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Buddhist Discussion Centre (Upwey) Ltd

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Buddhist Discussion Centre (Upwey) Ltd

Buddhist Discussion Centre Australia

Main School Non-Sectarian
Founder(s) BUORG-Names::Names::John D. Hughes
President(s) BUORG-Names::Names::Simon Kearney B Teach
Teacher(s) BUORG-Names::Names::Anita Carter R.N.Div1
Director(s) BUORG-Names::Names::Anita Carter, BUORG-Names::Names::Frank Carter B.Ec., BUORG-Names::Names::Peter Marshall, BUORG-Names::Names::Evelin Martin BA DipEd
Abbot(s) BUORG-Names::Names::Anita Carter,
Contact Infotmation
Address 33 Brooking Street
Victoria 3158
Country Australia
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Phone Phone::(+613) 9754 3334
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Postal Address PostalAddress::33 Brooking Street Upwey VIC 3158 Australia

Buddhist Discussion Centre Australia

Founded in 1978 as a not for profit self help organization the Buddhist Discussion Centre Australia is a home grown Australian Buddhist Temple.

The Founder of the Temple was the late Buddhist Master and Teacher John D. Hughes whose intention was for this temple to be of benefit to lay practitioners, to bring the Buddhist teachings into its modern day application and to provide the resources to do it.

Buddhist Discussion Centre

Since John's passing away in 2003 the temple and teachings have been continued by his former student Anita Carter and some of John's other students. The temple runs weekly Dhamma classes, guided meditation and teachings by Anita and visiting monks.

We are a Regional Centre of the World Fellowship of Buddhists, an Associated Institution of the World Buddhist University, a Member of Buddhist Council of Victoria and the Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria. Our multilingual reference library houses a collection of over four thousands books for Buddha Dhamma Scholars and Practitioners.

We are a non-sectarian temple and embrace all Buddha's teachings. Over the years many great monks, nuns and scholars have come from all over the world, from many traditions, to visit and give teachings and blessings at our Centre. We continue in the style and vision of our founder to help the Buddha Sasana, to spread the Dhamma, to support the Sangha and we welcome those who wish to learn and practice the Buddhist path.

Fun-draising and Philanthropy (Dana)

1000 Buddhas Temple Offering

In the time of the Buddha, on the occasion of the dedication of the Venuvan Vihar Temple by the King Bimbisara, the Lord Buddha said:

"None is able to describe the merit of donating a Vihar except the Buddha, the Lord of the universe, if some thousands of learneds describe that, there will be no end."


Plant a seed for the tree of Enlightenment.

People with vision for our future can recognize the size of the seed that is planted compared with the size of the fully grown tree.

Dharmarajika Children’s Orphanage

We request your compassionate gift for the whole of humanity as it is and as it will become.

Dharmarajika Children’s Orphanage - Bangladesh

The Buddhist Discussion Centre Australia has raised money to support the Dharmarajika Children’s Orphanage in Bangladesh for nearly 30 years and we are well on the way to contributing AUD$10,000 per annum to help care for and educate approximately 500 children who reside there.

Key Objectives

A Learning Organization

Our Meditation Hall and Library, the John D. Hughes Dhamma Cetiya (Hall of Assembly), where we practice, is both well equipped and of World standard. Leadership and work skills are learned at the Center by Members with attention to the following five styles:

Members employ the five styles as part of their active Buddha Dhamma practice and in a range of Community-based activities, both local and overseas.

Buddha Dhamma Teaching Program

Practical guidance and instructions on how to apply the Buddha's Teachings in our everyday lives. Buddha Dhamma Teachings and Meditation from the main schools of Buddhism; Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana and Chan (Zen) guided by visiting or resident Dhamma Teachers.

Bhavana Courses (Mind Development)

Guided by visiting and resident Buddha Dhamma Teachers, Bhavana courses are held at the Buddhist Discussion Centre Australia each year.

Buddha Dhamma Teachers

Anita Carter R.N.Div1

Anita Carter is the Spiritual Director and Abbot of the Buddhist Discussion Centre (Upwey) Ltd. Anita was born in India on 4th May 1961, in Delhi. She is the eldest of four brothers. Her family settled in Australia in 1971. Anita attended St Monica’s primary school and St Columba’s College and commenced her nursing training at the Austin hospital in 1981.

In 1996 she became a student at the Buddhist Discussion Centre Australia and commenced her study of Buddha Dhamma. Her love for the Dhamma made her decide to assist in helping to run the Buddhist Discussion Centre and committed to a life of study and practice of Buddha Dhamma. She continued her commitment to run the Center after the passing away of the Founder and Teacher,The late Master John D. Hughes in 2003.

