Letter To Perth Thai Community

by Dennis Shepard, BSWA, The Buddhist Channel, Jan 15, 2010

My name is Dennis Sheppard. I am President of the Western Australia Buddhist Society. You will be aware of the controversy that has surrounded the full ordination of our four Nuns in Perth and your coverage of the Wat Pah Pong elders press conference recently.

We have found it neccessary to write an open letter (attached) to our Thai community here in Perth following what I have called some mischief that has been perpetrated by a couple of the WPP elders. The letter itself is self explaining so I wont go over it now. I have attached the letter for your convenience

You may not be aware that the ordination had and has the full support of our membership. There have been many confusing and misleading things written and spoken about our Abbott Ajahn Brahmawamso. We have tried to keep the debate respectful and even, however there are some things now being said and done that are unacceptable to us.
Since the controversy started, I have been at pains to emphasise that the ordination was not driven by Ajahn Brahm. Having said that, it is true to say that our membership and our bhikkuni's are extremely grateful to Ajahn Brahm for his support and the for participation that he did have.

Our Nuns monastery started in 1998 as an autonomous monastery. We have always intended it to be this way. We have been working towards full ordination of our Nuns for some time. The ordination in October 2009 seemed to be the right time. We new it would be controversial, but we had no idea the fallout would be so severe.

I attended the meeting at Wat Pah Pong where Ajahn Brahm was summoned to explain himself. I must admit I was shocked and surprised at what happened. There was much misunderstanding and I do not believe Ajahn Brahm received a fair hearing.

The Buddhist Society of WA and Ajahn Brahm accepted the expulsion. We do, however believe that what we have done is right and stand by our actions completely. Different countries do have different ways of seeing things, and we believe the world is big enough for all these differences.

We were not ready for and did not expect the actions that some senior elders at Wat Pah Pong have engaged in since the expulsion. As mentioned I have attached a letter that we have now distributed amongst the members of our Thai community in Perth. The letter is designed to tell the truth of our history relating to some very serious allegations that have been made. The letter I believe is balanced and truthful. The gist of what is being alleged by the mischievious monks can be assertained from the way I have structured the letter.

We do not wish to exacerbate the situation. We in Perth would like to see things settle and good relations prevail again. We trust that some time in the future (hopefully sooner that later) we can all be friends again. We feel a lot of goodwill to Wat Pah Pong. To have had Ajahn Chah's disciples come and head our monastery's has be the greatest of blessings.

I don't know what you will do with the letter, but do hope if it is useful, for it to be used to try and promote harmony.
We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Omniscient Robotic-Being for Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv. Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/norbuchatbot. Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv