Manchester Buddhist Conference 2006

The original website dedicated to Manchester Buddhist Conference 2006 can be found here.


Manchester Buddhist Conference 2006

Organised by: Manchester University Buddhist Society

Venue: Fo Guan Shan Temple, 540 Stretford Road, Old Trafford, Manchester M16 9AF

Date: 5 August 2006, 9:30 am-4:30 pm

Final Schedule (still subject to minor changes on final day)

9:30-9:40 Registration (programme brochure distributed along with list of contacts and feedback form)

9:40-10:00 A period of quiet meditation sitting in the main shrine room of Fo Guan shan

10:00-10:05 Welcome speech (from the organisers Ven Piyatissa, Ketumati Vihara and Ven Miao Di, Fo Guan Shan)

10:05-10:30 Session  on Buddhism in Higher education

Session chair: Ven. P. Piyatissa (Ketumati Vihara)

Talk by James Conole (Chair, MUBS)

What university students want from a Buddhist society and what a Buddhist society can give to them (including results of an online survey taken from members attending our meditation class)

10:30-11:00 Session on Counselling, psychotherapy and Buddhism

Using Buddhist techniques and concepts in counselling, also issues
regarding counselling to the Buddhist community

Session chair: Feng-Ying (Jennifer) Huang

Note: the Talk by Dr. Elliot Cohen (part time lecturer, MMU) has been cancelled

Talk by Jennifer Huang (PhD student, University of Manchester)

11:00-12:30 Lunch (and informal discussion) in the dining hall in the basement

12:30-12:50 Talk by Reverend Master Bonati titled “The heart of monastic practice”

12:50-1:50 Panel discussion: Making progress in spiritual life

The discussion will comprise of one venerable from each tradition or temple speaking on their own approach to Dharma and meditation practice (for 5 minutes each). This will be followed by questions from the audience about meditation and following the Dharma in daily life.

Discussion Chair: Reverend Master Peter Bonati (Rochdale Zen Retreat)

Other Participants: Ven Piyatissa (Ketumati Vihara), Ven Miao Di (Fo Guan Shan), Ven Miao Heng (Fo Guan Shan), Ven Bhivamsa (Mahasi Meditation centre), Phra Wut Boonasaner (Wat Chareon Bhavana)

1:50-2:10 Tea break (and informal discussion) in the library

2:10-3:00 Session on Care of the dying and Buddhist funeral services

Perspectives on caring for the dying Buddhists, bereavement and other Buddhist rituals

Session Chair: Venerable Miao Di (Fo Guan Shan)

Talk by Dr. Vijaysiri from Sri Lankan community

Talk by Ven Miaodi (Fo Guan Shan)

3:00-4:30 Panel discussion: Buddhists as a community

This will be divided into three parts (in order to ensure participation of the audience and hear the views of representatives from different Buddhist centres in the UK)

Part 1: The audience will be divided into groups of approximately 10  people each. The groups will have 20 minutes to discuss one of the following topics:

Topic 1: “What are the needs of westerners and ethnic Buddhists in the UK?”

Topic 2: What roles can Buddhist centres in the UK play?

Part 2: A representative from each group in Part 1 shall summarise the views discussed by the group to the rest of the audience, in 3 minutes each.

Part 3: A representative (lay or monastic) from every Buddhist centre in the UK shall take part in a panel discussion on stage, expressing his or her (or their centre’s) vision on Buddhists as a community and how Buddhist centres can collaborate with each other in the future. Each speaker will have about 3 minutes to speak. It will be followed by a discussion and questions, depending on the time.

The complete discussion will be coordinated by the discussion chair: Valerie Roebuck (Samatha)

4:30 pm: Closing speech
Note 1: There will be some exhibition tables in the conference hall containing publicity material from different Buddhist centres, as well as NBO, representatives of all centres are welcome to bring along some publicity material as well, if they wish.
Note 2: If you are bringing any food to share with everyone for the conference, please note that there is one strict rule at Fo Guan Shan: they allow only vegetarian food to be brought into the temple. Please respect this rule and do not bring in any non vegetarian food such as meat. Apart from this one rule, you are most welcome to bring in any vegetarian food or drink you like to share, especially food that is cooked in traditional styles. 

The Vision

To bring together the Buddhist community in Greater Manchester, both the monastic community as well as lay members of various Buddhist groups, temples and centres from all sects and denominations of Buddhism, as well as academics and students and other interested people. We hope that this conference (complementing the presently held NBO meetings) will result in closer interaction and facilitate dialogue between different Buddhist centres, and will continue every year hosted in turn by different centres. This will hopefully result in an unified Buddhist front to tackle common problems facing Buddhists and Buddhist centres in Manchester, in an atmosphere of mutual respect and compassion.

List of invitees

The participants to the conference shall include (but not limited to) monks and lay members of the following Buddhist centres in Greater Manchester.

Saraniya Dhamma Meditation Centre

Ketumati Buddhist Vihara

Wat Chareon Bhavana

The Manchester Centre for Buddhist Meditation

Vairochana Buddhist Centre

Manchester Buddhist Centre

Rochdale Zen Retreat

Manchester Zen Dojo

Kagyu Ling Buddhist Centre

Fo Guan Shan Buddhist Temple  

You can see the contact details of the centres here. 

We will also be inviting interested students and academics from the universities. Anyone else interested is also welcome to participate, provided they email the registration details (see the registration link) to us latest by 29 July.

Please note: This conference has a very local flavour, and the primary aim is to bring together monks and also lay people from different Buddhist traditions in greater Manchester.  We have also got a number of enquiries about attending this conference from venerables in other countries. Please note that this one-day conference might not be relevant to them to come to Manchester, or worth their time, effort or resources. Also, we regret to inform you that we are unable to provide any organisational help such as invitation letter or accomodation. However, if anyone is already in or around Manchester during the time of the conference, and can make the venue on their own expense, they are most welcome to register and attend the conference.


Manchester Fo Guan Shan Temple


540, Stretford Road, Old Trafford, Manchester M16 9AF, United Kingdom

Telephone No: 00(+44) 0161-872-3338

Fax No: 00(+44) 0161-872-3334

Email Address:

Directions from Piccadilly bus station: Take the 250 bus and get off opposite Chinese temple on Stretford Road (2 stops before Man Utd stadium)

Contact us

Contact Address: 

Manchester Buddhist Conference,

C/O Ven Piyatissa,

Ketumati Buddhist Temple.

3 Pretoria Road, Hollins, Oldham, OL8 4NH

Contact Email:

Organising committee

Venerable P. Piyatissa (Ketumati Buddhist Vihara) 

Venerable Miao Di (Fo Guan Shan temple)

Cathleen Liu (MUBS)

Joy Bose (MUBS)

Dennis Khong (MUBS)

James Conole (MUBS)

We have been helped in our efforts by a number of other people, who helped with planning, advice and logistical help, among other things. Our thanks to them all.


Post-conference feedback form for participants of the conference.


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