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Buddhist Summer School '99

January 9-14, 1999
University College
University of Melbourne
College Crescent, Parkville
Melbourne, Australia

Presented by Kagyu E-Vam Buddhist Institute

 

INTRODUCTION

A rich tapestry of traditions and practices has been woven by various Asian cultures around the essence of the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, who lived 2,500 years ago. The enduring nature of Buddhism is symptomatic of its purity and integrity as a spiritual discipline and remains contemporary in its methods of self development. Over the past several decades, Westerners have begun to learn from and participate in this diversity and essence.

As part of its commitment to disseminate the Buddhist teachings, Kagyu E-Vam Buddhist Institute conducts the annual Buddhist Summer School as a vehicle of inquiry and learning. The popularity of the Buddhist Summer School is a mark of the developing range and depth of interest in Buddhism among Australians. This is reflected in enrollments of over 20,000 since the inception of the event in 1984. In acknowledgment of this, we continue to host distinguished Buddhist scholars and teachers from around Australia and overseas. In this sixteenth Buddhist Summer School, a stimulating variety of courses in both theoretical and experiential Buddhism is offered, as well as meditation instruction based on a number of traditions.

Course 1
SUDDEN AND GRADUAL APPROACHES TO ENLIGHTENMENT

Venerable Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche

This course will investigate the two approaches to enlightenment—whether it is achieved in a sudden way or as a gradual process. The different approaches of Buddhism reflect the diversity of its methodology and yet those differences do not necessarily suggest any contradiction. Whether enlightenment is spontaneous or progressive has been the cause of much misunderstanding and debate over the centuries. This course will explore the differences between sudden and gradual perspectives and how relevant the concepts are to each other.

The Venerable Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche has undergone rigorous scholastic and meditative training under various Tibetan Kagyu and Nyingma masters in India. He has been a resident of Australia since 1980 and has traveled extensively in the USA, SE Asia and Europe conducting lectures and courses. Rinpoche is the President and Spiritual Director of Kagyu E yam Buddhist Institute.

Course 2
CONTEMPORARY ZEN

Geoff Dawson

Zen is an age old practice which has flourished and survived across many cultures. It essentially stays the same but the form changes to adapt to the life and times of the host culture.

In affluent hi-tech industrial cultures like our own, we are faced with life problems that bring their own peculiar dissatisfactions and anxieties—loss of identity, low self-esteem, loss of a sense of belonging, family break down, less certainty about social roles and ethical codes of behavior. We also face a vast array of therapies and spiritual practices to choose from to find a solution.

What is essential to Zen practice that stays the same is the practice of living in the present. Not living a life through an intellectual lens or through a narrow identification with 'my' emotions, but experiencing life directly and honestly through moment to moment experience without avoiding or clinging to anything. This is at once simple and yet difficult and requires commitment to practice before the fruits of love, joy and peace emerge.
This workshop will explore how Zen practice can be applied to modern times with a particular emphasis on exploring mind/body integration. The first day of this weekend workshop will be lectures and discussion. The second day will be a full day of sitting meditation with private interviews available to discuss personal aspects of practice.

Geoff Dawson is a Zen teacher with the Ordinary Mind Zen School founded by Charlotte Beck of the Zen Center of San Diego. He has practiced Zen for over 20 years and has conducted meditation intensives for many years in Australia. He works as a psychologist in private practice at the Metta Clinic in Sydney and has a particular interest in Buddhism and Psychotherapy.

Course 3A
LIVING IN THE FACE OF DEATH

Glenn H. Mullin

In Tibetan Buddhism death awareness is taught as a key to enhanced living. The Kadampa lames used to say, "Forget death in the morning, the day will fall to waste." Meditation on the natural life processes was seen as pivotal to life understanding and hence to transcendence. The course will incorporate both the sutric and tantric perspectives of death.

