Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bodhivana Monastery - East Warburton

Please Note:
Since this post has already become bit too long, I have decided to put upcoming events and updates about Buddha Bodhivana Monastery in different posts. To view these events just click on the Events link.

Main Meditation hall,   Bodhivana Monastery
Bodhivana Monastery is a Theravada Buddhist monastery of Thai forest tradition located about a 90 minutes drive from the centre of Melbourne. It is a branch monastery in the tradition of Venerable Ajahn Chah and was established to provide a place where candidates can train for ordination as Buddhist monks.

The current Abbot of the Bodhivana Monastery is Venerable Ajahn Kalyano who has trained for many years with Venerable Ajahn Anan (the Abott  of Wat Marp Jan, Rayong, Thailand), one of several disciples of Ajahn Chah who have become highly regarded as meditation masters in their own right.
(2011 Wikimedia Foundation, Inc , Bodhivana Monastery )

There is not much information on internet about this place. So I thought it will come handy for someone if I share my experience visiting Bodhivana Monastery during past few years. So here it goes.

This place is quite nice and very relaxing. Do carry some worm cloths if you are travelling there in winter as the temperature can drops to uncomfortable levels in mornings. People usually go there around 9.30 - 10.00 AM to participate for the alms giving round that take place around 11.00 AM every day.

Buddha Statue , Bodhivana Monastery
Weekends and public holidays can usually get very busy and can exceed 100 or more visitors.
This centre sometimes holds all night meditation sessions for lay followers. These are usually open events and do not require any prior registration. Upcoming events are usually advertised on the notice boards placed in the dining hall and in kitchen.

Twice a year on Vesak day and on the day of Katina ceremony, lay visitors are allowed to visit kutis build high up in the mountains and a guided tour is provided usually after the lunch on these specific days. Do carry a bottle of water and wear some good and comfortable shoes as the climb can be steep and the paths can be extremely muddy and slippery.

Good and  healthy segment of lay followers visit the center mostly consisting of Thais, Srilankans , Burmese and Australian (By Australian I meant Caucasians). In recent times Im observing a rapid increase in Srilankan visitors though.

What to do:
  • Bring some food for the alms giving round. It doesn't have to be exotic. But clean and fresh.
  • Clean up / sweep the hall, garden before the alms giving round begins.
  • Participate in the Alms giving round by offering rice to the Bhikkus.
  • There is usually a Dharma talk and question and answer session after the lunch. If you have a pressing question /doubt, this is the time to ask it from a Bhikku to get some insights.
  • Help cleaning and tidying the place once the alms giving round and lunch is over.
  • Donate money. Without generous donations from devoted followers it wouldn't have been easy to build a a wonderful and comfortable monastery like this one. Donating some money , even if it is a  very small amount will go a long way in assisting the new development of the monastery than bringing in bundles of toilet papers ,juice bottles and cereal boxes. I’m not saying that you should not bring in those items as donations , but the fact is that those  only get bundled up (You see there is a limit to a consumption of toilet papers and juice by a handful of  humans) and never get used by monks and ultimately will be given away. So why not do something wiser and worthwhile? Donation boxes/envelops are located in the Kitchen and in the entrance to the main meditation hall.
  • Collect heaps of merits and above all enjoy the peace and serenity of this wonderful place.
What not to do:
  • Taking photographs and videos of Bhikkus. In special occasions such as the day of the  Katina ceremony ,  visitors are allowed to  take photos/videos though. Signs are  displayed everywhere stating  not to take any photographs of the monks  But still some people arrogantly ignore these signs and go about doing their business.  Bhikkus will usually not protest but it is our responsibility to comply with their wishes rather than applying guerrilla tactics.
  • Trespassing.  Stay in the visitor's area. Don’t go wondering around.
  • If possible please avoid bringing in small children in to the meditation hall during the Dharma talk. Usually children start crying and make havoc when they don’t get enough attention and it is a massive distraction to everyone who are concentrating on the speech and to the speaker who tries to explain something.  Please have some common sense and take the crying child outside. Many parents do not have this common sense and the  sense of duty towards others , so they keep sitting in there making unsuccessful attempts to stop  the  cry baby and  bugging everyone in the process.
  • Sitting on the floor spreading feet towards the Lord Buddha and Bhikkus.  In Asian cultures and that included Srilanka as well, it is a dishonor to show an elder or a respectable person your feet or to spread your legs in the direction of statues and idols worshiped by others. Thai people usually sits in Vajrāsana which I think is a really good , comfortable and a respectable posture.
  • Do not be in contact with monks. its is not a serious offence. But its good if you can avoid that.
  • Put your donation money in to donation boxes. If the amount is large discuss with Ajahn Kalyano about other options to transfer money. Its good if you can avoid handing over money directly to the abbot.

