The Halloween Monk

“TRICK OR TREAT!” the little voices shouted as the monk opened the door, then their eyes went wide. “What are you supposed to be?” they asked, looking up, amazed and befuddled by his costume.

“I am Buddhist monk!” he said, grinning. That didn’t quite register with the kids, who quickly shifted their attention to the candy on offer.

“Take more, take more!” he insisted. “We must give if we want to receive.”

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Faith-based approach to tackling domestic violence recommended at Adelaide symposium

Religious scholars and community bodies have called for faith to play a greater role in confronting the problem of domestic violence, saying religion is sometimes unfairly stigmatised as the underlying problem. Multi-faith leaders from around Australia are gathering in Adelaide to discuss an action plan with faith-based recommendations to support families experiencing violence at home.
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What is Meditation?

Phra Satit Thitadhammo delivered one meditation session on the morning of Saturday, 21 October at the Senior Citizens Centre, Welsford St, Shepparton. Phra Satit Thitadhammo is from the Dhammakaya Meditation Centre, Albury. He addressed the issue of mind, mind management, and methods of reaching awareness of the mind and moving beyond the mind. In this article, we consider several different types of meditation.

The word meditation covers a fairly wide spectrum of practices, from walking and eating meditation to mantra-based meditation. Some meditators find that one style works best for them—and they stick to it. Others like to experiment with the different styles. The important thing to remember is that one style isn’t better than another; they are all different and offer their own unique benefits.

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Heritage Open Day – Mosques and Gurdwara Tour


As part of Shepparton’s Heritage Open Day, the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District will conduct a tour of places of worship. The tour will visit several mosques and the Sikh Gurduara. The tour is free and a lunch will be provided. Bookings are required.

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Baha’i Celebrations

Spiritual celebrations are now coming to a peak across Australia as thousands of families, individuals and communities mark a special anniversary. From Tasmania to Thursday Island, from Sydney to Broome, members of the Australian Baha’i community are holding festivities to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Baha’u’llah (1817-1892), the Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith. In Shepparton, we greet Baha’i’s members of the Shepparton Interfaith Network and we greet all Baha’i followers everywhere on the occasion of this anniversary.
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Diwali – a festival of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains

Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs to mark different historical events, stories and myths. They all symbolise the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, hope over despair. In 2017, Diwali – Deepavali will be observed on Thursday 19 October.
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A Reflection on Yom Kippur


Lord Sacks is a British Orthodox rabbi, philosopher, theologian, and politician. He served as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 to 2013. As the spiritual head of the United Synagogue, the largest synagogue body in the UK, he was the Chief Rabbi of those Orthodox synagogues. Here, he writes about Yom Kippur, the most personal of festivals.

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Picnic 4 Peace 2017 – Shepparton


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Picnic for Peace is a volunteer run event by community members for the community with a common goal of peace, hope and unity. The 2017 Picnic for Peace – the 3rd annual World Peace gathering at the Victoria Park Lake, Shepparton – will take place on Sunday 24 September from 11am – 3pm.

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Conference: Social cohesion in the Goulburn Valley: Looking back, Looking forward

La Trobe University, partnering with the Shepparton Interfaith Network and the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District, presents Social Cohesion in the Goulburn Valley: Looking Back, Looking Forward, a conference to revisit the issues explored in the 2007 event Cultural Diversity and Social Harmony: the Goulburn Valley Experience and to consider the issues facing us today going forward as a regional community.

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The Customs and Prayers of Rosh HaShanah



The origins of Rosh HaShanah are found in the Bible.The Book of Leviticus (23:24-25) declares: “In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of rest, a memorial proclaimed with the blowing of the shofar, a holy convocation.” Although this day eventually became Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year, it was not originally known as such.

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The psychology of radicalisation: Lego Islam

Why do people who care little for jihadist ideology take up the cause? The question arises because suicide bombers who invoke Allah often know little about him. An international study assessing the data of 330 IS recruits last year revealed: the more religious knowledge the men ascribed to themselves, the less willing they were to carry out a suicide attack. What motivates those who are willing to carry such atrocities is therefore key to answering the question of prevention.

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Bendigo: White Nationalists Found Guilty of Inciting Serious Contempt of Muslims

Three far-right nationalists who staged a mock beheading to protest against the building of a mosque in Bendigo in central Victoria have been found guilty of inciting serious contempt of Muslims. Blair Cottrell, Christopher Shortis and Neil Erikson have each been fined $2,000 after they filmed the beheading of a mannequin with a toy sword outside the Bendigo council offices in 2015.

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Enshrine Multiculturalism in law – Parliamentary report

Australia’s multiculturalism should be enshrined in law, taught in schools and protected by a new national commission, according to a new parliamentary report. The Senate Select Committee on Strengthening Multiculturalism released a report last week which also calls for plans to make citizenship requirements tougher to be dropped.
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Robots Enter Religion to Perform Buddhist Funeral Rites

With Japan’s population ageing and shrinking, many Buddhist priests receive less financial support from their communities, prompting some to find part-time work outside their temple duties. This pushed a Japanese company to find a new role for the humanoid robot ‘Pepper’, that of being a Buddhist priest.
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Dalai Lama: How to Be a Force for Good

The time for a force for good has come.

Each of us can join in that force for a better world, and mindfulness plays a crucial role.

The Dalai Lama has laid out a strategic map for this force, focusing on the good each of us can do. There are three steps: First, gain inner composure. Second, follow an inner rudder toward compassion. Third, Act now, in whatever way we can.

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