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Third Global Conference
on Buddhism 2004

Bridging the Traditions

The Speakers

Venerable Ajahn Brahmavamso
(known to all as Ajahn Brahm) was born in London in 1951. He won a scholarship to Cambridge, graduating with a Bachelor degree in Theoretical Physics. Having been interested in Buddhism since age 17, he decide to go to Thailand to become a monk.

At the age of 23 he received ordination and trained for several years with the renowned meditation master Ajahn Chah. In 1983, he was invited to Perth by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia. He is now the Abbot of Bodhinyana Buddhist Monastery. He is also the Spiritual Patron to the Buddhist Fellowship.

Ajahn Brahm uses his unique combination of scholarship, meditation, and a wicked sense of humour to convey Buddhism to wide and varied audience.

Venerable Kwang Sheng
was a disciple of the late Ven Hong Choon and is currently the Chief Administrator of the Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery.

Seeing the importance of Dharma education, he founded the Dharma Propagation Division in 1998, which comprises of many young full­time Buddhist workers.

His talent extends to music and has co-produced several bestselling albums. He is also a Spiritual Patron to the Buddhist Fellowship and an Advisor to the Tai Pei Buddhist Centre and Brahm Education Centre.

Tashi Tsering
born in Purang, Tibet in 1958 and escaped to India in 1959 with his parents. He entered Sera Mey Monastic University in South India at the age of 13 and graduated with a Lharampa (the highest possible level) Geshe degree 16 years later. He then entered the Higher Tantric College (Gytuto) for a year of study. He has taught at Kopan Monastery in Nepal, the Gandhi Foundation College in India, Nalanda Monastery in France and has been the resident Geshe at Jamyang Buddhist Centre in London since 1994.

Venerable Dae In
born in 1955 and he was ordained 28 years ago in Sangwon sa, Korea. His previous Dharma teachers includes Ven. Hae-Kuk, Ven. Sung-San and Ven. Jawon. Ven Dho-Young was his adopted Dharma Father. During his days in Korea, he had stayed in many famous Korean Zen temples: Haeinsa and Sudoksa.

Ven Dae In had learned Vipassana meditation in Burma and Thailand before he went to Sravasti, India in 1999. He is the current Abbot of Chun Chook (Korean Buddhist) Temple in Sravasti. He has a vision to setup a dharma and meditation school as well as providing medical needs and supply to the poor locals in India.

Ven. Dr Sri Dhammananda
born in 1919 in Sri Lanka (Ceylon). He was ordained as a novice monk at the age of 12. He was given the name "Dhammananda" meaning "one who experiences happiness through Dharma".

He became a fully ordained monk in 1940 and later received higher ordination at the age of 22. In 1952, from about 400 monks, he was selected to go to Malaya (Malaysia) to administer the religious needs of the Sinhalese Buddhists in the country. Ven Dhammananda's fame as a Dharma speaker has spread to USA, Australia, UK, Europe and the rest of Asia, where he is often invited to speak.

He has published numerous books including:
Why Worry?, What Buddhist Believe and The Dhammapada.

Venerable Sangye Khadro
(Kathleen McDonald) was born in California, US, in 1952. She took her first courses in Buddhist meditation in Dharamsala, India, in 1973 and took ordination in 1974. She lived at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, for 2 years, studying and doing meditational retreats.

England to continue her higher Buddhist studies, and in 1982 helped establish Dorje Pamo Nunnery in France. From 1985 to 1987, she taught in Australia, and then for a year in Nepal.

In 1988 she took the Bhikshuni Ordination. She was the resident teacher of Amitabha Buddhist Centre in Singapore for many years.

Her book How to Meditate, published in 1984, has been a continuous Buddhist best-seller since that time.

Venerable Piyatissa
was born in 1928 and became a monk in 1950.

After obtaining a Bachelor's and a Master's degree, he served as a teacher at the Central College, Polgahawela and Ananda College in Sri Lanka. In 1972, he went to the UK to conduct Buddhist missionary work and from there, to New York to set up a Vihara. He is the President of the American­Sri Lanka Buddhist Association, Inc. and founder and President of New York Buddhist Council, President of Sri Lanka Sangha Council, Vice President of the World Sangha council of North America, Executive Committee Member of the World Conference on Religion and Peace and a Faculty Member of the New School University in Manhattan, New York City.

Karma Lekshe Tsomo
Karma Lekshe Tsomo is an Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego. She studied Buddhism in Dharamsala for 15 years and completed a doctorate in Philosophy at the University of Hawaii with research on death and identity in China and Tibet. She has written numerous book. She is President of Sakyadhita: International Association of Buddhist Women and Director of Jamyang Foundation, an initiative to provide educational opportunities for women in developing countries, especially in the Indian Himalayas and Bangladesh.

