: Meditation Matters": a Joint initiative with the Buddhist Council of Victoria (7 August, 2011)
"Mediation Matters" was a joint initiative of the Buddhist Council of Victoria Interfaith with a number of other faith communities, including the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.
Meditation Matters was a one day, multi-faith collaboration of 15 renowned presenters sharing their insights and knowledge on meditation. It took place at the Prince Philip Theatre at Melbourne University on Sunday, August 7th, 2011.
This free event was supported by the Victorian Multicultural Commission. It was an unforgettable and rewarding experience in meditation.
From the Buddhist Council of Victoria December 2011 newsletter:
The concept was that people of different faiths should come together over the course of the day to share their meditation practices. The event was booked out early, with over 200 people attending.
The brochure stated: “This event will be an unforgettable and rewarding experience in the meditation of different faiths. Prepare to immerse yourself in vast cultural and faith diversity.” – and this is indeed what happened. The day started with a plenary where three speakers explained the benefits of meditation:
• Dr Craig Hassed from Monash University spoke on the clearly proven medical benefits;
• Mr Chris Morris from the Catholic Education Office, Melbourne spoke on the educational benefits in stilling the minds of students so that they can become more focussed and peaceful;
• Dr Jo-Anne Hughson spoke on the spiritual benefits in bringing people to their truth.
After morning tea there were four elective sessions where meditation was presented from different perspectives: Buddhist Mindfulness, Christian Meditation, Zen, and Krishna-consciousness.
A generous lunch of hot food, sandwiches and fruit was provided in the foyer, as well as morning and afternoon tea with coffee and biscuits. These meal breaks provided an opportunity for guests and speakers to mingle and continue sharing ideas. Thanks to Jessiee, Jamel, Nga and Sardini for organising the meals.
A further four electives were offered after lunch on Burmese Vipassana, Aboriginal meditation (with Uncle Reg Blow), Jewish meditation and the Shivayoga approach to Meditation.
Fr John Dupuche spoke about ‘interfaith meditation’ as a new and powerful form of meditation. ‘This gathering of people from vastly different traditions must
enter into a depth beyond words, into the paradox of diversity, communing together in a peace and truth which might otherwise not be perceived. Such meditative communion involves fullness and emptiness, freedom and intense bliss’.
Other speakers included Amanda Sinclair, Philip Collins, Anja Tanhane, Bhakta Dasa, Sayadaw Ashin Zanita, Gabbi Sar-Shalom and Yogini Sri Sharvani who all shared their insight, experience and knowledge on meditation. In the closing plenary Ms. Jamel Kaur spoke from the Sikh perspective, and Nivedita Chaitanya spoke about meditation from a Vedanta perspective.
All in all, the day was highly successful and most insightful. This is the first time that The Buddhist Council of Victoria and other faiths have come together to organise such an event, and we hope it’s not the last.
Programme, Photos and Downloadable Recordings