About Dhammaduta Buddhist Association
Introduction of Buddhism to Coffs Harbour
On this particular day of Friday the 25th January 2002, Venerable Sayadaw Dr. Dhammacara and Sayadaw Khemeinda of Sydney Burmese Buddhist Vihara, together with their devotees Mr. Arvind Gandhi (U ArWin) and Dr. Rosalind Hoe and Daw Htay Htay and her daughter visited a Myanmar Mr. Peter Hallamand, his wife Mrs. Sue Hallam and other families in Coffs Harbour to offer a ceremonial blession for their new home.
The enthusiastic Buddhist family who invited the Sayadaws included U Sa Myint Swe, wife Daw Nan Khin Win, and daughter Jasmine. On the 27th of january 2002, there was a celebrated house warming blessing for the family along with invited guests, families and Mr. Peter Hallam and his wife Mrs. Sue Hallam and friends from Coffs Harbour. Most of the Australian guests who attended were interested in Buddhsim and questioned and requested Sayadaw Dr. Dhammacara to explain explicity about Buddhism. Sayadaw answered all the questions and explained as comprehensively as possible about Buddhism.
On the following afternoon of Monday the 28th January 2002, Australia Day holiday, about ten enthusiastic friends again gathered on the lawn of a house in Coffs Harbour to participate in a succeeding discussion about Buddhism.
First Meditation Session
Sayadaw explained and demonstrated how to practice Samatha and Vipassana. Vipassana which means to see things as they really are.
Sayadaw demonstrated Anapana meditation from the forty various techniques of Buddhist Meditation. Anapana Sati demonstrates the mindfulness of the drawing in the out of breath.
Sayadaw alsp exhibited the posture for this meditation. It is to be seated with legs crossed and body erect. Everyone participated in the practical meditation session, the participants acknowledged that by practicing meditation they were aware of the restless nature of their minds which induced disruptive thoughts that leads to greed, aversion and delusion.
Sayadaw then explained that the long-term objective of this meditation is to gradually overcome and eventually eradicate the three root defilements of greed, aversion and delusion. Sayadaw also mentioned that the Buddha's teachings are so enormous in their meaning, significance, and importance that it would not be enough to explain in a single session.
Sayadaw proclaimed that their enthusiasm encouraged him to conduct more discussions and practical meditation sessions in near future, All participants in return expressed their keenness and welcomed him to revusut them.
Introduction of Dhammaduta
Venerable Sayadaw Ashin Chekinda, who is the head of Dhammaduta Zaytawun Tawya Saykeinda Rama Monastery at Hmawby in Myanmar, made his first visit to Sydney in May 2005. Following the discussion between Sayadaw Dr. Dhammacara and Sayadaw Ashin Chekinda about Australian communities who are interested in Buddhism, Ashin Chekinda expressed his aspiration to establish Communities.
Sayadaw Dr. Dhammacara described to Sayadaw Ashin Chekinda about his trips to Coffs Harbour with particular reference to the desire to have a Buddhist instituation for the local community. He also encouraged Ashin Chekinda to travel to Coffs Harbour.
As per the recommendation and encouragement of Sayadaw Dr. Dhammacara, Ashin Chekinda decided to cancel a Dhamma talk in Sydney and travel to Coffs Harbour.Ashin Chekinda visited Coffs Harbour and convened with a local community group who were enthusiastic in learning about Buddhism. This first discussion took place at Win's Thai Kitchen Restaurant owned by U Sa Myint Swe and Daw Nan Khin Win. After the discussion, Sayadaw Chekinda promised to return and provide regular meditation workshop from time to time. Sayadaw made his second trip in July 2005. On 9th and 10th of July, he delivered a number of lectures on Buddhism Coffs Harbour Comunity Village Hall. About 90 attendees participated in the courses. Sayadaw was keen to establish a meditation centre at a suitable place.
Due to the growing level of interest in Buddhism within the local community, Dhammaduta Buddhist Association (Coffs Harbour) was founded on 10 of June 2006 with the permission of Ashin Chekinda. by Myanmar Buddhists and local English people who have interest in Buddhism.
The first Buddhist monastery in Coffs Harbour was established in Upper Orara, in order to support the activities of Dhammaduta Buddhist Association, with the funds donated by U Sa Myint Swe's family. The organization has been performing Buddhism related activities such as teaching about Buddhsim and Vipasana, offering meditation courses, discussion about Buddhism to Buddhsit and non-Buddhist believers in the region ever since the establishment of Buddhsit monastery.
Specific objectives of the Association are:
- To provide facilities for the study, teaching and practice of Buddhist teachings and meditation.
- To support Buddhist monks, nuns and lay Buddhist teachers.
- To provide education materials including newsletters, books and audio and visual products on Buddhism and related subjects.
- To assist and cooperate with other organizations with similar aims and objectives.
- To foster peace and harmony between Buddhism and other religions.
- To plan, establish, develop, and maintain the building.
Activities will be carried out relating to:
- Providing frequent Dhamma talks.
- Organizing meditation forums.
- Conducting regular meditation sessions.
Anyone interested in Buddhism and Buddhist meditation is welcome to become the member of the association. The membership annual fee is $10 per person.