An Introduction to Mahayana Buddhism

Mahayana means ‘the great way’, which aims to benefit all people and all forms of life. This word comes from one of the ways a person can practice Buddhism. The motivation for their meditation, prayers, ritual, and mantra can be not just for their own sake, but for the sake of all their precious family, and for the sake of all beings.


Guan Yin Bodhisattva. 
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Namaste Yoga – ABC Short Film

Namaste Yoga - ABC Short Film
One of the most authentic portrayals of Hindu life in a Western country has just been released as a film on ABC ME and iview, called “Namaste Yoga”. Namaste Yoga is about Shiv, a 10-year-old boy living in Australia who is ashamed of being Indian, and when he gets into a fight at school, the only way to avoid suspension is by doing mandatory lunchtime yoga classes. Cue Miss Blanche – home room teacher and self-proclaimed yoga “guru”.

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Environmental Film Festival Australia

Environmental Film Festival Australia

Environmental Film Festival Australia (EFFA) presents a one-day mini-festival, showcasing Indigenous voices and sovereignty through film. This is a one-day cinema event at ACMI, Fed Square on 10 December 2022 celebrating Indigenous perspectives on climate, ecology, culture and custodianship.

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Angels, Art and the Bible

Archangel Michael

Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians all share the belief that every human being has a guardian angel watching over him or her. Muslims believe that each person has four angels, malaa’ika – two recording their good deeds, the other two, their bad. Angels, the Bible and art. In this article, different depictions of angels in art are present along with the Bible passages that inspired them.

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Attorney General references Religious Discrimination Bill at Interfaith Breakfast

ACU Interfaith Breakfast 2022

Discussions about religious freedom in Australia should aim to unite the nation rather than divide it, guests at the Australian Catholic University’s sixth Parliamentary Interfaith Breakfast have heard.

Over 160 guests, including around 50 faith leaders and 50 parliamentarians, gathered for the Parliamentary Interfaith Breakfast at the National Press Club in Canberra on 24 November 2022, after a two year hiatus due to the pandemic.

Attorney general Mark Dreyfus gave a speech at the 6th interfaith breakfast event where he spoke about the government’s plan for a religious discrimination bill.

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Spiritual technologies: Exploring the intersections between religion and modern tech

religion in the digital age

From brain-based tech designed to trigger, enhance, accelerate, modify or measure spiritual experiences to new spiritual movements in Silicon Valley and the everyday ways technology is used in worship and devotion, there is a brave new world of transcendent tech giving both pious pioneers and defenders of traditional religion something to ponder.

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10 Spiritual Principles for Climate Repentance

promoting the 10 spiritual principles for climate repentanceThe 10 Spiritual Principles for Climate Repentance prompts religious leaders to call for a re-examination of deep-seated attitudes and identifying ways to transform people’s attitudes toward the well-being of Earth, mankind’s common home. The ecological crisis is a spiritual crisis of how we deal with this ongoing destruction of Planet Earth, our home. As spiritual beings the question before us is “When will religion – the sleeping giant – wake up to address the ecological crisis?
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Global religious leaders promote climate action during UN climate conference COP 27

Interfaith gathering for climate repentanceDozens of religious leaders from around the world gathered today Sunday November 13th, simultaneously in London, Sharm el – Sheikh, Jerusalem and other locations around the world to held a ground-breaking Climate Repentance Ceremony. The leaders walked together, in a prayerful, penitential march with scrolls bearing the Ten Principles for Climate Repentance.
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Fryers Street Food Festival brings joy and business to Shepparton after flood damage

Fryers St Food Festival

The Fryers Street Food Festival returned to Shepparton’s CBD after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

Organisers say it was a chance for the community to come together after a tough few weeks of dealing with floods.

At least 15,000 people attended the festival, which featured food trucks, stalls by local eateries and live music.

