Featured post

Weigh-in time!

We are more than half way through November and I have not written a blog post. Life goes on as usual: Mondays and Tuesdays I teach dance. W...

About Me

My photo
I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia. You might enjoy my books - The Dagger of Dresnia, the first book of the Talismans Trilogy, is available at all good online book shops. Book two, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available again shortly. Book three, The Seer of Syland, is in preparation. I trained in piano and singing at the NSW Conservatorium of Music. I also trained in dance (Scully-Borovansky, WAAPA) and drama (NIDA). Since 1987 I have been writing reviews of performances in all genres for a variety of publications, including Music Maker, ArtsWest, Dance Australia, The Australian and others. Now semi-retired, I still write occasionally for the ArtsHub website, and I still teach dance at Trinity School for Seniors, an outreach program of the Uniting Church in Perth.

My books

The first novel of my trilogy, The Talismans, is available as an e-book from Smashwords, Amazon and other online sellers. I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $AU25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. Book two of the trilogy, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available again shortly. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

Buy The Talismans

The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. Book one, The Dagger of Dresnia, is up on the usual bookselling web sites as an e-book, and I have a few hard copies to sell to those who prefer Real Paper. Book Two, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available soon. The easiest way to contact me is via Facebook.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Dagger of Dresnia
Want a copy? Contact me at satimafn(at)gmail.com

The Cloak of Challiver

The Cloak of Challiver
Available again as an ebook soon!

Mythic Resonance

Buy Mythic Resonance

Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

Follow me on Twitter

Share a link on Twitter

Follow by Email

My Blog List

Blog Archive

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've Lived - Sydney

Places I've Lived - Sydney
Sydney Conservatorium - my old school

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
Blue Lake

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
From Kings Park

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
From Kings Park

Inner Peace Blog

Inner Peace Blog
Awarded by Joanna Fay. Click on the image to visit her lovely website!

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award
Awarded by Kim Falconer. Click on the pic to check out her Quantum Astrology blog!

Fabulous Blog Award

Fabulous Blog Award
Awarded by Kathryn Warner. Click on the pic to check out her Edward II blog!

Search This Blog

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Buddhists confer #2

The Venerable Robina Courtin, one of the many fine speakers at the conference
So, at last a round-up of day two of the Global Buddhist Conference, held in Perth over the weekend of August 8-9, 2015.

Once again, the audience was challenged and entertained by a variety of speakers. Unfortunately, public transport could not get me there early enough to hear the first session, in which Peter Fitzpatrick, Dr Eng Kong Tan, Dr Chien Hoong Gooi discussed depression and suicide, topics that touch many of us personally or tangentially.

The second session, Buddhist Journeys, involved Lhakpa Tsamchoe, Sarah Napthali, Bikkhu Buddharakkhita and Ven Miao You. If you saw the film ‘Seven Years in Tibet’ you will know the actress Lhakpa Tsamchoe, who spoke cheerfully and confidently about her journey. As a Tibetan layperson, her spiritual practice was entirely devotional, and it’s only in the last few years that she has started to meditate. However, she made up for the late start by undertaking a three year retreat, after training in the Goenka method of meditation practice. She showed us many fascinating slides of her career. It was almost a travelogue, showing us scenes from the USA as well as Tibet and India.

Sarah Napthali talked about emotional honesty and authenticity. These are hard lessons for all of us, and many of us do not learn them until mid-life, if we learn them at all. She learnt to meditate in order to cope with a difficult workplace. She learnt to judge her day by considering how much she remained in the present moment, rather than by how much she achieved.

The Venerable Miao You spoke on her transformation from corporate woman to Buddhist nun. At work she was known as ‘the dragon lady’ and freely admits that she is by nature a control freak who never said ‘sorry’. After a close shave in an accident she took counsel from a psychologist, who helped her to learn mindfulness through cognitive behavioural therapy.  She realised that the practice of the six paramitas – generosity, morality, tolerance, energy, contemplation and insight – was a key factor in learning to live a wholesome life.

Bikkhu Buddharakkhita from Uganda had a conflicted path into Buddhism. Brought up as Roman Catholic, he only arrived at Buddhism after a journey through Bahai, born-again Christianity and Hinduism. He met the Dalai Lama, and like many who have met this amazing man, was deeply touched by his presence. He first encountered Buddhism in 1990 while living in India and was ordained at the Tathagata Meditation Center in California. I was very interested to learn that he spent eight years at the Bhavana Society, West Virginia, since I also went there in 1995 to study meditation under Bhante Gunaratana. (Believe it or not, I was seriously considering taking robes myself, but quickly realised that I did not have anything like the necessary degree of humility!) Bikkhu Buddharakkhita has also spent time at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, where I worked for over a year as their registrar. He has founded a monastery in Uganda.

The third session was fascinating. Dhammaruwan (who, like Bikkhu Buddharakkhita, has 'done time' at IMS and the Bhavana Centre) Dennis Sheppard, Prof Bernard Carr and Ajahn Brahm spoke on ‘past lives, hypnosis and psychic phenomena’.  Sheppard pointed out that while hypnosis involves dissociation, meditation requires  unification. Professor Carr, who studied under Stephen Hawking at Cambridge, spoke on the interface of science and Buddhism. They both, he said, involve the mind, and psychic phenomena link the two. The panel agreed that psychical research is the scientific study of unexplained interactions between mind and matter. Certainly many serious meditators report psychic phenomena arising spontaneously in their practice.

The final session of the conference involved Ajahn Brahmali, Ajahn Brahm and all the speakers with a final short concert from the Laura Bernay Jazz Ensemble! Ajahn Brahmali gave us a quick resume of the conference and its theme, with particular reference to the concept of ‘robots with consciousness!  And, of course, the necessity to continually refer back to the basic teachings of the Buddha.

Whew! Congrats to any non-Buddhists who've made it through to the end!

0 comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...