Venerable George Churinoff
is an American Buddhist monk who teaches meditation and philosophy. He received a B.Sc in Physics from MIT in 1967 and an M.A. in Buddhist Studies from Delhi University in 1990. One of the elder disciples of the late Tibetan master Lama Thubten Yeshe, he was ordained as a Buddhist monk in the Tibetan tradition in 1979.

With his training in science and more than twenty years of Buddhist meditation practice, he brings a clear and well-reasoned presentation of Tibetan Buddhism and its application to everyday life. He has studied and meditated in both the Sutra and Tantra traditions of Buddhism, and he has taught extensively in Nepal, India, England, Holland, Italy, Germany, Russia and the Far East.

Venerable Yifa
holds a PhD in religious studies from Yale University (1996) and has been an ordained Buddhist nun since 1979 while she was a 2nd year law student at university. Presently, she is the Abbess of Greater Boston Buddhist Cultural Center, Fo Guang Shan's affiliation in Massachusetts and teaches at Boston University. Outstanding Young Persons in Taiwan in 1997 and Outstanding Woman in Buddhism Award in 2003. In recent years she has been an active participant in interfaith dialogue. She has written numerous books, including Safeguarding the Hearta Buddhist Response to Suffering and September 11 is published in August, 2002 by Lantern Books and The Origin of Buddhist Monastic Codes in China published by Hawaii University Press.

Venerable Ajahn Sujato
(Anthony Best) is an Australian Buddhist Monk. In 1994 he left his music career to take higher ordination in Thailand in the forest lineage of Ajahn Chah. As well as living for several years in forest monasteries and remote hermitages in Thailand, he spent three years in Bodhinyana Monastery (Perth) as secretary of Ajahn Brahmavamso, and over a year in a cave in Malaysia. He now resides at Citta Bhavana Hermitage, Bundanoon, Australia.

He has combined his love of meditation with study of the Buddha's Teachings, and in 2001 published his first book, "A Swift Pair of Messengers", a compilation of Sutta passages on the theme of tranquillity and insight.

Dr Ang Beng Choo
obtained a BA degree from the University of Singapore, a MA degree from the University of Hawaii and PhD degree from the National University of Singapore. Dr Ang worked with the Ministry of Education for more than 30 years in various capacity. She is now the Deputy Director of Singapore Buddhist Federation Public Relations Unit, Patron of Buddhist Fellowship, National University of Singapore Buddhist Society, Nanyang Technological University Buddhist Society and Advisor to Nanyang Polytechnic Buddhist Society. She was awarded the Outstanding Woman in Buddhism Award in Education and Culture by Buddha Light International Association in 1998.

Kweh Soon Han
holds a Bachelor and Master in Law from the National University of Singapore. He is the Managing Partner of his law firm. He sits on the Board of several non-profit Institutions and Charities: National Kidney Foundation, Singapore Human Resources Institute and the NUS Temasek Hall's Senior Common Room Committee. He is presently the President of the Buddhist Fellowship, Singapore and conducts Dharma talks on a regular basis to members, temples as well as to the public.

Dr Wong Yin Onn
graduated with a Bachelor's degree in medicine from the University of Malaya in 1984. He did post-graduate training in Internal Medicine, obtaining his Membership of the Royal Colleges of Physicians, UK in 1987. His personal practice is primarily meditative and is determined to find the truth that lies within. Dr Wong has been active in attending Buddhist meetings and his sharing of his pilgrimage experience in India has inspired many. He believes that genuine interaction between different traditions and the willingness to learn from each other is critical in keeping Buddhism alive and relevant in our modern society.

Captain Tan Hup Cheng
A Colombo Plan scholar, graduated with a BSc. Degree in Nautical Studies at the University of Southampton. He was a Lieutenant in the Singapore Navy and later, rose to the rank of Captain at Neptune Orient Lines. Mr Tan has been a Buddhist since childhood . He decided to follow the Vajrayana school of Buddhism in 1979 on meeting his root guru, Kyabje Rato Rinpoche. He was the founding President of Amitabha Buddhist Centre and served for 13 years in total. Mr Tan's main interest is in the area of applying the Buddhism teachings in our everyday life, such as in business, work, relationships and family life.

Mr Sol Hanna
Sol Hanna became a Buddhist at the age of 18 through contact with the Sangha in his home town, Perth, Western Australia in 1993. Five years later he traded in his band and a scholarship to study overseas in for some "higher education" - a two year stay at Bodhinyana Monastery, including donning the brown robes. After disrobing at the end of 1999, he became the Vice President of the Buddhist Society of WA for the next three years, and is currently the President. Sol is studying at Murdoch University for a Bachelor of Arts (History) and Bachelor of Education and has the aspiration to help establish a Buddhist secondary school in Australia some time in the future.


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