Course 3B
THE FOUR DIAMOND BLADES OF TANTRIC PRESENCE

Glenn H. Mullin

Tibetan Buddhism is essentially tantric in nature. Over the centuries the lames have taught numerous methods for achieving heightened awareness through tantric application. One of these methods, that draws in all the tantric teachings, is known as "The Four Diamond Blades," for it places the tantric yogas within four basic applications. This course will teach the student how to take advantage of the dynamic tantric methods and make a spiritual quantum leap into the self liberating sphere of being.

  • Attuning ego-awareness to the natural cosmic flow (Diamond Blade 1).
  • Light, emptiness and primordial warmth (Diamond Blade 2-4).

Glenn H Mullin trained in Tibetan Buddhism in the Himalayas for 12 years, from 1972 to 1984. He has published fifteen books on Tibetan Buddhist topics including "Tsongkhapa's Six Yogas of Naropa", "Readings on the Six Yogas of Naropa", "The Practice of Kalachakra", and “Training the Mind on the Great Way”. A half-dozen of his titles are on lives and works of the early Dalai Lamas, including "The First Dalai Lama: Bridging the Sutras and Tantras", "The Second Dalai Lama: The Tantric Yogas of Sister Niguma", etc..). He began teaching Buddhist philosophy and practice in 1985, and since then has conducted lectures, workshops and retreats extensively throughout the US and Europe. This is his second teaching tour in Australia.

Course 4
MYTH, METAPHOR AND MEDITATION

Venerable Tejadhammo Bhikku

Early Buddhism is rich in myth, mythic structures and metaphors which are often overlooked or poorly understood. This course will present some of the most significant myths surrounding the Buddha and attempt to show how they might approached in a practical and profitable way for understanding and practice. Metaphor is a powerful teaching tool often employed by the Buddha but frequently misunderstood and sometimes literalised. Exploring and understanding these metaphors can open new doors to the path of practice. This course offers an opportunity to deepen your understanding of the teaching of the Buddha and to situate this understanding in the context of meditation practices. There will be ample time for both input and guided meditation practice. All texts will be provided.

Venerable Tejadhammo Bhikku is a Buddhist monk who apart from the usual teachings and retreat activities of a monk, works with people who are seriously ill in various hospitals, hospices and their homes in and around Sydney. Bhante has studied and taught in Thai Universities and jails. He is resident teacher for the Association of Engaged Buddhists at Sangha Lodge, a group of lay Buddhists committed to putting the Dhamma into action within the wider community. Bhante considers the Dhamma to be larger than any particular school, tradition or sect, and although ordained in the Theravada tradition has also received teachings in Mahayana and Vajrayana.

Course 5
THE WAYS OF KOREAN ZEN

Chi Kwang Sunim

Though there are many, all methods and ways point to how we conduct our daily lives and respect the relationship of one another. The formal practices of Zen meditation, calligraphy, tea ceremony and Buddhist studies are ceremonies to enrich our clarity and care of life. Moments of awareness where the breath breathes through the hand that embraces the cup, or when we dissolve into the sound of water dripping into a tea bowl, while an unfamiliar fragrance of tea penetrates all space and time. In this way Zen meditation and Zen arts bring a new appreciation to ordinary daily activities and renew clarity and awareness that makes the path to enlightenment a joy.

Chi Kwang Sunim is an Australian born nun belonging to the Korean tradition of Buddhism. After an early interest in Theravadin Buddhism and helping in the establishment of Wat Buddha Dhamma, she was inspired to go to Korea and ordain under he Zen master San Sunim. Over the next 19 years Chi Kwang Sunim studied in the traditional training schools in meditation, sutra studies, ceremonies and welfare work, as well as partaking in the various meditation retreats either in solitary or with others.

