THE VINYANA GROUP IS A BUDDHIST MEDITATION GROUP FOR PEOPLE INTERESTED IN THERAVADA BUDDHIST LAY PRACTICE. IT IS BASED AT THE FOUR WINDS RETREAT CENTRES BEING DEVELOPED IN AUSTRALIA AND LAOS.
RECENT EVENTS: 2012 / 2013 -
- MEDITATION SESSIONS - Introduction to Theravada Buddhism information sessions held at 55 Ban Xieng Torng, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR. Travellers from Australia, England, United States, Argentina, Italy and Russia experienced their first contact with the Dhamma.
- CLOTHES FOR KIDS DANA PROJECT - Distribution of 40 kilograms of clothing to children in Muang Ngoi Gow and Sop Jaam villages located on the Nam Ou River in Northern Lao in June 2012, Our second distribution of 40 kg of childrens clothes was completed in February 2013. We clothes were distributed to the school aged children at Sop Gorng village on the Nam Ou River. Thanks to all those who have contributed.
- MEDICAL KITS FOR CLINICS DANA PROJECT - Donation of a blood pressure kit and assorted medical supplies to the village clinic at Muang Ngoi Gow in Northern Lao. The clinic at Muang Ngoi has opened a four room hospital built by The Bamboo Schools group based in Germany. This facility will provide place for patients to be treated instead of being sent to the Norng Keo hospital.
- DISTRIBUTION OF BOOKLET "The Tathagata - Buddhist Guide to a Decent Way of Living" - We have been distributing the booklet at market stalls in Sydney and Cairns area.
- VISIT TO WAT BUDDHA DHAMMA - We travelled to Wiseman's Ferry, near Sydney, to pay our respects at WBD, the first Forest Monastery established in Australia (in 1978) by Pra Khanti Palo, Sister Aya Khemma and the community of lay supporters. Six bhikkhus and one samenari (female novice) spent the Rains Retreat at the Wat which is located in Dharug National Park.
- 2013 JOURNEY TO LAOS - Reports on our recent journey to Buddhist locations in Thailand and Laos (listed below) can be read on the new current affairs page on this site. We will provide regular updates of places and events of interest to Buddhists and those planning a such a trip.
- ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF THE TEACHINGS OF LUANG POR CHAH - Jan. 16, 2013 Wat Pah Pong
- VISIT TO PAH PONG - Ubon Ratchatani, Thailand.
- VISIT TO WAT PAH NANACHAHT - International Forest Monastery, Ubon, Thailand. Jan 17, 2013
- VISIT TO WAT SISAKET - Vientiane, Lao PDR, 26 Jan, 2013
- WAT OGART SAYARAHM - Muang Ngoi, Lao PDR. Feb, Apr. 2013
- WAT XIENG TORNG Luang Pra Bang, Lao PDR. March 2013
- VISIT TO WAT PAH CITTA BHAVANA - Saka of Wat Pah Pong located near Dorn Muang Airport, Bangkok. 17th Apr.
NEWS ITEMS : Ancient Buddhist city in Afghanistan to be mined by June.
By ANDREW LAWLER
Published: December 22, 2012. in the New York Times
WHEN the Taliban blasted the famous Bamiyan Buddhas with artillery and dynamite in March 2001, leaders of many faiths and countries denounced the destruction as an act of cultural terrorism. But today, with the encouragement of the American government, Chinese engineers are preparing a similar act of desecration in Afghanistan: the demolition of a vast complex of richly decorated ancient Buddhist monasteries.
The offense of this Afghan monument is not idolatry. Its sin is to sit atop one of the world’s largest copper deposits.
The copper at the Mes Aynak mine, just an hour’s drive south of Kabul, is to be extracted under a roughly $3 billion deal signed in 2007 between Afghanistan and China’s Metallurgical Group Corporation. The Afghan finance minister, Omar Zakhilwal, recently said the project could pump $300 million a year into government coffers by 2016. But the project has been plagued by rumors of corruption; there was widespread talk of a $30 million kickback involving the former minister of mines, who resigned.
