Living through Impermanence:
Ageing, Illness, Dying and Death

“The first Noble Truth of Buddhism states that life is unsatisfactory. A large part of this truth rests on the fact that no one can escape sickness, old age and death”. 

– Venerable Master Hsing Yun

 

 

At some point, we must all face the vulnerability of illness, the pain of loss, the inevitability of death.  These truths have challenged humankind throughout the ages, and will be explored deeply and sensitively in the June Communities of Practice day.  Hear the diverse panel share their unique and rich personal experiences, and bring your own perspectives and insights to this trusted community. 

 

Ageing – Professor Stephen Hill

Illness – Dr Jonathan Page

Dying – Venerable Bomhyon

Death – Cecilia Mitra

 

Join the community to consider how the most human of challenges and sufferings can also be spiritual gifts which leads to great wisdom and compassion.

Provisional Program

8:30am:      Registration (Gandha Hall, Nan Tien Temple)

9:30am:      Mindful Movements (Courtyard, Temple)

10am:         Keynote Address and Q&A  (Conference Room, Temple)

11:30am:    Lunch (Dining Hall, Temple)

12:30pm:    Workshops (Nan Tien Institute)

2pm:           Group Meditation and Mindful Walk back to Nan Tien Temple

2:45pm:      Workshop Presentations (Conference Room, Temple)

3:30pm:      Close 

 

Keynote Speaker

Professor Stephen Hill AM

Stephen Hill is Emeritus Professor of the University of Wollongong, Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts. Though graduating initially as a research chemist, he also was awarded Australia’s first PhD in Business Administration (University of Melbourne) and was appointed as Foundation Professor of Sociology at the University of Wollongong at age 30.

He has authored or coauthored 22 books and over 350 publications or major international speeches across eleven disciplines. From 1995 to 2006 he served as the United Nations’ Regional Director for Science for Asia and the Pacific and Ambassador of the UN Agency, UNESCO – based in Indonesia and Paris.

Stephen is a key advisor to the Communities of Practice series.

 

Dr Jonathan Page

Medical Oncologist

Dr Jonathan Page has been a Medical Oncologist for 36 years with a long-term interest in Palliative Care.

 

Although he prescribes chemotherapy (and other drugs) and refers patients for radiotherapy and surgery if necessary, he also incorporates an inquiry into the psychospiritual domain to address matters of fear, regret, guilt, meaning, purpose, love and legacy (as they arise).

The psychospiritual domain can be accessed through meditation, presence and deep listening with an open heart-mind.

 

Venerable Bomhyon

Chair of the Australian Sangha Association

 

Venerable Bomhyon is the current chair of the Australian Sangha Association -the peak representative body for monks and nuns living in Australia. She also serves as a member of the Religious Advisory Committee to the Australian Defence Forces and has recently commenced doctoral research at Western Sydney University where she also volunteers as a Chaplain.

 

Venerable Bomhyon’s earlier professional background is in education and social work with post graduate training in counselling, psychotherapy and group work. 

 

Venerable Bomhyon first ordained in the Thai Forest tradition in 1995, practicing in the Korean Zen tradition.  From 2010, Venerable Bomhyon worked in palliative care, in both hospital and community-based services. She also coordinated the Buddhist Council prison chaplaincy program, and later established the Buddhist Spiritual HealthCare project.  In 3 years, more than 100 Buddhists from various traditions and cultural backgrounds, received training in Spiritual Care practice. Venerable Bomhyon teaches at various Buddhist Centres in Sydney and Melbourne and continues to offer education in Compassionate Communication and Spiritual Care, including Death & Dying and Grief and Loss. She is deeply engaged in interfaith dialogue with others who are spiritually and ecologically motivated to live in right relationship to the planet and all beings.

 

 

Cecilia Mitra

Cecilia was born in Singapore and migrated to Perth in 1996 with her husband and three children. There, she obtained a Master of Law degree from the University of Western Australia while also lecturing business law at Curtin University. 