Course 6
THE PURELAND OF AMITA BUDDHA

Venerable Thich Phuoc Tam

Negative karma or unwholesome action has the power to force sentient beings to remain continuously in the wheel of reincarnation. Hence, a lot of effort has been sacrificed for practice that might not always ensure an entrance into Nirvana during life or at the moment of death. A tiny negative karmic action is enough to bring one back to this samsaric world again and again. Because of this, Amita Buddha, out of compassion, created the Ultimate Bliss Pureland to assist the practitioner to take refuge in order to complete the long journey without any involuntary return to the world of samsara. Pureland is one of the most popular practices of Buddhists in East Asia because of its simple technique and promising results. It is a technique that suits both the beginner and the advanced practitioner.

Venerable Thic Phuoc Tam has been Abbot of Quang Mingh Temple in Braybrook, Melbourne since 1997. He came to Australia in 1981 as a refugee. Late in that same year he took Seminary Precepts with the most yen. Thich Phuoc Hue at his temple in Sydney. In 1990 he was sent to France where he received his full ordination Bikkshu precepts in Lyon. Venerable Thich Phuoc Tam speaks fluent English.

Course 7
THE FETTERS THAT BIND THE INSIGHTS THAT FREE
Dharmachari Anagarika Buddhadasa

The spiritual life is a process of individual growth and transformation. This course is an exploration of the conditions required to reach the crucial but realizable 'Point of No Return' beyond which there is no possibility of regression and eventual Enlightenment is guaranteed.
Four talks with discussion:
1. The Fetter of Fixed Personality View.
2. The Fetter of Doubt.
3. The Fetter of Dependence on Social Customs and Conventional Morality.
4. The Ten Ornaments of a Buddhist.

Dharmachari Anagarika Buddhadasa (Hugh Evans) was ordained into the Western Buddhist Order in 1972 ,and is currently director of the Melbourne Buddhist Center which is also part of the world wide Buddhist movement known as the FWBO or Friends of the Western Buddhist Order. Buddhadasa has run courses on Buddhist Meditation and Dharma practice in Europe, the US and Australasia and is particularly concerned to communicate the Universal Message of the Buddha in ways acceptable to those living in the modern West.

Course 8A
HOW TO PRACTICE ALL THE BUDDHIST YANAS (VEHICLES) Laurence Mills

This course will emphasize the salient characteristic of each Buddhist vehicle and show how they can combined into a harmonious whole Rather the emphasizing the differences from sectarian points of view, as some scholars have done, this course will show that the Dharma can best be practiced when its many aspects are viewed positively.

Course 8B
THE HEART OF PERFECT WISDOM (HEART SUTRA EXPLAINED)

Laurence Mills

These talks will be directed to learning by heart this famous sutra—in English translation—and thoroughly exploring its meanings. The Heart Sutra is so condensed that it needs expanding to bring out its liberating message. Though it seems to have a number of paradoxical statements, this course will examine them to make the meaning clear.

Laurence Mills (formerly known as Phra Khantipalo) who was a Buddhist Theravada monk from 1959 to 1991, was born in Britain in 1932 During the period between 1961 to 1972 Laurence was resident in Thailand received teachings from many forest meditation teachers. In 1973 he traveled to Australia and helped found the first Buddhist temple in Sydney as well as Wat Buddha Dhamma Forest Meditation Center. In 1991 Laurence decided to give back his monastic robes and as a student of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu he has continued to actively teach Buddhism

FORUMS
The forums are held at the beginning and end of the Buddhist Summer School: 9am -10.30am on Saturday 9th January, and at 4pm to 5.30pm on Thursday 14th January.

A forum, as a situation where a variety of views can be presented, offers a rare opportunity for participants to teach and to learn from each other. Because of the success of previous years, we are again conducting forums at the beginning and at the close of the Buddhist Summer School '99. Teachers involved in the Summer School will take part in the discussions and will encourage audience participation.

These events are free of charge and are not restricted to those who have enrolled in the School, but are open to all.

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Copyright and disclaimer
Created: September 18, 2005
Last Updated: June 29, 2005
Authorised by: Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche