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Metta Convention: Developing Compassion, Deepening Wisdom

March 26, 2023 @ 8:30 am - 2:30 pm

| Free

Metta Convention: Developing Compassion, Deepening Wisdom

Presenters: Ven Robina Courtin, Ven Ayya Soma, Ven Jayasara, Ven Varapannyo, Ven Nālaka, Ven Seikai, Ven Jitindriya

Sun 26 Mar | 8.30am-2.30pm AEDT

Online International Convention via this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83506489824?pwd=cmpNQ1ljSmFVYURLWVN1dWllYUN1dz09  

Cost: By Donation


A convention not to be missed! Metta Centre will be hosting an impressive line up of notable Buddhist teachers from all around the world presenting on topics that are relevant to modern living and deepening our spiritual practice. Participants will hear from Ven Robina Courtin on the nature of the mind, then to Ven Soma’s fierce Bodhisattva’s act in the cyber world, then a vibrant panel discussion on the Wisdom of Acceptance. Ven Seikai will present on how his artworks depict compassion as a balancing act so that we don’t burn out. Ayya Jitindriya will then close the event by “coming home” to taste Nibbana. Buddhist practitioners of all levels are encouraged to attend this very special event!




8.30 – 9.15 am: The Workshop is in the Mind, with Ven Robina Courtin

According to Lord Buddha, we all have marvelous potential for clarity, contentment and love and the rest of the positive human qualities. In fact, he says, these qualities are our natural state, and that the development of them, for one’s own sake and the sake of others, is the job of a spiritual practitioner. Our main stumbling blocks are the deeply held assumptions that, first of all, attachment, anger, depression and fear and the rest are innate within us and therefore impossible to eliminate; and, second, that suffering and happiness come from the outside. As long as we believe this, Buddha says, we’ll always remain victims. In this talk, we will investigate Buddha’s model of the mind, learning how to distinguish between the positive and negative emotions and how to eliminate those that break our hearts and to develop those that bring happiness to ourselves and others.


Ven. Robina was ordained in the late 1970s and has worked full time since then for Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s FPMT. Over the years she has served as editorial director of Wisdom Publications, editor of Mandala Magazine, executive director of Liberation Prison Project, and as a touring teacher of Buddhism. Her life and work with prisoners have been featured in the documentary films Chasing Buddha and Key to Freedom: https://robinacourtin.com

9.15 – 10.00 am: Cyberspace Bodhisattva, with Ven Ayya Soma

We are living in an era where we don’t have a choice but to deal with the complexity of world  issues concerning cyber security and never-ending digitalisation in the increasingly fast-paced society. In this session, Ven Ayya Soma will explore ways to live with a purpose; how to be an ethical, compassionate, and wise human being with a courageous heart to stand up for justice, help those in need, and know when to let go in this challenging world.


Ayyā Somā is an Italian Buddhist monk. She is the co-abbot of Empty Cloud Monastery in New Jersey and the co-founder of Buddhist Insights. A former fashion and lifestyle editor, her first encounter with Buddhist monasticism was at Santacittārāma Monastery in Italy, in the tradition of Ajahn Chah. She started practicing as a renunciant in 2016, received monastic ordination in 2018, and full bhikkhunī ordination in 2020: https://ayyasoma.com


10.15 am – 12 pm: The Wisdom of Acceptance – Panel discussion with Ven Jayasara, Ven Varapannyo, and Ven Nālaka

We live our lives with the expectation that the world mold itself to how we feel it should be, and this is the fatal mistake we make that creates for us much suffering.  When one sees things as they are, there is a natural letting go, and we begin to work with the world on its terms, creating much peace and contentment for ourselves, and benefiting others around us. This is the Wisdom of Acceptance.


