Welcome to the ‘Wisdom Series’

Published 13 March 2007

Learning from a diversity of spiritual approaches to living is the goal of the new ‘Wisdom Series’ being launched by Southern Cross University’s Centre for Peace and Social Justice, together with the Office of Regional Engagement.

The Wisdom Series will begin with a free public lecture by Geshe Ngawang Gedun, Spiritual Director of the Australian Tibetan Buddhist Centre (ATBC) on ‘The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism’.

The two-part teaching will be offered on Saturdays, March 24 and March 31, from 10am-12noon, in room L1.11 (Law block), at the Lismore campus.

Professor Bee Chen Goh, Head of the School of Law and Justice and Co-Director of the Centre for Peace & Social Justice, has had a long association with Geshe-la.

“When I found out Geshe-la was available to teach in the Lismore area, I jumped at the chance to invite him to share his wisdom with University staff, students and the wider general community,” she said.

“I’m delighted that this initiative was immediately supported by Ros Derrett, the University’s Director of the Office of Regional Engagement.”

Professor Goh has a special interest in peace and Buddhism issues, having developed an International Law of Peace research specialty derived from various spiritual teachings including Buddhist teachings and especially from the teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV.

“The Four Noble Truths seem a good place to start in developing an understanding of the fundamentals of Buddhism,” Geshe-la said.

Born in Tibet, Geshe Ngawang Gendun began his monastic Buddhist studies at an early age. He entered Sera Mey Monastery at age 13, and received full ordination from His Holiness Dalai Lama at age 20.

At the request of the Dalai Lama he began his teachings in Australia in 1995. His ability to communicate in English, combined with a rare compassion and sincere wish to assist Western students gain insight to Buddhist philosophy, has resulted in a growing number of attendees at teachings and Buddhist special events offered through the Australian Tibetan Buddhist Centre.

Geshe-la’s wish is to teach the Buddha’s scriptures to as many people as possible by 'continuing to share my knowledge of the Dharma in the West for the benefit of all sentient beings'.

The Four Noble Truths were one of the most fundamental of Buddhist teachings, Geshe-la said.

“They appear many times throughout the most ancient Buddhist texts, the Pali Canon, and are among the truths Gautama Buddha realised during his experience of enlightenment,” he said.

The Four Noble Truths are a formulation of Buddha’s understanding of the nature of suffering, the fundamental cause of all suffering, the escape from suffering, and what effort a person can go to so that they themselves can attain happiness, Geshe-la said.

Admission to the Saturday lectures is free. Donations to help the Australian Tibetan Buddhist Centre support Geshe-la will be gratefully accepted on the day.

Photo: Geshe Ngawang Gedun who will launch the Wisdom Series on two Saturdays, March 24 and March 31, from 10am-12noon, in room L1.11 (Law block), at the Lismore campus.

Media contact: Zoe Satherley Southern Cross University media officer, 6620 3144, 0439 132 095