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Global Conference On Buddhism

MEDIA RELEASE – 4 December 2008

Global Conference On Buddhism Attracts Speakers and Delegates from around the world to Auckland

Revelation & Realisation; Death, Dying & Rebirth; Karma vs Fate; Ending War, Making Peace; Buddhism and Technology - these are some of the topics on offer at The 6th Global Conference on Buddhism, being held in Auckland this weekend.

"People in New Zealand are becoming increasingly interested in this religion of peace and we are delighted to secure the conference after it has been held in Perth and Kuala Lumpur in 2006 and 2007," says Rich Wee, the spokesperson for the New Zealand Buddhist Foundation which is the lead organiser.

Over 250 delegates have registered, including 50 from overseas with the largest group coming from Singapore. A range of 20 speakers will be heard over the two days of the conference.

Although The Dalai Lama will not be able to make it, a renowned Forest Tradition monk who travels around the world promoting happiness and peace, Ajahn Brahm, will be speaking at the conference. Born in London in 1951 to a poor family, he won a scholarship to Cambridge and graduated with a Masters in Theoretical Physics. He became a monk at the age of 23 in Thailand where he learnt and practised meditation in the forest for seven years. He has since settled in Western Australia after being invited there to start up a monks’ monastery and later a nuns’ monastery, being a believer in equality.

He has written two books, the more popular "Opening The Door of Your Heart" which is now printed in five languages. His wit, together with his deep spiritual and scholarly insight, captivates the imagination of the audience.

Ajahn Brahm does not own a penny to his name, nor does he possess a mobile phone, watch TV or drive a car. Living a simple life, typical of forest tradition monks, he travels without a single cent in his pocket or a credit card, eats one meal a day and sleeps on a thin mattress on the floor.

Ajahn Brahm will be in Auckland to deliver a public talk titled "Buddhism and Politics: Good Governance, Bad Politics" on Friday, 5th December. Admission is FREE.

He will also be speaking on "Revelation vs Realisation” and “Opening The Heart, Connecting Minds" at the 6th Global Conference on Buddhism in the Fisher & Paykel Auditorium, Owen G Glenn Building, University of Auckland, 12 Grafton Road. Door registration for the conference is $130 per day, cash only.

New Zealand's well-known theologian Professor Lloyd Geering who wrote the book "Christianity Without God" will be speaking at the conference.

Bhante Gunaratana, the famous author of the books “Mindfulness in Plain English” and “Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness”, is also in New Zealand to speak at the conference. He will give a talk entitled “Why Meditation?” and will speak on “Ending War, Making Peace”.

There will also be a session at the conference on "Buddhist reflections on Environment and Economics" to discuss current global concerns about the environment and financial markets.


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