Manchester Buddhist Convention 2012

Manchester Buddhist Convention 2012Manchester Buddhist Convention 2012 took place on Saturday 13 October, from 9 am to 5 pm, at St Peter’s Chaplaincy, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9GH.

Here are the first reports about the Convention. These are by Joy Bose, our beloved and oldest organiser and attendee.

Manchester Buddhist convention

Dharma discussion 

Session by community of interbeing Sangha

Session by Kwan Um Zen sangha

and here are some photos by Joy

The Buddha In Our Midst


One Root many Branches

Manchester Buddhist Convention

Saturday 13th Oct 2012

9.00 am  – 17.00pm

Time Main Foyer 1. (Chapel) 2.(Ardwark Café) 3. 4. (Library) 5. (Oxford Room) 6.(Small Chapel)
9.00-9.50   9.50-10.00 Registration and Refreshments Opening Chant (Samatha Centre)             
10.05 – 10.15      Welcome, introduction etcJaya (MBC)          
10.15– 10.25        Chaplaincy (Hosts)Terry Biddington          
10.25- 11. 25     Input-Ven. Alan Bhuka Tenzin Dorjee, Usha McNab,          
11.30 -12.40 Lunch in the Foyer
12.45-13.30Ist Session   1Kalyana- Mitra – Keith MunningsOn the workof Buddhist Chaplaincy 2Rev. A Gordon-Finlayson. Stonewater Zen ‘What does it mean to be Buddhist in the West?’ 3Ven Chueh YunFo Guang Centre From the Noble 8 Fold Path 4J. Sainsbury (Kajyu Ling)On Boddhicitta 5Dene Donalds Community  of Interbeing Guided and silent meditation  6Oxana PoberejnaiaWomen and Buddhism
13.35-14.202nd Session   7Dharmachari Buddharakshita, ‘‘Knowing Smile, Troubled World’, 8Buddhist Group of Kendal, Ketumati, Police and Fire Service – on the work they are doing together. 9Rev. D.ScottStonewater Zen Sangha,  achieving the ‘Great Awakening’ 10Ven. Alan BhukaSoto Zen Dojo ‘Zenand the Kesa’  11Kathy Castle and Chris Ward –Rigpa, ‘Reflections on Dying’. 12Dr. V. RoebuckSamatha CentreModern Buddhism
14.25-15.10 Discussion     Discussion      Discussion(3rd Session)
15.1015-30 Tea Break 
15.35 16.204th session (mainly meditation)    13Ven PiyatissaKetumati Buddhist Vihara4 Foundations of Mindfulness 14Ven Pannasammy (Saranaya Dhamma Centre)Vipasyanna meditation  15 Taravandana LupsonGreen Tara Puja  16Phra Nicolas(WatChareon Bahvana)Meditation on light 17NicherenTo be decided 18Peter Voke –Kwan Um School of ZenFinding the Buddha Right in Front of You
16.25-16. 35 16.35-16.45   MBCClosing remarksVen PiyatissaDedication of merit –          
16.45 – 17.00 Chanting.Soto Zen


The Venue is on three levels.  Most of the rooms are on the middle floor and accessed from off Oxford

Road.  They have been numbered for your convenience.  Room No 5 (Oxford Room) is located on the

lowest floor. Room No 6 (small Chapel) and the space for chanting (unnumbered) are located on the

third floor. There will be people to help you locate these on the day. A large programme for reference

will be in the Foyer.

The opening and closing chants will take place in the Foyer. Lunch will be at 11.30 to allow those who

need to eat early to do so.  A short blessing will be said before the start of the meal.  Please allow nuns

and monks to be served first.  There will be a room allocated for Venerables.  It would also be wonderful

if they wished to join us after their lunch in other spaces. It is an opportunity for us to learn.  No food

should be taken into the Chapels.

There will be a board or papers for comments and feedback for what you would like to see happen

to the Convention and also what you can contribute.

We have decided to have open discussion fora in the third session of the day (14.25-15.10). The

fourth session (after tea) will be mainly meditation so that after the discussion you are able to go

home in a suitably harmonious state!

The topics for discussion are:

  1. The way forward for the MBC
  2. Buddhism in the West
  3. Dharma Questions

The topics have been chosen for obvious reasons. If you have others, one of the themes may be able

to accommodate them, or you may like to consider leading a session yourself. We can find a space

for this if you contact us very soon.


The opening and closing chants will take place in the Foyer. Please be aware that this is part of the

opening prayers and Sadhana with which we open the day.

For some years now the MBC has been organised by a very small group of people.  There was a call

for volunteers last year to expand this but even so it has remained a small group. However, we have

been joined by people farther afield than Manchester both as presenters as well as participants. The

Convention is also addressing questions that have arisen over the years so it has moved on from

Introductory and ‘taster’ sessions.  We are organising in a space ‘neutral’ to Buddhism which some

of us have welcomed but which brings more organisational issues.

All in all, this year seems to be something of a turning point.  It would be good, therefore, to have a

bigger working group and definitely a reference group so that the event is and feels supported and

owned by a much wider coalition of people and centres. It would also be good if the core organizing

group feel they are working in tandem with the support and interests of the Buddhist community.

It would also be useful if we want to develop some working principles.

Please read this in conjunction with the presenter’s notes which will have a few more details on the

subjects being offered by the speakers. It would be useful if you had some ideas about the sessions

you would like to attend. However, we will have to operate a ‘first come, first served’ system. If you

are very keen on a particular session and you let us know, we will try and accommodate you.