Following is a small video that was taken on 2011 Vesākha day at Bodhivana Monastery.

26/02/2012 update:

While discussing with some friends,  I have realized that many first time visitors miss out on certain daily activities in the temple due to lack of communication and awareness. So here I will put down what happens in a regular day in the temple. As I’m not aware of the actual normal full day schedule of Bhikkus, this will only consist of things that take place during the lunchtime.

1. 9.00AM - 10.30 AM Lay visitors arrive to the temple. Early birds can participate in following activities.
- Prepare the kitchen 
- Take out dishes and arrange
- Sweep and arrange the dining hall attached to the kitchen
- Sweep the garden
- Place what they have brought for lunch on the dinning hall tables.
- Put small portions of white rice in to plastic disposable plates to offer during the simulated alms giving round.
- Have a coffee and relax till 10.30 AM

2. 10.30 AM -11.00 AM Participate in the alms giving round conducted in the garden outside the dining hall. You can take a plate of white rice and join the queue to offer rice to the parade of Bhikkus.

3. Once the alms giving round finishes, monks will go in to the dining hall again, get what they need to eat and go to the main Dharma hall to offer merits (punyanumodana) to the donors. 

As a lay person if you would like to participate in this, once you finish offering rice to the Bhikkus,  you should keep the disposable plates on the kitchen table (wait .... don't throw them) and go to the main dharma hall and wait there till monks arrive and conduct the punyanumodana.

4. Once the punyanumodana finishes, leave Bhikkus alone and head back to the main dining hall again to eat something. (My favorite part of the journey ^_^)

5. 12.00 PM -1.00 PM after you finish your meal head back to the main dharma hall again to listen to the short dharma talk delivered by the head monk at the center on that day.  Once it finishes there will be a short question and answer round. This is a good time ask any question (related to Buddhism and/or practice) and I have been impressed many times by the nice, relevant, concise and brilliant answers provided.

6. Once the question and answer time finishes you can offer things (if any)  you have brought  for Bhikkus and then  head back to the kitchen and participate in following activities, if they have not been completed by someone already.
- Clean and sweep the kitchen and the dining hall
- Wash, wipe dry the dishes and clean the kitchen
- Collect your utensils and leftover dishes
- Have a coffee and head back home.

Hope this description will help first time visitors. Please note that this normal daily schedule may slightly differ during the special days such as vesak ,  Katina ceremony day and during retreat days in Christmas.

Contact details:
Address: 780 Woods Point Road   East Warburton Vic 3799
Phone: 03 359 665 999
Fax: 03 359 665 998


  1. Hi Thank you for info. about this monastry. I was trying to look for the website but I stumble on your blog.

    1. Wow - love the shared information on what not to do - is always nice to be informed.
      Free Meditation Oasis

  2. Hello Tiraj,thanks for the info. The video clip is very well done. Same as Sammie, I stumble upon yr blog, while looking for Bodhivana Monastery. By the way,do you know whether they do short retreats for lay people in this monastery? I will be visiting them this May hopefully during the Vesak.
    Is this the only forest monastery in the Melbourne area?
    Thanks again.
    With Metta.

  3. You are warmly welcome Spring, Yes there is not much information about this place in the web. That’s why I thought about writing something. I’m not sure whether there is any other forest monastery in Melbourne area/Victoria except this one. I haven’t herd of any. If anyone knows please let me know as well. Even I m eager to find out. ^_^.

    There is a small temple called Sanghamittarama in outskirts of Melbourne for Theravada Buddhist Nuns. Address is: 40 Chesterville Drive, East Bentleigh (+613 9579 0450).

