Any animosity that exists in this world can be resolved with joy and smiles, with which nothing in this world is unresolvable.”

(Dharma words from Venerable Master Hsing Yun – 108 Tips for Life.)


We live in turbulent times. There are many challenges that appear to make life uncertain. These concerns range from personal struggles, military conflicts, environmental matters, political instability, and financial uncertainty. How can these elements be negotiated and how can we achieve outcomes that are beneficial for ourselves, those around us and for those who will inherit our legacies?


EVENT RESCHEDULED! The Nan Tien Institute – Communities of Practice 2020 Autumn Conference

As you will be aware the situation continues to change with the global spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We are taking steps to mitigate the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in the community generally. The welfare of our community remains paramount and in the interests of public safety, we have decided to postpone the event to another date in 2021.


Given the unpredictability of the situation, we will provide updates on the NAN TIEN INSTITUTE – COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE 2020 WINTER CONFERENCE event in June 2020 as soon as it becomes available.

Thank you for your understanding and most importantly, stay healthy and well.

Keynote Speakers

Abbess Manko

Chief Abbess of Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temples in Australia and New Zealand

Abbess Manko is the Abbess of Nan Tien Temple, Wollongong and the Chief Abbess of Fo Guang Shan temples in Australia and New Zealand. She was born in Malaysia and first volunteered at her local temple. She joined the Fo Guang order in 1987, and in 1990 she was assigned to Wollongong – overseeing the construction of Nan Tien Temple. The temple is the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere and welcomes thousands of visitors every year.  


In 1996, she was posted to Singapore to develop a Humanistic Buddhism Centre, with the grand opening of Fo Guang Shan Singapore in 2008. Since 2010, she has returned to Australia and continued her tireless project building work in supervising construction of the Nan Tien Institute and the Nan Tien Bridge (connecting the Temple and Institute). 


She currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Nan Tien Institute and is Chairperson of the Hsing Yun Education Foundation. The not-for-profit Foundation provides financial support and learning opportunities to the wider community to access and understand values and principles of Humanistic Buddhism.

Tina Ng

Founder and President of the Metta Centre

Tina Ng is the Founder and President of the Metta Centre, which provides a space for Buddhist teachers to share the Buddha’s teachings to the public. Tina is also the Principal Solicitor of Metta Legal, a law firm that deals with cases relating to family law, child protection, property, civil litigation and guardianship matters. She is an accredited mediator at Metta Resolution, which provides mediation, training and coaching to resolve conflict in the community and within families. 

Tina is serving her second year on the board of the Buddhist Council of NSW, and is active in the Buddhist community supporting various causes. Tina has a keen interest in supporting the youth, and runs mentoring programs through her law firm and projects. She has participated in Buddhist events as coordinator, advisor, emcee and auctioneer at charity functions. She has shared the Buddha’s teachings in conferences, talks, workshops, and in her writings 


Workshop Facilitators

Tom Halbert

Turning Point of Spiritual and Environmental Preservation Practice

The Turning Point of Spiritual and Environmental Preservation Practice. We see the pain of the modern crises and feel it in many emotions, and at the same time there is a calling in our heart to address the issues. But this is having only one wing that we need to fly with. The turning point to get back to balance is to recognise a reliable way forwards that we can have confidence in. Then we can fly with two wings to both cope with the situation, and to joyfully get on with keeping the planet liveable. We will find that reliable way and tell our turning point story so others do the same.

Meg Hart and Dr Elizabeth King

Leading on the Edge: Traversing Turbulence

If you are wrestling with questions about adapting to rapidly evolving business models, or how to meet customer demands for greater responsiveness, or how to remain calm and kind in an environment of turbulence, then this workshop is for you. We will discuss how mindful  leadership can allow you to traverse the turbulence, escort disruption, and enjoy the ride.