Ven Jayasara, or “Bhante J” for short, was ordained in 2016 at the age of 38 by Bhante Gunaratana and lived with him for five and a half years. Bhante shares the Dhamma and leads retreats across the country. He specializes in showing how the ancient teachings of the Buddha are practical, pragmatic, and able to be put into practice by modern people in the modern world, just as he did as a professional person in the world before becoming a monastic to more deeply pursue the path.


Bhante Varrapanyo is an American Buddhist Monk who ordained in Thailand in 2018. He lived at a Zen Buddhist Meditation center in New Mexico, practicing intensive meditation and learning Buddhist teachings. After a few years of working and living in the United States, he decided to fully commit to the Monk life and moved to Thailand for his ordination. Since then, he has lived in Buddhist Monasteries around the world and have formed deep and meaningful relationships with spiritual practitioners and teachers in the Buddhist faith.


Bhikkhu Nālaka is an African/ American, non-sectarian monk, with extensive experiences in many Buddhist traditions, both as a lay practitioner and as a monastic. This includes at Thích Nhất Hạnh’s Deer Park monastery in CA, practiced in the Thai Forest tradition at Abhayagiri, with the Vietnamese Mahayana monastic lineage, Trúc Lâm, at Thiện Viện Đại Đăng in San Diego, and he received his full ordination at Wat Khmer, a Cambodian temple on the outskirts of Phoenix. Bhante’s main focus is authentic, early Buddhist teachings and practices, as well as living mindfully, all day, every day.


12.45 – 1.30: Compassion as Balancing, with Ven Seikai

In this session, Ven Seikai will showcase a artwork that he created to show six aspects of life, each depicting a balancing scale. Every aspect of life has a dichotomy, two extremes or poles which we tend to fall into very easily. In this context, compassion is depicted as the balancing point between the opposing extremes. Thus, there is both compassion for oneself and for others in finding balance.


Rev. Seikai ordained as a Buddhist monk in 1978 at Shasta Abbey by Reverend Jiyu-Kennett, Roshi.  He received Dharma transmission from her in 1980, and lived at Shasta Abbey through the 1980s and 90s, staying there four years beyond the death of Rev. Jiyu-Kennett in 1996.  In 2000 he moved to Pine Mountain Buddhist Temple in Ventura County, California. In January 2022, he moved to a residential home in Santa Paula, California, where he and his colleague, Rev. Phoebe, are now creating a small temple in this completely different environment: https://pinemtnbuddhisttemple.org/

1.35 – 2.30 pm: Nibbana – Coming Home! with Ven Jitindriya

Nibbana [Skt: Nirvana] is a word pointing to the final goal or peak achievement of the Buddhist spiritual life – the full liberation of the heart. But is it an ‘achievement’? Can it even be a ‘goal’? While the word points to a profound realisation that brings freedom from delusion and dukkha (unsatisfactoriness), the reality is it cannot be sought after, grasped, achieved, aimed at, or even pinned down conceptually! How then are we to understand and approach this highest noble Truth? ‘Coming Home’ gives us a clue.


Ayya Jitindriyā first trained as a monastic in lineages of Ajahn Chah & Ajahn Sumedho for over 16 years, from 1988-2004. After leaving the monastic order she gained a Master’s degree in Buddhist Psychotherapy Practice with the Karuna Institute in the UK, and continued to teach meditation and retreats on invitation. Returning to live in Australia in 2008, she practiced as a Buddhist psychotherapist and taught meditation, Buddhism and psychotherapy in various capacities. She was the Director of Training for AABCAP (Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists) for several years. In early 2018 Jitindriyā re-entered the monastic life at Santi Forest Monastery as the guiding teacher and Spiritual Director. In 2021 she helped set up Viveka Hermitage: https://vivekahermitage.com


Online event only: Join the Metta Convention online by clicking on this link to access the session: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83506489824?pwd=cmpNQ1ljSmFVYURLWVN1dWllYUN1dz09 Alternatively, you can dial in from your telephone (call charges apply): +61 2 8015 6011 | Meeting ID: 835 0648 9824| Passcode: 718905