 

She was the President of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia from 2013 to 2015 and from 2015 to 2019 Cecilia held the position of president of the Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils of Australia. In this role she represented the Buddhist community of Australia nationally including representations in Federal Parliament in Canberra and at the Prime Minister’s Office.

Cecilia teaches meditation to beginners and has recently authored a book – Opens Like a Flower Cut it with a Knife – A Buddhist Mother’s Journey through Grief.

 

 

Workshop Facilitators

Tom Halbert

Tom’s sustainability focus is in empowering community led responses using the many tools that have been developed over the last several decades, particularly Deep Listening. He has a BA in sustainable development from Murdoch University in W.A

Magali Goirand

Magali Goirand is a systemics practitioner. She has worked with small and large international high-tech organisations in Europe and the U.S as consultant, learning facilitator, and researcher. Her dual background in science and business allows her to navigate the two communities with ease. She is a talent development professional with an extensive facilitation experience fostering collaborative learning. She is a director at Systemic Development Associates, and a founder and consultant at Papillon Transformative Consulting. Prior to joining SDA, she worked for IBM, leading programs aiming at enabling sales teams around the world.

Magali has an M.S. in Electrical Engineering, major in signal processing and acoustics (France), and an MBA in sustainable enterprise (USA). She is a certified WindTunneling facilitator. She is currently enrolled in the M.A. in Applied Buddhist Studies at Nan Tien Institute (Australia).

Meg Hart

Meg is a cross-cultural consultant, executive coach and experiential learning facilitator. She has an academic background in organizational and coaching psychology as well as practical business experience running manufacturing and consultancy companies and designing and delivering action learning programs in leadership, ethics and culture change in Asia and Australia. Her work is informed by lasting engagement with the teachings and practices of Vajrayana Buddhism which she seeks to apply in her professional and personal life through daily meditation practice and mindful relational responsibility. Meg recently spent a year working for the Royal Government of Bhutan on a multi-disciplinary report to the United Nations titled “Happiness: Towards a New Development Paradigm” and was formerly Director of Consulting at the St James Ethics Centre.

She currently provides mindfulness-based coaching for personal clients, business leaders and teams at Hart&Mind Coaching, and is a guest lecturer in Nan Tien Institute’s Graduate Certificate of Humanistic Buddhism.

Professor Stephen Hill AM

Stephen Hill is Emeritus Professor of the University of Wollongong, Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts. Though graduating initially as a research chemist, he also was awarded Australia’s first PhD in Business Administration (University of Melbourne) and was appointed as Foundation Professor of Sociology at the University of Wollongong at age 30.

He has authored or coauthored 22 books and over 350 publications or major international speeches across eleven disciplines. From 1995 to 2006 he served as the United Nations’ Regional Director for Science for Asia and the Pacific and Ambassador of the UN Agency, UNESCO – based in Indonesia and Paris.

 

Stephen is a key advisor to the Communities of Practice series.

Jade Hutchinson

Jade Hutchinson is a graduate from the University of Wollongong with a Bachelor of International Studies and Sociology from the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry. Jade is a Master of Research Candidate under the Department of Security Studies and Criminology at Macquarie University. He has previously worked as a Research Analyst at the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at Nanyang Technological  University in Singapore. Jade maintains a position as an Early Career Researcher Fellow at the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right, Member Researcher at The Urban Violence  Research Network, Tutor and Guest Lecturer at the University of Wollongong and Macquarie University.

Nadine Levy

Cecilia was born in Singapore and migrated to Perth in 1996 with her husband and three children. There, she obtained a Master of Law degree from the University of Western Australia while also lecturing business law at Curtin University. 

 

She was the President of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia from 2013 to 2015 and from 2015 to 2019 Cecilia held the position of president of the Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils of Australia. In this role she represented the Buddhist community of Australia nationally including representations in Federal Parliament in Canberra and at the Prime Minister’s Office.

