Buddhism in Australia and New Zealand: antipodean Dharma

Barker, Michelle, and McAra, Sally (2012) Buddhism in Australia and New Zealand: antipodean Dharma. In: Abeynayake, Oliver, and Tilakaratne, Asanga, (eds.) 2600 Years of Sambuddhatva: global journey of awakening. Ministry of Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs, Government of Sri Lanka, Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte, Sri Lanka, pp. 557-568.

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Abstract

[Extract] In 2002 a group of Tibetan monks created a sand mandala in the Aotea Centre, a performing arts and events centre in Auckland, New Zealand. The final occasion in the event was, as usual, a dissolution ceremony, in which the elaborate, colourful sand patterns are swept up and then taken to a nearby body of water, where they are ceremonially tipped into the water as a blessing. Before the dissolution began, however, various speeches were given. Among the speakers was a man of Maori ancestry, who addressed the monks in the Maori language, following traditional speech-making protocols. It is now a conventional part of public welcoming ceremonies for various dignitaries visiting Australia and New Zealand to include speeches from indigenous representatives. Indeed, when the Dalai Lama visited the site where the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion is being built near Bendigo in Victoria, Australia, he received what was referred to as a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony before he went onto the stage to address the waiting audience. Once on the stage, a local Aboriginal elder was among those who gave welcome speeches. These two occasions show how indigenous issues in Australia and New Zealand are beginning to affect how Buddhism is practised here. What was noteworthy at the Aotea Centre was that the speaker, on this occasion, was also a practising Buddhist. Before and after his speech, he performed three full prostrations toward the Buddhas on the altar, laying himself out face down on the ground in the typically Tibetan Buddhist gesture of homage.

Item ID: 24752
Item Type: Book Chapter (Non-Commercial)
ISBN: 978-955-9349-33-4
Keywords: Buddhism in the West; New Zealand; Australia; religious change
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Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2013 04:06
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160805 Social Change @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950404 Religion and Society @ 100%
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