    As I’m aware there are only two good places in Australia for proper meditation retreats. First one is the Ajan Brahm's temple in Serpentine, Perth called Bodhinyana Monastery.Address: 216 Kingsbury Drive, Serpentine, WA. Second one is the Santi Forest Monastery in New south wales. Address: 100 Coalmines Road, Bundanoon ,NSW (+612 4883 6331). There is a very high demand for these retreats. You can consider yourself very lucky if you can get a place in them.

    At Bodhivana Monastery, once in a while they conduct meditation retreats. There is definitely a retreat on every year during Christmas holiday season. You can get to know further details by calling the temple. There might be other sessions during the year as well… Just that they are not pre planned and definitely not advertised well. Just a small notice on their notice board is the only indicator. But still don’t assume that only few people attend. Best way to find out is through a phone call.
    Mettha , Tiraj

    1. Newbury Buddhist Monastery?

  4. On 28 & 29 April 2012.Dhammagiri Hermitage will be celebrating Vesak
    and its 5 year anniversary of establishment as a Theravada Buddhist
    Forest Monastery.
    Venerable AJAHN KALYANO, abbot of Buddha Bodhivana Monastery
    near Melbourne, has kindly accepted our invitation to conduct teachings
    and guided meditations on this special occasion.

    1. My sincere thanks for this valuable information.
      If you can provide me with additional details such as the
      venue/address , timing , and the schedule for 28th and 29
      I can put it as a separate post and notify many other people who might be interested in attending.
      Metta , Tiraj

    2. Only just noticed your request. Bit late now, but this is a link to photos of the day's activities:
      All info re the monastery is on their website:

  5. Hi Tiraj,

    If possible, could you please add (rephrase in anyway you like) in your "What not to do" list:

    + For women, please be careful not to touch the monk unintentionally or not. This is really serious. I saw it nearly happen twice, and it appears to me that they do not know about this rule, but I feel like they should.

    + Please do not donate money to the monk directly. They are not allowed to hold or touch money.

    I believe few people did these simply because they did not know these rules exist. Would be helpful if you help spread the word.


    1. Thanks Ano , I will add them to the main post after 6th of April. … Metta Tiraj

  6. I'm worried whether to mention this or not...... oh well..... maybe it is better to express your feelings. Possibly, remotely, there may be some benefit from it.... Maybe not...
    I've been going to this temple for 7 years. Maybe 6 times a year. I had never been to Thailand, knew no Thais, new nothing about Buddhism. A Thai take-away waitress put me onto it. I loved it.
    I enjoyed the Thais. Their politeness, their quiet way of going about things. Their softness, compassion, tenderness etc. Some were very kind and offered me - a stranger, tips on when to move, where to go, etc etc. I never developed a relationship [which I did not want] - but enjoyed warmth upon seeing someone again who had offered a suggestion to me in the past.
    We are all different.
    But, last Sunday, I felt disappointed at 'my' perceptions or feelings.
    Somehow, I was possibly the sixth person in line obtaining some wonderful lunch. At a guess, there were possibly 60 people here this day.
    For some reason, I choose to, try very small portions of foods generously, and kindly provided. I do not gorge myself. I wish that delicious foods be available for all visitors.
    With my small serving, I looked around and saw mats stacked high in an area. I selected one, then moved, around 3 metres to one side, to allow others easy access, should other visitors be desirous of a mat also.
    Three men, shortly after, I will guess - in their early 20's with monotonously piled plates, came and grabbed three mats and plonked them selves right in front of the tables where the mats are stored. They block all access to the remainder. They sit with legs outstretched and talk loudly.
    A child tries to collect a mat. She struggles to climb over legs and eventually succeeds. But then others look, look left right, cannot see a method to gain access, and depart. I unfortunately see more look, and turn away disappointed. The other guests then must sit on the bare floor. These three men, then access more food, sweets, fruit - whilst there are still people in a queue.
    I see a large framed man, very well dressed also complete his meal, then walk back and grab fruit, sweets and hand them, I assume to his entourage [an old lady, maybe his mum, then to maybe his wife and then his daughter]. There are still people in the queue!
    I take my plate to the kitchen. A Thai lady insists twice that she clean it for me. I thank her, say she has a good heart and mind and is very very kind.
    I then sit upstairs and listen to the Canadian Monk chat with a lady who has her 2 young children with her. She is on and on about business and more money, and more opportunity for money, and you need money etc etc etc. I tried hard to meditate but was a little surprised at the importance placed and frequent mention of her love of money. Her son enjoyed twice singing loudly into the monks microphone. Her son enjoyed regularly wandering behind the monk, laying on other monks [not present] cushions. I found this a little disrespectful. The mother said to the monk that the children are energetic.
    I did not fully enjoy the presence of these new peoples now attending this place that I only had peace at for so so long.
    Modern times?, different cultures? who knows...
    I'm very disappointed in myself. For letting this enter my mind.
    But, unfortunately, I think I will choose not to return should this be the common 'practice' of these newer attendees.
    I did not bring food or drink this day. I donated $20.
    Apologies for this long rant. Should I speak to 'diners'. Should I have spoken to this mother? in front of the monk?
    Enjoy your visits.
    I will remember the past.

