20 June 2016 Guided sitting practice had already begun when I tiptoed into the Buddhist Society of Victoria’s meditation hall last Saturday morning. A row of nuns draped in robes of ochre, russet, and chestnut hues presided from either side of the illuminated Buddha statue at the front of the room. I located a spare

Would You Speed Date a Muslim?

Sunday, 20 December 2015 by

A Buddhist and a Taoist walk into a deli-café for an afternoon of Muslim speed dating. It may sound like the set up to a cringey joke, but trust me, there’s nothing farcical (nor dating-related, actually) about it. I have dragged my friend Alex with me to Moroccan Deli-cacy, the latest culinary jewel of Melbourne’s

‘How about today, shall we smoke?’ The diminutive* pensioner sitting opposite me lifts two fingers to her mouth; they are holding an invisible cigarette. ‘Sure, Vicky. Why not,’ I reply, and she is visibly delighted. She is not actually talking about smoking, but sharing some ricotta cigars—cylindrical pastries that are filled with cheese and jam,

Kindness is what our mindfulness meditation is often missing, according to Buddhist teacher Venerable Ajahn Brahm. Last month in Bangkok I had the privilege of attending a one-day retreat with him, where he taught and guided us in ‘kindfulness’ meditation practice. Kindness… Mindfulness… Kindfulness. I’ve never heard the term before and I have to tell

The Heart of a Mother

Sunday, 10 May 2015 by

With Mother’s Day upon us, I want to take a moment to honour what being a mother means. Certainly no mother is perfect. Some are downright challenging. Mine happens to be incredibly kind, and it’s my good fortune to be celebrating her today. But no matter the mother we’ve known, according to my Buddhist training

One thing I love about being in Bangkok is the variety of hawker stalls lining the streets. They sell everything from fresh fruit to pad thai noodles cooked to order. On this trip, I’ve found a new vendor setting up in our soi (small street) each afternoon, and he sells one of my favourite indulgences:

Today is International Women’s Day and I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the freedoms in my life. I am an educated woman in my thirties. I am free to spend the money I earn at work how I choose. I am free to travel where I choose, on my own if I so

Hey You, Stop Faking!!!

Monday, 23 February 2015 by

I received my first negative message today, from a random internet troll. It read: ‘Hey you, stop faking!!!’ It was nonsensical, of course, and after some digging around I surmised the author is some kind of conspiracy theorist with a UFO obsession. The internet is a strange place. I know I’m going to have to

It’s the eve of Chinese New Year and several of my friends will be visiting their families tonight for what’s known as ‘reunion dinner’. Although my paternal grandfather was of Chinese heritage, my family have never done anything special to celebrate the occasion. Nevertheless, it’s got me reflecting on family—the support, the challenges, and the

I attended a talk recently, where a well known local actress unabashedly bad-mouthed a fellow (rather famous) Australian actor. Her comments came within a conversation about living with wisdom, of all things. Said actress began by waxing lyrical about her craft and how she disappears into a story to express the truth of a character.

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