Yours in the dharma,

Jaya (MBC)


Three Short inputs by:

Ven. Alan Bhuka                         Zen

Tenzin Dorjee                                    Tibetan Buddhism
Usha MaNab                                    Theravada

A short discussion will follow.  Longer discussion fora will take place in the session after tea. (14.25-15. 10)

Dharmacari Buddharkhshita:

‘Knowing Smile, Troubled World’, While we all reflect upon our life and situation and our view of what we think is reality, most reflections are questionable. We only have to look to the Buddha’s real love, to realise and understand that from birth we inherit a unique view of this world. However, the adult conditioned world constantly tries to change this to one of convenience, greed and self. We need determination to hold onto, or regain what we may lose of our understanding. Only when we completely awaken through realising a real love for all beings, do we deeply recognise the nature of true reality, as opposed to this world’s gross unreality and the suffering it causes.”

Ven Alan Bhuka (Soto Zen Dojo.)  0n Zazen and the kesa (robe) – its significance and the symbolic meaning, colour, stitches and bands all have meaning and is sewn by hand.

Buddhist Group of Kendal            (Theravada) ‘BUDDHISTS, FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE Pidiville Piyatissa (Head of Ketumati Buddhist Vihara, Oldham, and Chaplain to Manchester University); Jacquetta Gomes (Bodhicarini Upasika Jayasili) (Secretary, Buddhist Group of Kendal ); Chief Constable of Cumbria Stuart Hyde QPM; and Fire Officer Daryl Oprey (CFOA lead on Equality & Diversity representing CFOA Chief Fire Officers Association AND POLICE WORKING TOGETHER IN CUMBRIA’. The session will be led by Venerable).

Kathy Castle and Chris Ward: (Rigpa)Reflections on Death and Dying

“Oh well, death happens to everybody. It’s not a big deal, it’s natural. I’ll be fine”. This is a nice theory until one is dying. (Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche; Life in Relation to Death)

What is the meaning of death and what can the contemplation of impermanence and change show us? Can it awaken a fresh view of life, and death, connecting us to the core of our spiritual path, helping us to face life and death with less fear?

Join us for this reflective workshop, based on the teachings of Sogyal Rinpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.

Venerable Chueh Yun: (Fo Guang Centre) will lead a dharma session on, ‘The art of living with the practice of the Noble Eightfold Path that is the path which leads to the end of suffering’.

Dene Donalds.    (Heart of Manchester Sangha, Community of  Interbeing)

This session will include guided and silent meditation, inviting of the bell and possible mindful sharing. Relaxation and a fluid practice are hallmarks of this practice, a Zen Buddhist order founded by monk and international peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh with lay and monastic members all over the world.

Rev.A. Gordon-Finlayson: ‘What does it mean to be Buddhist in the West? ‘

Taravandana Lupson: A Seven Fold Puja dedicated to Green Tara the Bodhisattva of Compassion. This will include verses in call and response, Dharma Readings, poems and Mantra all associated with compassion and Tara.

Keith Munnings:   Kalyana Mitra – a network of Buddhists from different systems wishing to work as Buddhist Chaplains in hospitals or hospices. Keith, Head of Studies of the Buddhist Chaplaincy Support Group (Kalyana Mitra), is from the Samatha Association and has been Chairman of the Buddhist Healthcare Chaplaincy Group, an endorsing body providing support to those for chaplains working in, or wishing to work, within a variety of Public Bodies

Phra  Nicholas: (Centre) Leads a meditation on light

Venerable Pannasami:  Saraniya Dhamma Centre will lead a session on            Vipasayanna.

Ven. Piyatissa : Ketumati Dhammma  Centre will explain the meditation techniques                                     mentioned in the  `SatiPattana Sutta ` The discourse of four foundations of                                Mindfullness’.

Oxana  Poberejnaia: leads a session on, ‘Women and Buddhism – Bring your unique perspective as a lay man or woman, or a Venerable, to join in the discussion of whether Buddhism as practiced by us her in the UK is a path suitable for women. Does Buddhism cater for women, or is it another patriarchal structure, for which women have to become “more like men” in order to establish themselves, progress and be heard?

Valerie Roebuck: The Manchester Centre for Buddhist meditation. The Samatha Centre. ‘Buddhism in Britain Today: a View from the Samatha Movement.

John Rowan:  Kagyu Ling Centre, ‘The Power of Boddhicitta – the wish to become a Buddha for the benefit for all beings – a short explanation of the altruistic heart of the Mahayana Buddhist path. This will make reference to: aspiration (the start and continuing spark which fuels the fire of bodhicitta), application, conventional and ultimate bodhicitta.

Rev. Dr. Scott Sensei: Stonewater Zen Sangha of the White Plum Lineage. ‘Today lay practitioners single minded devotion to achieving the ‘Great Awakening’ has to give way to a more varied practice in which formal  Zen training and the demands and concerns of ordinary life are interwoven. Life itself then becomes a koan in which we answer the question of how to lead a life that balances our own needs with those of the people around us and the greater community.

Nichiren:            Presenter and topic to be decided

Peter Voke             (Jibal Bosal): Kwan Um School of Zen will lead a dharma talk on ‘Finding the Buddha Right in Front of You.’


We intend to have a space for continuous chanting if people want to do this.  At this point, the room for personal and led meditation has been subsumed by the need to find another space for presenters.

Please use the online booking form so that we can have some idea of numbers for catering purposes. Without this we cannot guarantee a substantial meal for you but will nevertheless try and see that you don’t go hungry!

It will also be useful if you give some thought to the workshops you wish to attend as spaces in different rooms vary.  We are not expecting you to inform us online but if you wish to do so then you could be guaranteed a place in that workshop.

The Programme of the day is already on the website.  The presenter notes are for you reference when having to make difficult choices!

Whatever you choose, enjoy the day and let us know how we can make it better.

In the Dharma,



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