Anita Carter R.N.Div1

As abbot and resident Dhamma Teacher she has maintained the key objectives of the Centre as a place of learning, practice, realization and preservation of the Buddha Dhamma.

She has ensured the centre keeps to its objectives as a Regional Centre of The World Fellowship of Buddhists and ensured that a delegation of members is sent for each International WFB conference to assist with the rapporteuring activities. She has engaged the centre in supporting the annual Victorian United Nations Vesak Day commemoration. She has maintained the teaching program at the centre and recently received the 2011 Outstanding Women in Buddhism Award in honour of the UN International Women's Day presented to her in Bangkok Thailand.

Anita is an inspiration and mentor to many Buddhist and non-Buddhist Women. “Buddhism gives a lot of strength to women in particularly and holds them in very high esteem,” she says. “I’ve really analysed this a lot because I have never understood the divisions between men and women in society, so I think this is an important message to communicate.”

Anita continues to attend Buddhist conferences around the world as the Buddhist Discussion Centre Australia’s representative. In 2011 she led a pilgrimage of the centre’s Members to the sacred Buddhist sites in India. Since marrying long-term member Frank Carter in 2005 the two have worked on maintaining the temple and establishing it into the current world environment.

“This temple is such a beautiful place,” she says, “I will care for the centre and its Members for the rest of my life.”

Master John D. Hughes

Master John D. Hughes was the Founder, Abbot and Resident Teacher of the Buddhist Discussion Centre (Upwey) Ltd and Chan Academy Australia.

A fourth-generation Australian, born 9 September 1930 in Mentone, John was an only child and a very bright and unusual boy, and as an adult was popularly known as 'Spike' from the days when he played jazz cornet.

Master John D. Hughes

John had a Diploma of Applied Chemistry, studied Arts and Education at Deakin University, was awarded a Graduate Diploma in Adult and Industrial Education, studied Mathematics at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and taught science for many years in Victorian Technical Schools.

In 1978 he established a temple in the quiet hills of the Yarra Ranges to enable Australians to learn and practice Buddhism. The meditation Hall in this Temple houses a multilingual reference library with thousands of books for Buddha Dhamma Scholars and Practitioners, known as the John D. Hughes Collection.

Master John D. Hughes was a former Vice-President of the World Fellowship of Buddhists and the recipient of the Visuddhananda Peace Award 1999 from Bangladesh. Travelling regularly to national and international Buddhist conferences and organisations he used his vast wisdom and compassion to help many beings in Australia and overseas, teaching students from various cultural, social and economic backgrounds in 14 different countries. He was well known and much loved by many great Buddhist Masters and Scholars.

John was editor of the Buddha Dhyana Dana Review, the flagship journal of the Buddhist Discussion Centre which was posted to over 40 countries. He was also the Founder and Executive Producer of 'The Buddhist Hour' radio program broadcasting weekly since 1998.

Amongst his great achievements John painted for over forty years and was an internationally recognised Chan Master. He founded the Chan Academy in 1986 where he taught the 'Way of the Brush' as a meditation practice. Over the years many great Chan Masters have come to visit the Chan Academy by personal invitation from John Hughes, imparting their great skills and wisdom to the students.

Whilst John was actively involved in many areas his fundamental occupation was to work tirelessly for the benefit of others, to teach the Buddhist Path and to provide the resources and materiality to do it. Master John David Hughes gave us an example of a life well spent in service to the Buddha and to his students.

Buddha Dhamma Teachings

Practical guidance and instructions on how to apply the Buddha's Teachings in our everyday lives.

Buddha Dhamma Teachings


The word puja derives its meaning from the Dravidian language and can be translated as ‘to do with flowers’. When the Buddha travelled, the custom developed to offer flowers on his arrival in a particular place. The earliest pujas consisted of offering flowers, light and incense in front of a symbol or image of the Buddha. The Buddha taught there are 10 Blessings that accrue from offering flowers, these are:
Our Abbott Anita Carter ringing the bell during a Medicine Buddha Puja (Bhaishaijya Guru Puja) at our Centre
  1. Long life
  2. Good health
  3. Strength
  4. Beauty
  5. Wisdom
  6. Ease along the Buddha Dhamma Path
  7. Being born in beautiful environments
  8. Born with good skin, hair and beautiful to look at
  9. Always having a sweet smelling body
  10. Pleasant relationships with friends

Pujas are expressions of devotional attention, reverence and honour. The practice of pujas grows out of and reinforces faith and true devotion, which are positive emotions that benefit one’s Buddha Dhamma practice. The purpose of doing a puja is manifold; some meant to be expressions of devotion, others to induce wealth, long life, help from the gods and also spiritual qualities. There are pujas that are specifically designed to remove obstacles to bring a person's good karma forward and for the necessary conditions to ripen in the present.