In 2009, archaeologists were given a three-year deadline to salvage what they could at Mes Aynak, but raising money, securing equipment and finding experienced excavators took up more than half of that time. So the focus now is solely on rescuing objects. An international team of archaeologists is scrambling to save what it can before the end of this month, when it must vacate the central mining zone, at the heart of the Buddhist complex.
The task is herculean: more than 1,000 statues have been identified, along with innumerable wall paintings, fragile texts and rare wooden ornamentation. And the excavators can only guess at what may lie in older layers. There is no time to dig deeper.
From about the third century until the ninth century, Afghanistan served as a bridge between India and China and played a key role in shaping the Buddhism that swept across Central Asia. At Mes Aynak, monks and artisans built an astonishing array of temples, courtyards and stupas, as well as whole towns of workshops and homes for miners. (Even then, Mes Aynak was exploited for its copper.)
It’s ironic: a company based in China, which received Buddhism via Afghanistan, will destroy a key locus of that transmission. Washington, which condemned the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, is standing by as Kabul sacrifices its cultural heritage for short-term revenue.
The destruction is not just a cultural travesty. It may not even result in the advertised economic benefits for some time to come. World Bank experts told me that large-scale mining is not likely to take place at Mes Aynak for years. For one thing, there is no smelter to process the ore and no railroad to carry the material to China. An August rocket attack by Taliban militants on the mining camp prompted the Chinese workers to evacuate the heavily guarded site. The tenacious archaeologists, mostly Afghans, stayed behind.
There is still hope that the Afghan government might allow archaeologists to remain at the central complex past Dec. 31. “We’re hoping we get more time,” Philippe Marquis, the director of the French archaeological mission in Afghanistan and a lead scientist on the project, told me. There is no reason archaeology and mining operations can’t coexist at the site. But archaeologists fear the government wants to close the site to researchers and reporters to avoid embarrassing images of dynamited monasteries.
WHERE YOU CAN FIND US:
We are based in two locations, one near Luang Prabang, Lao PDR and the other near Cairns in North Queensland, Australia.
AUSTRALIA - Office and Retreat Centre - 1076 Bramston Beach Road, Bramston Beach. Queensland Australia. Phone: 07 4067 4184
LAOS - Retreat Centre (Under development) - Four Winds Garden Retreat, Xayaburi Road, Ban Paksi, Luang Prabang. Lao PDR.
Learn more about us.
CALENDAR OF COMING EVENTS:
DHAMMA DAY - Next open day for 2013 - Sunday 26th April, 1 - 4pm. For further information contact us on email@example.com
January 16, 2013 - Commemoration of the anniversary of the passing of Luang Por Chah - Wat Pah Pong, Ubon Ratchatani Province, Thailand (For an update see our current affairs page)
LATEST WEBSITE UPDATE - 5/5/2013 - Home Page - Current Affairs - (Wats of Interest - Wat Ogart Sayaram - Muang Ngoi, Wat Xieng Torng, Luang Pra Bang)
MEMBERSHIP - We have two types of members.
Savaka membership is for those who are generating an interest in Buddhism or who would more support in their practice. Savaka Membership of Vinyana is FREE. It may be all you need. It entitles you to attend our monthly Dhamma Day and weekly meditation evenings in the Cairns area and our on line practice support service. You will be able to access our network of similar souls trying to practice the Dhamma. You will also receive a monthly email with articles of interest and notice of coming events.
Samana membership is for those who are practicing regularly, are seeking more intensive practice opportunities and in depth information on Dhamma and meditation practice. Samana membership is by invitation and is FREE. There are qualifying criteria to determine eligibility. It entitles you to stay over at our retreat centres. Your membership does not cover the cost of your attendance at courses and retreats held periodically throughout the year. You will also have access to our blog and member's area of this website. In this area you will find information not accessible elsewhere, sure to stimulate your mind and contemplation of Dhamma. Please contact us for membership criteria.
LAST UPDATE - 5/05/2013