Learn the basics of Buddhism

Buddhist Discussion Centre Australia president Frank Carter. 206289 Picture: ROB CAREW

By Romy Stephens

A local Buddhism centre is encouraging people to get involved in its free introductory course.

Upwey’s Buddhist Discussion Centre Australia will conduct an eight week course called Bringing Wisdom to Life, which will explain how Buddhism can bring a healthier mental state and more fulfilling life.

The course was initially postponed due to Covid-19 but with restrictions being eased, it will commence later this month.

The centre’s president Frank Carter has practised Buddhism for about 30 years.

He said the religion was unique in the way it was available for different people, depending on their needs.

“Buddhism’s described a bit like an ocean. You can go into the ocean and put your foot in the water or you can go right out and it’s very deep, but it’s the same water,” Mr Carter said.

“It can appeal to people that just want to put their toe in and learn a bit, which maybe they can apply in their life. Or they can go out and really understand it at a deeper level.”

Mr Carter said that at a basic level, Buddhism helped develop wholesome qualities such as generosity, mindfulness, kindness, compassion and more.

“It’s to do with cultivating a good disposition, that means that we are well equipped to deal with our lives, our family, our relationships and our work,” he said.

“It’s to deal with the enormous complexity of living, it’s an incredibly complex process and we have to deal with it in so many different areas so Buddhism gives us tools to do that.”

The introductory Buddhism course will introduce these ideas and help people begin to develop these qualities.

“Buddhism says that the mind is something that can be developed, it can be cultivated just like you can learn skills you can learn to be a pianist, you can learn to be a football player,” Mr Carter said.

“The mind itself can learn, the mind can learn qualities such as patience or compassion or generosity, it’s an internal learning.”

The Buddhist Discussion Centre Australia has a rich history in Upwey, opening in 1978.

Mr Carter said since opening, it had become a uniquely multicultural centre.

“We’re a home grown Australian centre, so a lot of centres have their own natural congregation,” he said.

“The people of the Thai community will go to the Thai temples. Whereas being an Australian-grown temple, it’s like we’re part of the fabric of this society and the multicultural nature of it.

“We’ve got members from seven or eight different ethnic communities and Australian born as well so it sort of offers a very broad style of Buddhism.”

The Bringing Wisdom to Life course will run every Saturday from 2pm-4pm commencing on 20 June. It will run until 8 August.

The course is open to anyone interested, however there is an age limit with separate classes available for children.

Some aspects of the course will take place on Zoom to cater for social distancing requirements.

For more information, contact wbu@bdcu.org.au or visit www.bdcu.org.au.

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