Pujas generate vast blessings and much merit. They help to clear one’s mind and environment. If conducted in a temple, it strengthens its Buddha Dhamma field, gives protection and makes strong causes that the Dhamma be taught. Ultimately, it helps all beings to overcome suffering and sorrow through the attainment of perfect enlightenment. When practised mindfully, vast merit can be shared with all beings for the purpose of their enlightenment. The puja is a powerful method of brightening the mind and the bright mind can remove defilements of greed, hatred and ignorance. For maximum benefit to the Buddha Dhamma practitioner, the puja should not be treated as a mindless ceremony, but be practised as a meditation with the development of continuous mindfulness. Pujas help the students appreciate the Buddha Dhamma texts and to learn them by recitation. This is a meritorious way to develop your scholarship. In the Buddhist tradition, we generate powerful merit by doing pujas and stating truth asseverations, and then dedicate the merit towards whatever aim we wish to achieve.

At our centre, we conduct the following pujas regularly: Medicine Buddha (Pure Land), Surangama, Heart Sutra, Vajrasattva, and Padmasambhava Tsok. On occasion we also perform other Buddhist pujas.



Padmasambhava was a great Indian Master who introduced Buddha Dhamma to Tibet during the 8th Century AD. Guru Rinpoche, as he is commonly known in Tibetan Buddhism, overcame great obstacles to the propagation of the Buddha Dhamma in the Land of Snow (Tibet and the surrounding Himalayas), allowing the teachings to flourish on a grand scale. He is the founder of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism whose practitioners acknowledge him as the second Buddha. Padmasambhava is considered to be an emanation of Buddha Amitabha. His significance and value to Buddhist Practitioners is articulated by Jigme Khyentse Rinpoche when he writes:

‘He is the perfect teacher, the guide for those who wish to progress on the path; and all prayers addressed to him are of immense value… At whatever stage we are, beginners or otherwise, the Seven Line Prayer should be our constant companion. It is like a golden key to the treasure house of teachings. Above all, to recite the Seven Line Prayer is the best way to invoke Guru Rinpoche so that we can rest in his presence, cultivate devotion toward him and thus receive his blessings’.

History of Padmasambhava

According to the Tantras, Padmasambhava was born spontaneously from a lotus in the lake of Dhanakosha, in Oddiyana (modern day Pakistan). He was adopted by the local King Indrabodhi who raised Guru Rinpoche as his own son and named him heir to the kingdom. Guru Rinpoche relinquished this future for the life of an ascetic where he undertook training and accomplishment in esoteric Buddha Dhamma.

Around 761 AD, Padmasambhava was invited by the great monk and scholar Shantarakshita, Abbot of Nalanda, who on the behest of Tibetan King Trisongdetsen, was attempting to establish the Buddha Dhamma in Tibet. There was considerable resistance from the Tibetan nobility and ministers whose allegiance was to the traditional religion, a shamanistic faith known as Bon.

Ven. Shantarakshita realised the greatest obstacle to the dissemination of Buddhist teachings were the old gods of Tibet as it is said they were the cause of a series of natural disasters that disrupted his efforts to establish the Buddha Dhamma. Padmasambhava was requested to subdue these negative forces.

Guru Rinpoche used his formidable knowledge of the Dhamma to overwhelm the local Gods causing them to become compliant to his will, convincing many of them to become Buddhist. Guru Padmasambhava paved the way for the propagation of Buddha Dhamma and particularly the Vajrayana teachings throughout Tibet and the Himalayan region where it prospered unhindered for a thousand years.

Such was his vision; he left many teachings to be discovered long after he departed Tibet. Known as ‘Termas’, these teachings are designed to be discovered when they are most needed. Even in the 20th Century hidden termas left by Padmasambhava continued to be discovered by various Tibetan Masters.

The extensive Padmasambhava practices taught widely in Tibetan Buddhism can be of immense benefit helping practitioners obtain direct Blessings for their realisation and attainment on the Buddhist Path from Guru Rinpoche who now resides in splendour in his Heavenly Kingdom.

Padmasambhava Practice

The Padmasambhava practice is best explained within the context of the relationship between a Buddhist practitioner and his teacher. For successful implementation of the practice, finding and attendance upon a qualified master or guru is imperative. This form of practice is called guru-yoga and it is designed to purify and deepen the disciple’s relationship with his or her teacher. For the student of the Nyingma school of Buddhism, Padmasambhava represent’s this ‘perfect teacher’ who possesses the ability to place the practitioner directly in the enlightened state.

By reciting Padmasambhava’s mantra, practitioners are attempting to invoke his presence, receive his blessings and build a close relationship with him that can accelerate their progress towards enlightenment. It is said that Padmasambhava’s mantra has great purifying properties and can remove many obstacles from one’s path to enlightenment. Padmasambhava’s main mantra is the Vajra Guru mantra. It is as follows:

Om Ah Hum, Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hung

‘Om’ signifies the body and essence of form. ‘Ahsignifies speech and the essence of sound and ‘hum’ for the essence of spirituality. ‘Guru’ can be translated as the perfect teacher, ‘Padma’ is the first part of his name and ‘Siddhi’ refers to the attainments. ‘Hung’ is how we invoke the precious Guru requesting him to grant accomplishment.

The Seven Line Prayer to Guru Rinponche is how we request the help and presence of Padmasmbhava. It is as follows:

Orgyen Yul Gyi Nup Chang Tsam
Hung. In the North-West Country of Odiyana
Pema Kesar Dongpo La
Born in the heart of a lotus
Yatsen Chok Gi Ngo Drup Nye
Endowed with the most marvellous spiritual attainments
Pema Jungne Shye Su Drak
You are renowned as the ‘Lotus Born
Khor Du Khandro Mangpo Kor
Surrounded by a retinue of Dakinis
Khye Kyi Je Su Dak Drup Kyi
Following in your footsteps
Chin Gyi Lap Chir Shek Su Sol
I pray to you: Please come forth and grant your blessings!
Guru Pema Siddhi Hung

The first line indicates where Padmasambhava was born and the second line tells us how this occurred. The third line articulates the nature of his immense mastery and the fourth reveals his actual name. The fifth line describes his retinue of whom are a display of his compassion, helping beings according to their needs and by ‘following in your footsteps’ in the sixth line, it is demonstrated how to pray to Padmasambhava (with irreversible faith, gratitude and devotion). The seventh line expresses the blessings we receive and accomplishment we gain by reciting the Seven Line Prayer.

Padmasambhava image

About the Image at the Buddhist Discussion Centre

In 1994, after undertaking a three day retreat, Buddhist Discussion Centre Founder and late Buddhist Master, John D. Hughes resolved to build a Guru Padmasambhava image at our Centre with Padmasambhava’s blessings. The image was built with clay dug up at our site using an ancient Chinese technique. After the internal structure of the image was completed, the clay was gradually applied in thin slurry layers and then left to dry by nature. These layers were applied hundreds of times until the image became smooth and was an accurate resemblance of Guru Padmasambhava. This process created many great causes or merit for those participating in the process. Originally the image was built and housed outside in the centre’s garden with a cover being built over it to protect it from the weather. In 2006, our meditation hall was constructed around Guru Padmasambhava which is where he currently resides.

The 14 petal hollow lotus base of the image holds many, many mantras, sealed texts and offerings for future practitioners to rediscover 500 years from now, when the Image falls apart. Our Centre's Padmasambhava Image has been blessed on numerous occasions since its completion by senior Monks and Lama’s and it is used by our Teacher Anita Carter and students for healing and Blessings to help our Buddhist practice.

Buddhist Library


On 25 May 1989, the Buddhist Discussion Centre Australia acquired the John D. Hughes Collection.

Our Heritage Collection has been sourced by the Founder of the Buddhist Discussion Centre Australia, John D. Hughes, for over four decades and continues to grow as a multilingual reference library.

It consists of an extensive range of Buddha Dhamma reference material to assist in the cultivation of Buddha Dhamma practice and provides a comprehensive resource for Buddha Dhamma study and research.

Our Collection is the oldest Buddha Dhamma library in the state of Victoria, Australia, at the same site. We are listed by Australian Libraries Gateway, a web based directory at Australian Libraries Gateway.

The John D. Hughes Collection includes:

Buddhist Hour Radio Team Members

World Buddhist Radio

World Buddhist Radio internet radio program is broadcast by the Buddhist Discussion Centre Australia and comprises Buddhist Teachings, chanting and music 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

There are recordings of Dhamma talks given by eminent Buddhist Teachers from the major Buddhist traditions including Ajarn Brahm, Geshe Michael Roach, Venerable Dhammavihari. There are readings taken from the sutta pitika as well as chanting performed by the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Monastic Choir.

Chan Academy Australia

As an ancient Buddhist Dhamma practice, Chan (Zen) trains the mind by using ink, paper, ink-slab and brush.

'Nobbies Windy Day Two', Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia by the late Master John D. Hughes
"Buddharock" by Late Master Andre Sollier visiting Sumi-e (Zen) painting Teacher for over 20 years at the Buddhist Discussion Centre Australia.
"Sumi-e Monk" by late Master Andre Sollier.
Some of the Masters of Chan, Zen and Son Calligraphy collection housed at the Buddhist Discussion Centre Australia
"Wisteria" by Melba Nielsen, former Chan Painting Teacher at the Chan Academy