Cecilia teaches meditation to beginners and has recently authored a book – Opens Like a Flower Cut it with a Knife – A Buddhist Mother’s Journey through Grief.

Bruce McKenzie

Bruce McKenzie is a change practitioner and academic who develops systemic  thinking principles and practices to assist organisations, governments and communities to address their transformational goals to improve productivity, relevance and alignment in a changing world. He is one of the world’s most experienced Systemic practitioners. Recognised globally for successfully building organisational capacity to initiate and manage change, through generating innovative, sustainable strategies and developing alternative ways of thinking about challenges and crisis. He is a director of the Center for Systemic Leadership, director of Systemic Development Associates (SDA), co-founder and president of Future Insight Maps, a pioneer of WindTunneling software and Fulcrum online learning. Bruce is currently enrolled in the M.A. in Applied Buddhist Studies at Nan Tien Institute.

Jonathan Page

Dr Jonathan Page has been a Medical Oncologist for 36 years with a long-term interest in Palliative Care.

 

Although he prescribes chemotherapy (and other drugs) and refers patients for radiotherapy and surgery if necessary, he also incorporates an inquiry into the psychospiritual domain to address matters of fear, regret, guilt, meaning, purpose, love and legacy (as they arise).

The psychospiritual domain can be accessed through meditation, presence and deep listening with an open heart-mind.

Dr Sue Sumskis

Dr Sue Sumskis, PhD is a Credentialed Mental Health Professional teaching within the Health and Social Wellbeing programs at NTI. Sue has a postgraduate qualification in health (PhD examining resilience and mental health) and is currently undertaking a second PhD examining contemplative education. Sue’s research in mental health, resilience and contemplative education sit within the nexus of education and recovery.

 

Sue has published numerous academic journal articles and book chapters and has won international and national awards for translational research in mental health.

Sue’s approach to education and transformation is based on the premise that modern education encourages a fragmentation of emotion and reason. Incorporating contemplative practices in education enables the confluence of discordant thoughts, feelings, emotions, values, and beliefs. Doing so results in a more fully human and humane outcome which pays attention to the student’s need to feel harmony and equanimity between knowledge,
decisions and actions.

Alex Trauth-Goik

Alex Trauth-Goik is a PhD candidate at the University of Wollongong whose research focuses on the civil liberty implications associated with the development and application of new  surveillance technologies. He has previously worked for the media intelligence company Meltwater as a government media analyst and is currently a top writer in politics on the online publishing platform ‘Medium’. In 2017 he graduated with First Class Honours in International Studies majoring in Chinese Mandarin from the University of Wollongong.

Venerable Miaoyou

Venerable Miaoyou is the Director and Company Secretary of the Nan Tien Institute. She has been a resident teacher at the Nan Tien Temple for more than 15 years, and during that time has conducted meditation retreats for hundreds of visitors. In addition to leading meditation retreats, Venerable Miaoyou has assumed several positions, including overseeing the development and construction of the bridge connecting the Temple and the Institute. She is also a spokesperson for the media and interfaith events and conferences. 

Mindful Movement

Louise Zaslawski

Louise has been practising Tai Chi and Qi Gong for 10 years learning forms such as Yang, Chen and Sun tai chi forms as well as many Qi Gong forms. She has travelled around China with a Tai Chi and Qi Gong master Master Tary Yip and visited Wudang Mountain, the birth place of Tai Chi, several times and practised with Daoist monks.

She has competed and won many competitions for Tai Chi both nationally and internationally, in fact she just returned from Shanghai where she won a gold medal for the Yang 24 form at the Chin Wu International Wu Shu and Tai Ji competition in August. She is very happy and fortunate today to be able to introduce you to a well-known qi gong form called the Ba Duan Jin (Eight Brocade exercises) that has demonstrated to have health benefits for both young and old.

Ready to join
the Community?

Get in touch with the team, 

email us at email@thebbep.org