About Us

The Directors:

Peter and Semone have a long association with Buddhist practice and philosophy in Australia. Semone was a founding resident at Wat Buddha Dhamma near Wiseman's Ferry. This was the first Theravada Buddhist Forest Monastery in Australia. Originally set up by Pra Khantipalo and Aya Khema  in 1978 the Wat had resident monks and lay community living and practising the Dhamma on a pristine property in the Dharug National Park. Semone lived there for four years practising and providing lay support to the Sangha.

Peter spent more than five years practising and training as a bhikkhu in the forest tradition of North East Thailand under the guidance of Luang Por Chah, between 1977 and 1983. Peter learnt to speak Thai and Lao and was able to translate original talks given by Ajahn Chah into English, particularly during the 1980 rains retreat. That year Ajahn Chah resided for the Vassa at Wat Pah Pong. During that retreat Loom Por was at the peak of his teaching prowess and gave several inspirational and spontaneous desanas.

In the day time he would sit under his Kuti and receive guests from all over Thailand and the world. Peter took the opportunity and spent many hours during the retreat under the kuti chatting with Loom Por, listening to him talk to guests and generally indulging in the aura of this great teacher. It was to be Loom Por's last effective Pansah before a creeping illness gradually took control of his body and debilitated him. By 1981 Loom Por's effective teaching years were over though he lived on until 1992 when over a million people attended his funeral celebrations, such was the reverence he had achieved.

In recent years Peter and Semone have had a successful career in Community Development and Vocational Training working with Aboriginal communities in Central Australia. In 2010 they decided to take a new direction in life and began to travel again in South East Asia. Gradually they have returned to the practice of Dhamma and are developing two properties as meditation retreat facilities.

Four Winds is located 80 kilometres South of Cairns in North Queensland. It is a 26 hectare property, one third of which is World Heritage Rainforest. It is situated in an ideal location for a retreat, close to the beach, mountains and waterfalls. The block in Lao PDR is at Paksi on the banks of the Mekong River just 20 kilometres South West of Luang Prabang in Northern Laos. It is just five kilometres from the beautiful Kuang Si waterfall.


Since Peter passed away on the 24th July 2015, all activities have been put on hold until further notice.



 

PRINCIPLE TENETS OF THE VINYANA GROUP

The Human Buddha - The human nature of the person who became the Buddha makes the path he discovered accessible to all. 

If the Buddha was not a human being with all the faults and moods that we all possess, then his teaching would have no relevance to our condition. Our regard for Siddhartha Gotama, the person who became the historical Buddha through his own efforts, is fundamental to the practice.  We place less emphasis on the traditional view of the Buddha as a superhuman being who descended from Dusita Heaven to take up his inevitable vocation as a Buddha. Even so, we still respect those traditional views and embrace the international culture of Buddhism.

OMNIPOTENT KNOWLEDGE - Omnipotent information is the building block of nature, the substance of creation and the content of liberation.

There is fundamental, ever present Truth or pool of information that is the building block of all forms of existence. It permeates the universe and drives the creation of life. We can  call it Sacca Dhamma (ultimate Truth). It can be represented in the laws of nature (eg. E=MC2), it can be observed in the genetic information contained in DNA or it can be personally realized as the knowledge of liberation (Paramattha Dhamma) where we become on with this omnipotent Truth.

OBSERVATION CREATES REALITY - Nothing is real until it has been observed. Nothing exists to us until it has impinged the six senses. There is no world outside our mind.

The Citta (mind/heart) is the sixth sense organ. It is like a satellite dish that receives transmissions of information. It is unique to human existence and through the development of this faculty we have the opportunity to observe the Sacca.

VINYANA THE ELEMENT, THE AGGREGATE AND THE INFORMANT -Vinyana is the repository for the critical information that migrates and informs one life to another.  
  • Vinyana is one of the six elements of existence and it is one of the five aggregates but it is the same vinyana.
  • Vinnana-rupa-vedana-sanna-sankhara is the order of human development. (information > body > sensory feeling > memory based thought > mind creations. The first three develop in the womb and the latter two post-natal. Each is dependent on the development of the previous)
  • Omnipotent Knowledge is transferred in all sentient beings as Vinyana. It is the energy that drives our existence and facilitates our liberation. Vinyana is the repository of critical information that migrates and informs one life to another. We take the Pali word "vinnana" (vinyana) to mean "separate knowing" or "other knowledge". In some contexts it can be understood as the more common translation "consciousness" when interpreting Dhamma as translated into English from the Theravada Canon. However to apply this meaning exclusively in all circumstances limits our ability to understand. When Ajahn Chah spoke of this he called it Poo Roo, the "One who Knows". Poo Roo is the Buddha within each of us.
AKASSANABALA - The mind’s power to attract is a key tool of practice in the sense that..... 

Whatever we think about a lot, the mind, as a consequence is attracted to it.” S.G

If we think a lot about worldly things then we will be attracted to them and they will be attracted to us as a consequence. If we think about Dhamma a lot then we will be attracted to it and it will be attracted to us as a consequence.

PERTINENT CONTRADICTION - There is fullness in emptiness.

By dwelling in emptiness we abide in the fullness of it.” S.G

He regards this place as being empty of that which is not there. His perception is empty of village, empty of human beings. There is only this of which it is not empty. That is oneness founded in the perception of forest. It is empty of what is not there. But with regards to what remains he comprehends, "That being so, then this is. Thus he comes to a true, utterly pure realization of emptiness." S.G. MN 3.21

GRADUAL KNOWING The attainment of wisdom does not happen as a single, spontaneous event.  Rather, Truth comes to us gradually in small but discrete waves.

I do not say that the final knowledge is achieved all at once. On the contrary, final knowledge is achieved by gradual training, by gradual practice, by gradual progress.” S.G. Kiagiri Sutta

 

These tenets are more fully explained in our member's area.