation from the bustle of community engagement. When we think of spirituality, our current perspective of the term leads us to a concept of coming back to nature and the environment outside of the city, campus, or workplace and being away from others. However, spirituality can be found even while communicating with other people, and is just as important in our daily lives as logic and reasoning. This applies to social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Come and join us as we discover what it means to be socially engaged, but remain spiritually aware.

Speakers include: Dr. Eng Kong Tan, Ven. Bhante Suddhaso, Ven. Bhante Pandit, Ven. Bhante Buddharakkhita, Acharya Andrew Williams and more…

Morning tea and lunch included.


Mitra Conference Speakers


Keynote 1: Current Disharmony and Solutions: A Buddhist Perspective

Ven. Bhante Buddharakkhita

The modern world is plagued with various disharmonies from every nook and corner. There are numerous disharmonies in the world. However, they can be divided into a few categories in order to underpin their causes. To name a few, political disharmony such as civil wars are caused by different mental defilements, political ideologies and agendas. Socio-economic disharmony such as family disputes and crimes are caused by mental defilements and economic insufficiency. Religious disharmony is due to wrong views, fundamentalism and conflicting world views and internal disharmony are due to conflicting interests and mental impurities. Drawing from the Pāli canon, commentaries and other Buddhist literary works, this talk explores the Buddhist solutions to the causes of disharmony in the current world.

Keynote 2: Engagment with Fearlessness and Tenderness

Ven. BomHyon Sunim

Buddhism teaches us that life is precious. If we wish to use our limited time on earth to create a truly meaningful existence there is no better foundation than the Dharma, the teachings of the Buddha. The first Noble Truth tells us that life is suffering. Karmic patterns are created by the struggles of the human predicament, that condition the behaviour of the individual and the subsequent rounds of birth and rebirth. But this karmic inheritance is also experienced as social and collective consequences. Specific to time and place, different cultures arise, whether of a group, a community, social class or civilisation; or a global community as we experience today. The great web of life is in constant motion, held in a vast network of light-reflecting jewels in a seamless relationship of interdependence, karma rising at points where time and space intersect. These intersections mark the coming and going of all things: continents, oceans, planets, universes, great ideas and civilisations -for these too, suffer the rounds of birth and rebirth, revolution and stability. In the turning of the Dharma Wheel the Buddha shows us a path of release from the round of rebirths – karmic imprints fading like the melting morning dew. Today, we are engaged in another great turning, one which calls our hearts to bear witness to the deep collective suffering of this world – the suffering of all beings and the planet itself.

Keynote 3: Love is the Presence of Justice

Ven. Ayya Yeshe

The unprecedented challenge of living in the age of climate crisis

The transition from a culture of dominance and profit to a culture of nurturance and justice is the transition we need to make if we are to save the planet and truly reach inner wholeness. We meditate to see the truth, and once we see the truth, we must act. This is why spirituality must include a social justice aspect – because justice is how love looks in public. How do we embody justice, practice joyfully and authentically and have peace and self-care in such challenging times?

Keynote 4: My Mind’s Such a Sweet Thing

Ven. Bhante Pandit

In this session, we will gain an insight into what is the path, and what is not the path, and how it changes the context of life in the world. We will be surprised to discovery that with training and proper guidance, the practice of mind training is quite simple and it gets easier.

Keynote 5: The Root of the Problem

Ven. Bhante Suddhāso

When faced with pandemic social problems, it’s easy to get caught up in treating the symptoms rather than the causes. Ven. Bhante Suddhāso will explain how to get to the root of the problem – both in the external world and in the depths of our own minds.

Keynote 6: Spiritual Therapies Enhancing Social Awareness

Dr. Eng-Kong Tan

What brings about social well-being? It begins with improved interpersonal relating skills.

From Buddhism, cultivating the Four Immeasurables is the basis of first intrapersonal and then interpersonal relating. Loving-kindness, metta, is the antidote to ill-will, compassion, karuna, to cruelty, altruistic joy, mudita to despair and equanimity, upekkha to chaos.

Western psychology today offers psychotherapy based on the bonding between a caregiver and a child as the metta medicine. Compassion-focused therapies are spreading well, especially self compassion. Positive psychotherapy is the newest form of therapy and it emphasises the pleasant, good and meaningful joyful life. Emotional regulation has become a centrepiece in the treatment of a whole range of disorders and is similar to the cultivation of equanimity in its initial aim for calm.

Both healing traditions of Buddhism and Psychotherapy intersect in their contributions to peace and contentment from the home to the workplace, society and finally, the world.

Keynote 7: Equality & Equal Opportunity are Essential

Acharya Andrew Williams

Equality and equal opportunity for all are essential to a peaceful and harmonious environment, both individually and collectively. However, it is important to note that equality and equal opportunity, like everything, begin in the mind of the individual. For us all to have peaceful and harmonious homes, communities, regions, countries and the whole world, all people need to have equal opportunity to have access to the essentials in life, for there to be equality everywhere, all of the time. Everyone has the basic right to have clean air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat and sufficient shelter to protect us from the elements. We all have the right to have equal opportunity in regards to education, medical assistance, work, transport and the like, as well as to have freedom of thought, speech and action, and the right to live. It is life that all people treasure the most. Knowing this, how can we harm each other or deprive each other of the basic and essential rights and freedoms? Inequality breeds frustration, confusion and conflict, whilst equality breeds contentment, peace and understanding. So let’s create and maintain a mind, as well as homes, communities, regions, countries and a world of equality and equal opportunity for all, and a peaceful and harmonious environment for us all to live in. While we know all of these in theory, the question is how do we apply these to our lives? We will inquire and explore the answer(s) together in this session.

Event Details

Program: Mitra Conference 2019 presented by by Mitra Youth Buddhist Network
Date: Sat., 30/11/2019, 9:00 am – Sun., 01/12/2019, 4:30 pm AEDT
Location: Guthrie Theatre, Building 6, University of Technology Sydney,
Address: 702 Harris Street, Sydney, New South Wales 2007
Tickets: Tickets include access to all talks, workshops, a vegetarian lunch box, morning and afternoon tea.
Two Day : $95
One Day : $75
Concession Two Day : $65
Concession One Day : $45
Benefactor: $120
No Charge for Monastics Attendees
Bookings: Online at Eventbrite


Mitra Conference 2019


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