Welcome Speech 2012 - Peter Stuart

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Venerable Vaartnou, distinguished visitors from other parts of our beautiful planet, honoured guests and my fellow human beings. I am truly honoured to stand here before you.

On behalf of my Mongolian friends amongst us today I thank Vello Vaartnou and Marju Broder for their efforts that has created this wonderful opportunity for us all to come together for these 3 days to share in mutual enlightenment.

To our guests from Mongolia, please accept my welcome from Australia into your hearts. Sain baina uu xundet zochidoo, ta bukhniig Australid xureltsen irsend bi bayartai baina. Ta bukhenii end xureltsen irsen yils amjilttai baikhiig xusen erooe.

Today a small number of Mongolians live in Perth. Less than 90 including children. Young and old. Yet, I believe you Mongols have a role to play here. In this city. You bring with you a culture and a tradition that is rich in wisdom and in spirituality that was born in the harsh reality of the desert and steppes and the pristine beauty of your lakes and mountains. You have in your way of life, the true essence of khukh tenga that flows through the Buddhist way of life in Mongolia. Each of you needs to offer our society the richness of this, your culture and your beliefs. Do not hide it. Share it.

My wife and I, we were born in India. We met whilst at university in Calcutta. She was in a ladies college, I in a men’s college. We had a close circle of friends. There were 18 of us, young men and women. We solved the world’s problems after class. Just as young men and women in university are still solving the same problems 50 years later. So what was unique about that small group of 18 young men and women? We had 11 religions amongst us. We came from Bengal, Punjab in the north, Bombay in the west, Madras and Kerala in the south, Nepal and Tibet in the Himalayas. What brought such a diverse group of young minds together? I do not know. I do know that we lived and learned from each other. We questioned. We argued. We debated. We disagreed. And in the end we loved and understood each other well. And slept peacefully.

Today there are 16 of us still alive. We live in several countries. Along the paths that our lives have taken we have continued to share and learn. I wish that the paths that have brought us here today will help us to acquire a deeper desire and self-determination to seek further enlightenment. I wish that we will find a clearer way to take the message and spirit of peace which we were all born with to the world in which we live.

In Australia I have had the opportunity to live and work amongst and with people of the desert from the old world. And they had this peace too.

I believe that this conference has the opportunity on this stage that its organisers have prepared, to bring to Australia and to new Australians as well as old Australians from the Dreamtime, this inner peace.

May your God bless you with open minds and open hearts from this day forward to find and share that peace that is within you.

Thank you.

Peter Stuart