Activities of Amitabha Buddhist Association of NSW
Updated: May 4, 2021
Since the end of World War II, many people from around the world have dedicated enormous time, energy, and resources to the realisation of peace. Yet peace remains elusive. Many people nowadays believe that war is the means to peace and the solution to world problems. In the post September 11th era, we see that terrorists wage a different type of warfare in the name of revenge, resulting in many living in the perpetual fear. When we observe world affairs as a whole, we notice that poverty is on the rise, more people are filled with anger and frustration; the belligerence of powerful states increase; and natural and man-made disasters increasingly occur. Humans today seem to walk on a path of uncertainty and difficulty. Our world today is full of turmoil and unrest and many people have lost confidence in reaching the ideal of peace.
Following the study of teachings by saints and sages, we deeply believe that our living environment and our whole universe of existence are inherently harmonious, as are all beings on Earth. Human minds are born pure and kind. All thoughts and deeds of evil are the unfortunate products of contamination by the external world after birth.
The essence of Confucianism and Buddhism emphasise that the intrinsic nature of human being is full of pure kindness. We truly believe that self cultivation is the foundation, while teaching is our priority. The teaching seek to change the world with compassion and universal love by transforming evil to good, enemies to friends, lost to awakened, and ordinary people to saints and sages. We could resolve conflicts and restore peace by facilitating the teachings of the saints and sages. With the teaching of morality, compassion, and universal love for all, we can truly achieve peace and resolve conflicts.
To promote multi-culturalism and racial harmony within the community by organising cultural activities for the general members of the public, this encourages the general public to take an interest in civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the community.
To foster a mutual understanding among people of the various communities, by encouraging participation in regular gatherings to exchange and promote ideas of multiculturalism and inter-racial harmony within the community, this provides a forum for open discussion of matters of mutual interests, exchange of information and general development to the community.
To provide learning opportunities to members of the public by organising learning modules, such as language schools and moral education, this helps promote Chinese culture, education and ethics to benefit the general community.
As such, the Association have been carrying the following existing activities (free to the general public) in close two decades period in Sydney:
Library The Association’s library opens 365 days, offering free moral education books and Buddhism books, CDs and DVDs. The library also has an extensive collection of Buddhist sutras and hundreds of CDs and DVDs for morality study and self-cultivation. The education materials are in English, Mandarin and Vietnamese languages to cater for the communities. Normal week days are very much quieter but can at times be very busy. The daily number of volunteers are averaging about 6 people. Their work involves providing librarian services to the general public from our communities and sorting out books and packaging for distributions to other centres or interstate offices.
Community Events Each year the Association actively participate in Chinese New Year Celebration Festivals and other multi-cultural celebration events by setting up stalls in the CBD areas of suburbs such as Chatswood, Burwood, Parramatta, Bankstown and Campbelltown etc. to offer free moral education books and Buddhism books, CDs and DVDs.
Buddhism Chanting service Saturday & Sunday – The activities includes listening recorded Dharma talk from our Master and chanting service. Over 70 % of the attendees are from the neighborhood suburbs with diverse culture backgrounds.
Thrice Yearning and Chanting Service The Association normally conduct twice a year, each 3 days “Thrice Yearning and Chanting Service” in April and October. The aim of the Service is to pray for those who passed away on their journey to Nirvana and leave behind their cycles of karma period and to pray for world peace and reduction of disasters. In recent years, we have added one more such a service in December/January in response of the great need from our communities. Prior to the beginning of the Thrice Yearning and Chanting Service, there will be a week or two weeks of Dharma talk retreat conducted by some leading Reverend send from Brisbane/Taiwan/Other overseas countries, such as Indonesia.
Classes There are occasional Dharma teaching by visiting Sangha/Teachers. The Association provides teaching ethics classes for the children and parents in the weekends. The number of classes depend on the enrolment and normally not greater than 4 classes of about 2 hours in the weekends. Di Zi Gui (English translation is The Standard for Being a Good Student and Child or Guide to a Happy Life) has integrated the essence of five-thousand years of Chinese family education focusing on the following virtues: filial piety, fraternal love, loyalty, trustworthiness, courtesy, honour, honesty, love, compassion, harmony and equality. Di Zi Gui is one of the foundations of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism and the critical base for all the ethics and virtues. It is designed for people from various cultural backgrounds to learn from the ancient saints and sages, and to learn how to become a good citizen by following the Guidelines for Being a Good Person.
Weekly Buddhism/Confucianism Scripture Class in some of NSW public schools, such as Georges Hall Primary School (history of more than 10 years).
Chaplaincy service Started by the late Chairperson Mr Graeme Lyall, our Association provide chaplaincy services regularly to some prisons locally.
Community support service - To support the elderly and those with poor health such as interpreting services, phone calls to check on wellbeing; - To provide prayer services to the elderly and those who are going through the last stage of their lives for a peaceful ending and the journey to Nirvana.
Dharma instrument training We provide Dharma instrument training to people who have interest in learning regularly.