    1. Look inwards and you will get your answer.
      Fern Perera

  7. Dear Ano, if you have commented using the real name it would have been the best but your thoughts and views nevertheless are important. Yes, I also started visiting there around 2006. So its about 6 years now. I halve also witnessed and gone through a similar set of disappointing experiences in recent years. That’s what gave birth to this blog post in the first place. I no longer feel the calmness, the magical feeling of closeness and togetherness, feeling of loving kindness I used to get among fellow attendees.

    Yes the monastery has developed quite a lot during past few years but that has also brought in a main stream of visitors who are not interested in the spiritual side of visiting a monastery. For most of them it has just become a fascinating /different weekend getaway with a twist.

    One day, long after the order of Bhikku was initiated by Lord Buddha, an arahath (is it ven Sariputtha? I'm not sure) went and asked from Lord Buddha, O sir earlier there were few monks in the order. But who ever came in to the order became enlightened quickly and almost all bhikkus were enlightened ones in those early days. Now, there are lots of monks, but hardly anyone proclaims that they have attained nibbana. What causes this O Sir? For this lord Buddha replied…. Oh Monk, that’s what happens when degrading. Hope you got the meaning.

    When you cannot walk peacefully with the dirt and thorns scattered on earth, you can do two things. Clean everywhere or wear shoes. I personally prefer wearing Shoes. I advise you to do the same so that you don't miss out beautiful and rare things in life because of some ignorant, self centered, egocentric people. Discard the hatred developed in you. Take them as angels who challenges your practice of Sathara Brahma Viharana (i.e.: loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity). What used to be a nice peaceful place has changed in to a not so nice and not so peaceful place. Doesn't that teach you an important lesson on impermanence?

    Every dark cloud has a silver line in it. Make use of all experiences you go through to improve your practice.

  8. Yes i agree. Im also disappointed at people who come there only for a feast and gorge themselves and family members. They also bring nothing but eat alot.

    Lot of them i notice to be of my culture Sri Lankan. Also many bring containers and take all the left over food.

    with Metta

    1. Dear Ano, it’s sad to see people lamenting about the way and how others eat. Since you have mentioned that you are a Srilankan let me remind you that in Srilanka , we take so much pride , satisfaction and pleasure in offering food (and seeing guests get full and happy by eating ) to anyone who drops by. Have you forgotten that there are so many free food stalls (Dan sal) all around Srilanka in this season offering free and delicious food to anyone who cares to step in.

      It is highly unlikely that people are driving 80Km from Melbourne to a temple to just to eat a meal. Since there is nothing much to see in the vicinity of the temple they cannot be just pass by loafers who drops in for a meal. So rather than being critical about how and what people eat, be welcoming to the visitors who took the initiative to drive all the way to the temple. There are hundreds of thousands of Buddhists in Melbourne. But minute fraction of them visits temples like this one. So as Buddhists we should welcome all who take the initiative to come down, even if they don't bring anything. Visiting a temple itself is a great thing to do.

      If people take away "leftover" food isn’t that good? Rather than throwing leftovers in to a dustbin shouldn’t we feel happy that someone is taking them home and eating it?