Professor Stephen Hill AM

Building Harmony Across Difference

At the heart of creating harmony across difference is building community – mutual caring and support towards a common purpose no matter how different the people are. The guiding metaphor is handling the turbulent waves of social change by turning floating separate (human) corks into a surfboard. The underlying dynamic is to exercise – as platform for every action- the the power of Humanistic Buddhist Values which emphasise mindfulness, caring, sharing, trust and the power of the gift rather than the deal.

Jade Hutchinson and Alex Trauth-Goik

Responsiveness, Resilience, Recovery: Building Stronger Communities in the face of Bush Fire Catastrophes

The recent Australian Bushfires devastated habitats, killed countless wildlife and impacted many communities either by smoke or flame. The intensity and prolonged nature of this crisis underlines the repercussions of a warming climate, naïve political strategies to combat environmental crises and a new norm of fire seasons longer in duration and stronger in intensity. This workshop asks how inter-generational, community responsiveness and resilience to the direct and indirect impacts of environmental catastrophes can be improved and strives to create practical principles for individuals and communities to enact in the face of future crises. This workshop is co-facilitated by senior members of the Rural Fire Service and State Fire Service.

Dr Remy Low

How not to lose it: Practices for sustaining ourselves and others in challenging times

Sometimes it feels like we are hit with wave after wave of bad news about the world we live in. At other times, new complications strike us unexpectedly in our pursuit of the good. And often, our small successes get quickly overshadowed by multiple setbacks. How do we keep going? This workshop will explore some simple practices for sustaining ourselves and others in dark times.

Tina Ng

Navigating through turbulent relationships

Relationships are so central to our being, and inter being with all those around us. The type of relationships that we have with others, and importantly, that we have with ourselves, can be the source of our harmony or turbulence. This workshop will explore ways to deal with turbulence in the relationships with others and with ourselves. Participants are invited to anonymously submit the problems that they, or those they know, have in relationships, and together we will workshop though those problems. The session will be facilitated by Tina Ng, who will draw on her own Dharma practice, her professional experience as a family law lawyer and mediator, and also welcome sharing amongst the group so as to draw our ways in which we can navigate through turbulent relationships to calmer and more harmonious ones.


Dr Jane Qiu

Can Harmony and Business Competition Co-exist?

It is much easier to talk about harmony in a tranquil and relaxed environment such as a mindfulness resort or a seminar on Buddhist practice.  However, when the same people return to a highly competitive business world and back to their “survival” mode, it is challenging to stick to principles such as being kind, forgiving and mindful. Is “survival of the fittest” compatible with “being kind and generous”? Do we have to choose one or the other or can we have both? How can we reconcile the dilemmas we face at work and co-create harmony with others in the business world? In this workshop, Jane will share her personal experience as a startup founder in the highly competitive tech space and as a mindfulness researcher and trainer. Participants will be invited to share their ideas and together come up with pragmatic strategies for their daily practice.

Magali Goirand and Bruce McKenzie

Creating the ‘causes and conditions’ that enhance harmony in groups sharing a common purpose

The workshop is focussed on practicing (rather than discussing) a technique for enhancing harmony in groups. The assumption is that we all agree on the importance of improving harmony at all levels and intentions of society. In this workshop, you are introduced to and will practice a technique from systems thinking, that is designed to create the causes and conditions for productive, harmonious relationships within any collection of people sharing a common purpose.


Three ideas shape the technique:  (1) the complexity of the issues that arise every day impacting individuals, families and organisations, (2) the quality of relationships between the many different activities that are required the manage these issues, (3) the capacity and competencies required to complete the activities.


You will select an issue we all have had various experiences of in recent times such as bushfires, coronavirus, water restrictions, drought, sexual abuse, domestic violence, religious freedom, discrimination, etc. Through the practice we will address the question, “What do you need from me?” within the context of the selected issue.

The technique is low technology and easily adapted for any situation in which you may want to improve the harmony.

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Nan Tien Institute, 231 Nolan Street, Unanderra NSW 2526

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