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Guest Speakers

Venerable Phra Mana Viriyarampo (Phra Mana)

Venerable Phra Mana Viriyarampo (Phra Mana) was born in the busy city of Bangkok, Thailand. He studied as a medical student for 3 years before undertaking his religious vows. He has undergone meditation practice and training with several great teachers in Thailand and abroad. Throughout his first 14 years’ experience as a monk, he has traveled to more than 30 countries teaching Buddhism and meditation, attending symposiums, conferences, religious events and many more. In the year 2000, for the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, Buddhism was represented by monks as volunteers for the Religious Centre in the Games Village. Venerable Phra Mana Viriyarampo was chosen as the Buddhist Chaplain together with other Buddhist monks from different traditions to teach meditation to the athletes and contingents of the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Today, he focuses his training in teaching meditation and cultivating a healthy diet with exercise and wholesome living through Sunnataram Forest Monastery as Abbot. He continues to steer, guide and touch the lives of the Australian community through the Dhamma (teachings of the Buddha) and meditation to achieve happiness, calm and peace. He is a picture of health, an animator, a strong believer in the power of positive thought, a yoga & Tai Chi enthusiast and an inspiration both to the Sangha (monastic order of monks and nuns) and the lay community.

Professor Susan Toohey

Professor Susan Toohey (Sue Toohey) is an experienced yoga teacher, qualified in both Hatha and Dru styles of yoga. She teaches a range of weekly yoga classes in Sydney’s inner west. Formerly a university teacher in the School of Public Health at UNSW she has a lifelong interest in using yoga to counteract depression and anxiety and develop mental well-being. She has been a Buddhist practitioner for 30 years.

Michael Dash

Michael Dash adalah pembimbing dan pengajar serta praktisi meditasi Buddhist selama lebih dari 20 tahun. Beliau belajar meditasi Satipatthana dan Vipasanna tradisi Mahasi Sayadaw di Australia, Thailand & Burma. Michael mengajar berbagai kelas dan retreat di Melbourne dan Sydney, termasuk Buddhist Library, Wat Buddha Dhamma & Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre. Selain itu, Michael mengajar di Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) yang memiliki konselling privat di Sydney dan menjadi pembimbing tamu di Sydney South West Area Health Service (SSWAHS).

Jonathan Page, MBBS (Syd) (Hons), B.Sc (Med) (Syd) (Hons), FRACP

Jonathan has been a medical oncologist for 30 years and enjoys endurance cycling. He began his meditation practice in 1984 but to his chagrin was largely an erratic practitioner until 2004, generally employing meditation as a last resort to manage innumerable life crises (with variable impact). He was persuaded to be more diligent in his meditation with the onset of more refractory dysphoria, particularly burnout admixed with depression. These were poorly managed by the “orthodox” medical establishment, but over time yielded to regular meditation and the comfort of the Three Jewels. The Dharma is a wonderful resource in the care of patients (and their families) with advanced cancer.

Jonathan has been conducting several six week Introduction to Meditation courses each year.

Dr Ming De Teh

Dr Ming De Teh is a medical doctor, a role that inspires him to bring the qualities of Buddhism into his medical profession. He started learning Buddhism 10 years ago from the UNSW Buddhist society (Unibuds) and has been actively involved with the society. He found that Buddhism is a teaching that is practically applied and has very good applications in stress relief and changing the way people view their body and mind, and that inspires him. He is currently interested in sharing the teachings with people, and is open to different sects of Buddhism.

Venerable Sister Sudhira (Ayya Sudhira)

Venerable Sister Sudhira Bhikkhuni (Ayya Sudhira) took her novice ordination in 2000 and her higher ordination as a full bhikkuni in July 2004 under the Most Venerable Rahatungoda Saddha Sumana, a senior Bhikkhuni from a small nunnery in Eheliyagoda, Sri Lanka. Sister is currently based in Sydney and holds a chaplaincy position at the Prince of Wales Hospital and generously gives her time as a volunteer at the Buddhist Library. A very personable and gentle teacher, Sister brings to her teaching a deep sense of kindness and compassion.

Tina Ng

Tina is the Principal Solicitor of Metta Legal, a role which encourages her to bring Buddhist ethical principles into her practice of law. She has actively participated in the UNSW Buddhist Society (Unibuds), and is an active member of the Buddhist community generally. She is interested in sharing the Buddha’s teachings in all kinds of forums and media. Some of these projects include writing for print and online publications, editing Buddhist books, organising Buddhist community events and also appearing briefly on television.

Zen Low

Zen came across Buddhism as a university student in New Zealand in 2001 and immediately felt an affinity to the teachings of the Buddha. He worked as a computer programmer and subsequently opened a restaurant business in his home country of Fiji. He attended his first Vipassana meditation retreat in New Zealand in 2008 and was immediately amazed by the immense benefits of combined Buddhist meditation practice and ethics. Since then, he has attended several extended meditation retreats in Australia and has organised two Vipassanacourses in Fiji. His main interests include the application of Buddhism in daily life and in business and the propagation of the Buddha’s teachings in the Pacific.


Sayadaw U Pannathami

Sayadaw U Pannathami was born in Myanmar in 1948. He received higher ordination at the age of twenty. He graduated with Sasanadhaja Dhammacariya and in his early years, Sayadaw had practiced meditation under illustrious masters, notably the late Most Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw as well as Sayadaw U Pandita. Sayadaw has many years of experience guiding meditators, easterners and westerners alike, particularly in the practice of Insight (Vipassana) Meditation. He had carried the torch of Dhamma to many countries: Malaysia , Singapore , Australia , Canada , UK and USA and is well respected for his skillful guidance, loving-kindness and compassion . Sayadaw is the abbot of Panditarama Sydney Meditation Center.


Sri Pannavaro Mahathera

Bhante Sri Pannavaro born in Central Java, Indonesia on 1954. Became a novice at the age of 20 and in 1977 took his full ordination as a Buddhist Monk at Wat Bovoranives Vihara, Bangkok, Thailand. He learned his meditation with the famous meditation Master Venerable Ajahn Thate in North East Thailand. His Honorary Degree: – Dhammakitti Siri Saddhammacariya ( Srilanka, 1987). – Sasanavamsalankara ( Srilanka, 1991). – Sasanasobhana Pavacana Visarada( Srilanka, 1992). – Sasshammakitti Siri Nyanasamvara ( Srilanka, 1995). – Siri Sugatasasanalankara Gana Pamokkhacariya ( Srilanka, 1995). – Silasarupa Sobhita Vissa Kittidhara ( Srilanka, 1996). – Chaokhun Phra Pannyavarabharana ( H.M.The King of Thailand, 1998). Position: – Mahanayaka of Theravada Mahasangha of Indonesia – Abbot of Mendut Vihara, Magelang. – Abbot of Dhammasundara Vihara, Solo. – Vice President of World Buddhist Sangha Council (WBSC).