      Bring food, Share food, and enjoy food… Never get mentally tortured by food. If you can't eat a lot, be happy that someone else can. Go to the temple and take back home something nice. Not hateful, jealous unpleasant feelings. Cribbing about what others eat is a very cheap thing to do brother.

      May all be free from unplesent feelings... Tiraj

    2. Well said Tiraj.Im so proud of you. All humans should read this. Many people are worried what other people do. They don't even know what they themselves do.
      Giving is a blessing.

  9. I tried - not hard enough, to visit [and hopefully stay] last year at Venerable Ajahn Kalyanos' Wat that he studied/practiced/whatever the correct word is, in Thailand.
    I got so close!! has anyone been???

    They did not reply to my request. I stayed at a pretty ordinary nearby town for 3 days. Surprisingly to me, no one knew of it - until I showed some [very expensive] cab drivers the web site on my phone.

    1. I don’t know why they haven’t replied you. But these are the main factors I may take in to consideration while replying someone.
      - Nature of the request. What you need.
      - Language usage
      - Amount of Enthusiasm displayed
      - Application of humility visible in your email and thus (hopefully) in your life

      If you haven’t given up… try again.

    2. Thanks for giving this information about the monastery. I visit there at least once a week and just notice different people come there for different reasons. some to make merits and to shorten the cycle of samsara, some to make merits expecting a good life and pass merits to their loved once who have passed away, some just to see around. Not all the humans are the same so the behaviour is not the same too. I have never been affected by others acts as I know and truly believe that I am only responsible for my own karma. if the we are mindful and aware of our own karma or acts we will not be irritated by others acts. then we can find the true meaning of visiting the Monastery and develop our practice or way of life,,

    3. Certainly , We are the masters of our own mind. if we have full control over it who can destroy our peace? Well said.

    4. Hi Tiraj. Thanks so much for infos very usedful. Anumo da na sa tu.

    5. Seeing you have got something out of it ... is my best return.
      /\ :)

  10. Tiraj,

    dansal in Lanka isnt provided 365 days a year. Also remember that Australia isnt a 3rd world country and i doubt anyone would be starving for food.

    I also dont thing driving all the way from dandenong where all the lankans live is a great feat.

    Still you cant avoid ignorant and selfsih people out there. Im just pinting out the truth. Well i'll let the law of kamma take its place for those people.

    1. Oh Mo! I don’t want to rot in Hell... I will avoid eating what brought by Srilankans from today onwards .... Thai food is good enough to me to stay out of trouble I guess ~_^

    2. Yes Ano, I agree with all your observations and have to back up your comments in the face of your criticism, I have been attending the temple at Warburton and working/staying there on occasion since 2006 and have seen the deterioration of its attendees mostly of the Sinhalese groups. In 2006 the % of Sinhalese were about 35% today it is 80%, the rest are Thai and Malaysian Chinese with a smattering of western people mostly married to Asians (like myself).

      It is a popular observation by non Sinhalese of the behavior of these people there that you too have observed. They rock up (usually late from Noble park where they mostly live) with car loads of all the grandparents, uncles and aunties, children and parents from BOTH sides with one small bowl of food for Dana between themselves!! Then they pile up their plates with food donated by others (usually from the regular Thais who turn up like TCE) with NO regard for the long line of people behind them out the kitchen door who are waiting in line.

      They then take all the few cushions, and most disturbingly eat with their hands that repulses my wife and all others. During school holiday periods, hordes of Sinhalese family groups turn up during the week and clean out the food where many people miss out. The bowls of offerings by the rostered dana attendees have been scraped clean.
      Their children are wild and misbehaving requiring the monks to police them and instruct them to go back to the kitchen where their parents are for safety.. The Sinhalese rarely bring offerings of money (That we require for repair of equipment and machinery, and for building projects) or requisites for daily hygiene, and then are the FIRST to leave the temple to go home and dont stay to help clean up.

      This is all known by the Sangha and the Committee. I have spoken directly to a few Sinhalese that i have known for a while and echoed these sentiments to them to spread the word amongst the community that everyone else is watching them and is mindful of their behavior and actions.

      During the working bees the Sinhalese comprise 5% of the workers and these are the regular single guys and few women who turn up and actually WORK.

