Buddhist Council of New South Wales

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Buddhist Council of New South Wales

The Council's Logo

Information
Tradition/Linage World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB)
Main School Non-Sectarian
Founded 1985/06/01
People
Founder(s) Graeme Lyall
President(s) Brian White
Contact Infotmation
Address Suite 25 56-62 Chandos Street
St Leonards
New South Wales 2065
Australia
Country Australia
Coordinates
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Map
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Phone (02) 9966 8893
Fax (02) 9966 8897
Website http://www.buddhistcouncil.org
Email office@buddhistcouncil.org
Postal Address PO Box 593 Crows Nest NSW 1585



The Buddhist Council of New South Wales is a charitable, not- for-profit organisation set up to help Buddhist temples and Buddhist societies in New South Wales (now also ACT) and to represent the Buddhist community to mainstream society.

The Buddhist Council represents more than 100 Buddhist organisations within New South Wales.

We are a member of the Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils (FABC), which represents Buddhist organisations throughout Australia.

History

On the instigation of the World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) a meeting was held in 1984 in Sydney to establish a regional branch of the WFB. The many existing Buddhist organisations subsequently came together to form the Buddhist Council of New South Wales as a representative body to promote co-operation across the Buddhist community.

The Buddhist Council of New South Wales constitution was first ratified at its inaugural Annual General Meeting in June, 1985. It was incorporated in March, 1991 and in 2000 received its ABN (18 550 218 989).

Graeme Lyall, the founding Chairman, led the development of the Buddhist Council of New South Wales from its inception through to his retirement from the board in December 2006. Graeme Lyall's contribution to the development of Buddhism in Australia stretches over half a century and continues with his ongoing service as a prison chaplain.

Our Vision

Our vision is for a “Dharma Community with Open Arms”.

Buddhism varies in its practice from country to country, from tradition to tradition, and from teacher to teacher. The Buddha himself recognised that the vehicle for his Dharma (teaching) would adapt and change over time and in different places.

A Dharma Community brings all Buddhist traditions and schools together. While respecting the distinct value and heritage of each tradition, a Dharma Community emphasises the essence of the Buddha’s teaching which is common to all Buddhist schools and traditions.

The Buddhist Council of NSW therefore encourages all Buddhist groups, temples and societies to come together to appreciate each other through the essence of the Dharma itself.

To have Open Arms is to be open to everyone in the general community, to build bridges of understanding and to act compassionately towards all humanity, whether Buddhist or non-Buddhist.

Our Mission

Our Mission has three parts:

  1. To serve our member organisations, which include Buddhist temples, Buddhist societies and other Buddhist organisations.
  2. To represent the Buddhist community to inter-faith groups, media, government and the NSW public, in accordance with the Dharma.
  3. To promote the understanding and practice of the Dharma, which is an objective we share with our members.

Buddhist Council of NSW LogoOur logo has been revised to reflect our vision. The representation of the different traditions of Buddhist Sangha in the colours of the lotus flower reminds us that the outward manifestation of Buddhist Sangha may vary, yet all ordained Sangha and lay men and women are actually part of one community of monks and nuns.

This may also be extended to lay followers who may follow different teachers or traditions, yet we are all part of the one Dharma community.

The different colours of the lotus petals also reminds us that each teacher, tradition, school or practice needs to be respected and their integrity maintained, according to the instructions and teachings of our Sangha.

The eight-spoked Dharma wheel in the centre represents the original teaching that all Buddhist traditions and schools share. The One Dharma unites the followers of the Buddha's teachings and it is what we share.

The Spirit of Our Vision

Our starting premise is that the Dharma (the Buddha’s teaching) is the most effective medicine that we can take and that the Triple Gem is the best protection. Making the Dharma more accessible is an act of generosity and compassion.

There is a difference between proselytising and making a profound teaching more accessible. Buddhists don’t proselytise for lots of reasons. On the other hand, making the Dharma accessible is about helping and communicating with others who have made a conscious choice to explore Buddhist teachings and practice.

There is great potential for the evolution of Australian Buddhism from a Buddhist community into a Dharma community. The difference is that a Buddhist community is the co-existence of many Buddhists, whereas a Dharma community exists when Buddhists realise that they share the one Dharma, they share common problems and they share the same opportunity to generously and compassionately make the Dharma more available to others.

Having Open Arms will require us to be more tolerant and more sensitive to the integrity and value of different traditions, and more inclusive of those different traditions. This openness could even extend not only to other Buddhists, but to anyone, of any spiritual tradition, any philosophy.

This vision of a Dharma Community with Open Arms recognises our inherent interdependence – which comes from Buddhist teachings. We are not separate, there is no “us” or “them”, we really are connected in many ways and we ultimately depend upon each other.

Buddhism has a long history. It has flourished in the East for 2500 years, and during this time ... numerous sects and schools have sprung up … These schools present a picture ... of unity in diversity... All aim at the attainment of Enlightenment ... At the same time they approach it in a number of ways and from many points of view. ... Despite their apparent differences, even mutual opposition, we should study and learn to appreciate them all, thus making ourselves acquainted, as far as possible, with the whole vast range of Buddhist thought and practice. Only in this way will it be possible for us to obtain a balanced picture of Buddhism. Otherwise we might commit the mistake of identifying Buddhism with one or another of its expressions, maintaining that this, and this alone, was the true embodiment of the Buddha’s teaching. Such a course would be ... sectarian exclusiveness which … is quite foreign to the spirit of Buddhism.”
- Sangharakshita, 1965.

Achievements

Member Services

We have developed a Member Service program which provides free advice and support to our member organisations on a wide range of topics such as fundraising, good governance, incorporation, tax and finance, technology and organising volunteers.

Education

We have developed a special website for our volunteer teachers who go to government schools to teach children. It provides access to the Buddhist syllabus, lesson plans and teaching guidelines

Chaplaincy Training

We have run an accredited introductory Buddhist chaplaincy course on many occasions over recent years..

Chaplaincy Funding

Over four years. we have increased by 50% the funding available to Buddhist chaplains in both hospitals and prisons.

Events

We have conducted events such the Buddhism Expo, Schools Day for HSC students, Q&A for children with the Dalai Lama, Acts of Kindness, Buddhist Festival Month and Dana Day for Monks and Nuns.

Source

buddhistcouncil.org