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‘A need for Islamic ecumenism’: An interview with Cardinal Fitzgerald

 Cardinal Michael FitzgeraldDays before Pope Francis’ trip to the Muslim-majority country of Bahrain, Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald spoke with The Pillar about the most pressing challenges in Catholic-Muslim relations, the need for “Islamic ecumenism,” and the impact of Benedict XVI’s Regensburg lecture.
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Diwali – Festival of Lights

Diwali lampsMonday 24 October is the Observance of Diwali (or Deepavali) – an event that is celebrated by South Asian communities and religious groups. Diwali, which translates to ‘Festival of Lights’ is one of the major annual Indian festivals and is celebrated over a period of five days by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs across the globe. It is a highly anticipated celebration and is renowned for its beautiful and bright illuminations which bring the community together.
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Prayers and Meditation for COP27

Prayers and Meditation for COP27 We encourage people of all faiths to offer their prayers and meditations towards a beneficial UN COP 27 (the next climate change conference). Our silent prayer and meditation around the world helped the outcome of the Glasgow COP26 through collaboration and inclusion.
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Multi-faith services in cathedrals and other iconic places of worship

Australian Religious Response to Climate Change Logo

On Thursday October 13th people of all faiths both in Australia and around the Pacific will come together to show our support for an open letter to Prime Minister Albanese that will be signed by senior faith leaders both from Australia and the Pacific calling on the Australian Government to:

  • Stop approving new coal and gas projects
  • End public subsidies for coal and gas projects
  • Actively participate in creating a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty to phase out fossil fuels and support a just transition.

These issues are right at the top of the political agenda right now both domestically and when it comes to what Pacific nations have been calling on Australia to do.

In support of this open letter there will be multi-faith services in cathedrals and other iconic places of worship across both in Australia and the Pacific on the same day.

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‘Honey-child, listen to me’: a radical Buddhist nun on how to be happy in a crazy world

Venerable Robina Courtin - Australian buddhist nun

It’s a Tuesday evening in the small country town of Milton on the south coast of New South Wales, and the scent of the freshly brewed chai and homemade soup about to be served is wafting through the draughts in the Country Women’s Association hall as discussion veers between death, killing, war, abortion, prison and suffering.

Around 50 people, some longtime members of the local Buddhist group, others curious newcomers, are seated cross-legged on the wooden floor or on plastic chairs, a portrait of a young Queen Elizabeth II looking down, listening to a Buddhist nun. The topic for the night: “How to stay positive in a negative environment.”

“Our problem is we think the outside world is the main cause of our suffering – and our happiness,” says Venerable Robina Courtin, an Australian, now 77, who was ordained in the Tibetan Buddhist Gelugpa tradition in the late 1970s.

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Interfaith community comes together in photos

Prayer and Reflection - Interfaith Art Exhibition

In collaboration with Liz Arcus Photography, the Shepparton Interfaith Network came together to highlight the importance of prayer and peace on September 21. On display were pictures of 21 participants from multiple faiths, including Roman Catholicism, Islam and Hinduism.

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Marita Taverner: Mother to Many, Friend to All

Marita Taverner

Marita Taverner had a big family in Shepparton. A mother and grandmother, Marita ‘adopted’ a great many other sons and daughters, particularly in the past 20 years when she supported African immigrants.

She took them to school, to medical appointments, advocated for them and even attended new births.

In 2019, on World Refugee Day, Marita Taverner shared her faith as she undertook her service to the African Community with the St Vincent de Paul Society and the Parish of St Brendans.

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International Day of Non-Violence

International Day of Non-Violence

Since 2007, every year, on the 2nd of October, comes the International Day of Non-Violence. The 2nd of October is an occasion to push for non-violence through education and public awareness. It also marks Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, who believed it was irrational to use violence to try and gain a peaceful society.

Gandhi was the leader of India’s independence movement, and a proponent of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence. His movement for change in society and politics has been followed by oppressed people across the world.

Achieving social change through non-violent means, such as civic resistance, non-compliance, and civil disobedience has been employed throughout history.

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