      I believe that it is in the interests of the future survival of this temple that its events and existence is published to attract many more groups (Cambodian, Vietnamese, Chinese, current Mahayana supporters and general public etc) to even out the balance of visitors as many Thais have been spooked and attend other places of worship as a result.
      We had the lowest attendance for any Katina this year compared to other years as Wat Thai in Box Hill had the same Katina on the Sunday. The Thais (who are big donors stayed away in droves) if it wasnt for the kind support from the Thai restaurants who attended and provided free food we would have all starved. It is therefore imperative to attract new people. The Sangha now this but there attitude is a fateful one of , "Oh well, if that is the way it is then that is the way it is". Death by a thousand cuts.

      We now go to Springvale more often where these temples do not welcome any Sinhalese for the reasons I have outlined. The community leaders of the respective Asian temples openly tell the Sinhalese to leave the premises once they first enter as they are only minutes from Noble Park and Dandenong. I heard the Loatian temple in Keysborough has sign in Sinhalese advising them they are not welcome to the temple.

      It reminds me of the Crow, they pillage and steal all the other species's resources and then eventually when that is all gone they move on elsewhere.
      I can see now why the Tamils had a hard time with the Sinhalese back home.

      I feel that the Sinhalese community leaders need to be made aware of this and their community briefed on better manners and protocol.

    3. Thank you Vandy for this long , straightforward and truthful analysis of Srilankans. I can not agree more. As a sign of respect and appreciation I will put this as a post in this blog.

      I dont visit Bodhivana monastery anymore.. and one reason for that you have explained very nicely. I feel irritated and poked each time I see an ill mannered Srilankan. Rather than feeling happy and serene after visiting there, I return back with a heavy heart.

      Secondly , the marginalization of Srilankans as a group by Thai people. I dont irritate or behave like an idiot in there. but many times I felt i have been looked down upon and marginalization by Thais thinking that im "one of those rouges" ...

      As a unbiased person , I will only disagree to your following comment.
      "I can see now why the Tamils had a hard time with the Sinhalese back home"

      if you have been or dealt with Tamil people you would know. they are 10 times worst than Sinhalese when it comes to ethics , manners and culture. Dont forget that tamils are the ones who invented and used Child suicide bombers. .. talk about Tamil ethics in that .... :)

  11. anyone know the upcoming programs for this year? especially Kathina ceremony date?

    1. Venerable Ajahn Kalyano recently requested from me to not to post any information about the monastery or its events on the web. He stated that the monastery does not wish to seek publicity in any way… and being a forest monastery for practising dharma, unwanted publicity and people gathering creates hindrance for their practise. He also kindly mentioned that, it is the reason why they don’t even put a board next to the road indicating that there is a monastery.

      So I have complied with his wishes and removed all the past events I have posted in here and decided not to post any upcoming events as well.

      This is the only post left in my blog about the monastery at the moment and I m considering to remove it in the near future as well.

      Many Thai free news papers publish events and updates about the monastery (in Thai of-cause) in them. You can look in to them if you prefer.

  12. Best to do as he wishes then. All this web stuff may cause unwanted publicity and comments over the years.

    Will have to just visit the temple and try and find out. One more reason to visit the temple.

  13. thanks for this machan. valuable info!

    1. You are welcome machan. Its good to see you here ..

  14. Hi Tiraj,

    Just wondering if we can still make dana at the monastery as per usual with Vassa on, or if there's any other arrangement?...I'm still new to this, you see : )


    1. Hi Josh,
      Yes You can. Its business as usual down there. :)
      Only difference is that venerables will not be traveling long distances / overseas during the rainy season and some venerables may be observing long extended retreats.


