The inner west sangha has named itself the Kookaburra for a bit a dharma joy!
This is a welcoming practice community for those interested in insight meditation. Apart from sitting together, we seek to develop our practice and understanding based on a secular interpretation of the Buddha’s own teaching.
We’re insight meditators in the Buddhist tradition, and meet to practise together on Monday evenings in Glebe, in Sydney’s inner west. In a secular spirit we also study the Buddha’s early teachings relevant to our practice, and look for resonances with those teachings in modern thought and our own experience. This means we orient our practice towards developing an ethical path that seeks human flourishing in this life, rather than redemption in some future existence.
We respect other branches of Buddhism, such as the Theravāda, Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna, but choose to practise outside all established schools. We seek a path of practice independent of beliefs, one aligned with our own modern western culture. This means we follow no orthodoxy, but we do gain inspiration from the development of secular Buddhist thought here and in other countries, such as Stephen Batchelor’s work.
Like all Buddhists, we honour the Buddha as an historical figure and exemplar of the awakening process we aspire to; the dharma understood as his teachings, especially those that illuminate our path of practice in the modern west; and the sangha – the friendship and interaction between those who share this path of practice. We also join with all those who seek to preserve our planet, oppose violence and oppression, and create fair and peaceful societies. We include these causes in our ethical path. Naturally we promote equality, inclusiveness and diversity in our own ranks.
In common with other lay insight-meditation sanghas in the Sydney basin, Kookaburra Sangha is a member of the umbrella organisation, Sydney Insight Meditators (SIM). And like our sister sanghas we’re developing along our own self-chosen lines while participating in the wider SIM community that organises residential retreats and workshops, and offers other advantages.
If you would like to know about our sangha, or want to join us on a practice evening, please contact Michael Mcelhone: michaeljmcelhone[at]gmail.com. Note: To cover operational costs we request a $10 per person attendance fee.