A message from our president – Tina Ng

An extraordinary 2023 

It’s been another extraordinary year for Metta Centre in 2023, as we ventured into new ideas and territory to make the Buddha’s teachings more accessible to the general public. We wanted to meet people where they are: physically, as well as spiritually. We held our events in secular spaces, like the Western Sydney University, and also in Buddhist temples so as to raise awareness and support for our local Sangha. We used a variety of different formats and ideas to present the Buddha’s teachings, such as in retreats, conventions, temple tours, meditation workshops, coastal walks and pilgrimage.

We continue to offer weekly events, initially at the Metta Centre and then at the Western Sydney University campus. We have Monday Meditation classes, Tuesday yoga classes and Wednesday Wisdom Series with talks being delivered by local, interstate and international speakers from all Buddhist traditions. We have audiences joining us online from all around the world. We also held two Metta Conventions, the first being an online weekend convention and the second a lot more ambitious: one week filled with Buddhist events culminating in a two-day conference. All these events, including the cultural community dinner was free and open to the general public.

We also held urban and residential retreats at Metta Centre, Vejjasala and Karuna Centre ranging from one day to 9 days. For these retreats, we collaborated with the Association of Engaged Buddhists, Ministry of Nirvana, Mitra Buddhist Youth Network, Heart Dhamma, Ven. Vimokkha and Ven. Candana.

We held meditation retreats at Santi Forest Monastery and Bopbosa Temple, and our volunteers also joined the New Year’s retreat at Wat Buddha Dhamma earlier this year. We also organised a retreat for some of our volunteers at a newly established Meditator’s Sanctuary.

We organised Temple Tours to the Mountain Spring Monastery, Chan Miao Zen Centre and the Australian Buddhist Vihara.

We also joined and supported other Buddhist events, such as Santi’s Kathina and Vesak Ceremonies, Jongbopsa’s 30th anniversary celebration, Bodhicitta Foundation’s charity dinner, Ajahn Brahmali’s retreat organised by the Sydney Meditation Centre, Chao Khun Samai’s 80th birthday at Wat Pa Buddharangsee, Buddhist Council of NSW’s Voice Referendum workshop, Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre’s Consecration Ceremony, Bhante Sujato’s talks, and the Premier’s Harmony Dinner at the International Convention Centre. 

We continue to support our sister organisation, Lotus Library, which provides Buddhist ebooks that can be downloaded instantly and free of charge online. Our other sister organisation, Mettarama, had served its purpose in being a nuns’ residence and came to a close.

We continue to offer a variety of Buddhist projects, such as the Ask a Buddhist program and Buddhist books exchange program where we collect and distribute Buddhist books free of charge at Metta Centre and at our events.

We also launched some new projects this year, such as Metta Connections (Buddhist professionals network), and the Metta Hearts Project to support the unhoused and children in foster care. We also started the dialogue on creating opportunities for Buddhist community living and aged care facility.

All these projects are continuing and we invite you to be a part of them!

Our plans for 2024

Whilst 2023 emphasised on reaching out to the international community in terms of our choice of speakers and audience, in 2024, we want to focus on our local Buddhist community in Australia. We want to showcase all the incredible teachers, Buddhist centres and temples that are here in our own backyard. In making our events more accessible to the general public, we are able to draw in new people to the Buddhist community who may not know about the Buddhist temples local to them. We hope to be a bridge between the public and temples, and bring more people to come to know and love our temples in Australia.

We also want to address a common issue amongst the Buddhist community, being the need for more volunteers. Metta Centre will be streamlining our operations so as to build our capacity to train more people in various skills that interests them so they may support other Buddhist temples and centres. We want to continue to build our friendships and support with other Buddhist organisations, so as to create harmony and strength within our Buddhist community. We hope Metta Centre can be a resource for other organisations, so if they require any assistance, then we have trained volunteers who can assist them. We welcome any Buddhist centre or temple who requires assistance to reach out to us.

Your invitation

I wish to personally invite you to be a part of our vision. If you would like to support Buddhism, please reach out and join one of our teams. Training will be provided, and you will receive plenty of supports along the way. We emphasise on creating wholesome spiritual friendships and practicing Metta in our Dharma work, and strive to achieve this as we work together as a team to support the Dharma flourishing for generations to come.

Our teams:

1.       Events organising

2.       Emceeing and facilitation

3.       Events photography

4.       Audio Visual (AV) support at events

5.       Video recording, editing and distribution

6.       Marketing including social media

7.       Website design and maintenance

8.       Sangha care (to support interstate and international monastics visiting Sydney with requisites, accommodation and transport)

We also have teams based on our projects and upcoming events that you can join:

1.       Metta Connections

2.       Ask a Buddhist

3.       Ajahn Brahm’s Sydney Visit

We would love to have you join our community. Please send an email with your EOI to contact@mettacentre.com or join one of our Whatsapp groups here: https://chat.whatsapp.com/DRlz2EcibbqFrQJCWz4P5r

May 2024 be a year of mindful togetherness and joyful friendship, as we deepen our Dhamma practice within ourselves so we may be of most use and benefit to all sentient beings. May all our wholesome aspirations come true. May Metta continue to be our foundation and the Dhamma as our guide.