    2. Thanks Tiraj,

      Much appreciated :)


  15. Hello,
    Thank you Thiraj for this wonderful site youve got up!Its a real treasure :D
    You have mentioned that you do not put up the monastery's events up publically, but is there any way you would be able to tell me what date the 2012 Kathina will be held?
    My Family visits almost every year but cannot find an official date for this years.
    If you could, it'd be much appreciated


    1. Dear Yoshitha , Please give a call to the number given in this post in a evening and Ajan Kalyano might be able to tell you the upcoming events and dates .... Do hurry up if you dont want to miss anything ;)

    2. Ajan will speak to you between 6 P.M to 6.45 P.M

  16. Hi Tiraj, I notice you have their phone number as 03 359 665 999.
    I think that's too many numbers. The correct number has one less 3.
    so it's 03 59 665 999

    1. Ooops , Thanks heaps for pointing it out.

  17. How many monks are there?

  18. Hi thiraj could you please tell me where i can buy "SIVURU" for the venerables. I would like to donate one for this monastery. Also please let me know if there is any brand or particular materiel for the sivuru in australia.


  19. Hi Tiraj. I must say, I am very disappointed reading these comments posted on a site that has connections to a beautiful place like the Bodhivana Centre. Your comments regarding the presence of children at the temple, as well as the donations to the Centre, and of Westerners are thoughtless and unkind. I am the mother of a two year old "cry baby", and I can assure you, it's a massive feat to get yourself and child to the temple in one piece, let alone have the opportunity to hear Dharma together. It is not always possible to organise suitable childcare or just leave the child at home. And once the parent has left the temple with the offensive child, then they are no longer given the opportunity to hear Dharma. As children are also sentient beings, perhaps it would be worthwhile to focus on training the mind and transforming adverse conditions into the path, as you have requested many of the people who have posted messages on this site to do rather than pointing the finger at the external object as being the cause of our suffering? I think a "noisy" child would be an excellent practice in patience. Children need to hear Dharma as well. I can appreciate what you are saying, but perhaps you could have worded it a little better?As for your comments of the donations to the Centre, I think any donation, whether it be toilet paper, food, money or just offering yourself would be a wonderful way to accumulate merit, provided the intention is correct and the mind is right. The criticism of Westerners on this site, coming to apparently gawk at, and the women to grope the monks, is also offensive. I wonder whether Bodhivana Centre endorse this site and these comments?

    1. Dear Ally , first of all thank you very much for your comment. Even though they hardly can make me convinced on something , I nevertheless like to see different point of views. Secondly , I like posting my thoughts in my blog and I believe Australia still has freedom of speech to express our opinion on subjects we care.

      I didn't point my fingers specially at westerners. if you felt it that way then you are mistaken. (And im sorry). To me all people are some or the other same.

      Anyway personally I go to a temple to have some peace , quite time , listen to Dharma with out any interruption and to contemplate peacfully. I get enough chances to practice my patience daily with hundreds of ill mannered and selfish people who only care about what they want with out having any empathy. So understandably I dont like to be presented with same type of torture when I go to a temple. I hope many other people who travel 100ds of KMs to get there feel the same way.

      Children and other worldly commitments are a hinderance to the path. Thats why anyone practising dhamma seriously renounce from all that worldly processions/attachments. As a parent you have to make a sound judgement on your actions and Im not here to tell you what to do. In the end It all bubbles down to how much compassion/consideration you have for other people.

      Imagine a calm and silent place where a group is listening and trying to concentrate on a dhamma talk ... a mother brings in a baby and distract everyone in that place .... personally I believe thats an act of MARA.

      Any how, any donation to anywhere is great. I just put down my viewpoint on that. if you understand it then its great. Not understanding is also great too.

      Finally I have no connection with the Bodhivana Monestary. I dont go there anymore. Everything in here reflect my pint of views. You are welcome to comment/argue on them. :)

  20. Hi there, all your wonderful information dates around 2012. I just moved to East Warburton 1 month ago, in fact on Woods Point road. Will all your information be still of use? Doug

    1. Yes Douglas, do visit and let us know your experience. I have no doubt you will like it.

  21. It is very disappointing that people say such harsh and cruel things about other races. Our Lord Buddha wanted us to purify our hearts and minds, not look for faults of other people. We have to look for peace and happiness within us, it is not somewhere out there, not in a monastery or the kitchen. If you are not peaceful within, you cant blame it on the behaviour of others. If you practise Buddhist teachings, you will be broadminded, compassionate, accepting and understanding. People come to Australia from different places and we have to accept them for who they are without passing judgement. People who judge others should practise metta meditation, cultivate sila, also cultivate mindfulness. Hopefully one day with cultivation of mindfulness, the judging mind will diminish.