Indo-Pacific Federation Conference 2016
The conference was hosted by the New Zealand Section from 14 to 19 October 2016 at the Rose Park Hotel in Auckland, New Zealand. We had over 100 register for the conference from many of the Indo-Pacific region countries and beyond. It was a privilege to welcome members from Australia, Singapore, India, The Philipines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, Argentina, USA, France and of course New Zealand.
The theme of the conference was 'The Why of the Theosophical Society.'
Below are videos of some of the presentations during the conference.
The Critical Change with International President Tim Boyd
13th Triennial Conference of the Indo- Pacific Federation
Auckland, New Zealand October 2016
A few months ago members of the Theosophical Society from around the Indo-Pacific region gathered together to consider some issues that linked to the theme of the conference, 'The Why of the Theosophical Society'. The conference opened with the Prayers of the Religions which established a spiritual tone for the event and was followed by the welcoming of members, various introductions, greetings and announcements. It was a most stimulating and thoughtful gathering held at the Rose Park Hotel in Parnell, that was suitably situated next to a lovely rose garden which was perfect for some quiet reflection. The TS team from New Zealand did a wonderful job in organizing this event where members from the across the Asia-Pacific area and beyond assembled to consider some important questions relating to the Theosophical work.
We were fortunate to have our International President Tim Boyd with us who presented an engaging talk entitled 'The Critical Change'. Tim later spoke on 'The Importance of the Centre'. He was accompanied by his lovely wife Lily. John Vorstermans the immediate past President of the Indo-Pacific Federation gave the inaugural talk on 'The Why of the Theosophical Society'. This talk was the first of many that encouraged us to consider questions related to the purpose of the TS and how we might go about furthering the work in our part of the world. There were also other articulate speakers from different parts of the TS world including New Zealand, Australia, France, Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and India, making it a truly international gathering characterized by a real fraternal spirit.
During the conference a workshop was conducted on 'The Work of the Indo-Pacific Federation', where delegates discussed a variety of topics pertinent to further developing the TS work in our region. The matters arising out of this workshop could provide a basis for the renewed spread of Theosophy in our respective lodges, sections and regions. In addition an informative TOS discussion panel was convened to discuss the valuable work of the Theosophical Order of Service and the many ways it applies Theosophy practically in the area of social service. There was some light entertainment on the final evening of the conference and this further consolidated the tangible feelings of brotherhood that had permeated the event.
It was agreed that we would have the next Indo-Pacific Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2019. The dates will be announced in due course. It would be very nice if TS members from across the IPF could join us for our next conference in three years time and they are certainly warmly invited to this event. So let us take those bonds of brotherhood that were reinforced at the 13th Triennial Conference of the Indo-Pacific Federation and work to further spread the Light of Theosophy in an increasingly materialistic world. I look forward to meeting many TS members as I visit some of the lodges across our region and hope to renew old friendships along the way.
We have recently had a wonderful gathering in Auckland, New Zealand where theosophists from around the Asia Pacific region came together to participate in the 13th Triennial Conference of the Indo-Pacific Federation. There were some interesting talks followed by stimulating discussions, where we considered ways that Theosophy could be further promoted in our lodges and various sections. We came away inspired by this conference with a renewed sense of why the Theosophical Society exists and how we might further promote the dissemination of Theosophy across the Indo-Pacific area.
As the conference went on I began to have a greater sense of what it means to be a Theosophist and how we might move towards strengthening the work of the Theosophical Society, especially in our part of the world. During the conference I was elected President of the Indo-Pacific Federation and was humbled by my election to that office. Mindful of the good work done by the immediate past President of the IPF John Vorstermans, it is my intention to work sincerely to enhance the work of the TS around our federation. Part of my focus will be to try and build up the theosophical work in areas where it is less developed. Together we can all play our part to ensure that the wider world knows that such a thing as Theosophy exists. I am looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead and aspire to make a valuable contribution to the work.
Best wishes and kind regards,
of The Theosophical Society
In presenting a brief summary of this engaging and profoundly moving conference, I have chosen to focus on those aspects that seem to me most relevant to our commitment as TOS members. Indeed, the conference had "Practising Theosophy" as its overarching theme, a delightfully ambiguous title that invited either an exploration of the tenets of theosophy, or the exploration of theosophy 'in action'. Not surprisingly, most talks straddled both nuances.
In his opening address entitled 'Actorless Action' Ravi Ravindra reminded us that humans are essentially social beings and that our task is to engage in conscious, mindful action and interaction with others. Paradoxically, however, he pointed out that since we cannot foretell the outcome of action, we should not expect or demand 'right' action from others. Instead, we should act with focused awareness, remaining free from attachment to the fruits of our actions, or indeed from expecting any outcome at all. In a final salvo Ravi Ravindra warned us against delaying action while seeking perfect motivation. The important thing is to start action from where we currently are.
Not much information is found in the annals of The Theosophical Society regarding Theosophy in China, save a brief statement in A Short History of The Theosophical Society by Mrs. Josephine Ransom in the Year 1922.
“The first Chinese Lodge had been formed, with the great Chinese statesman and ambassador, Dr. Wu Ting‐Fang, as President, but who passed away in June. He was intensely anxious that Theosophy should take root in his own land, for he wished the new China to be built up on the basis of brotherhood.”
Congratulations go to Chong Sanne, the president of Singapore Lodge who has been appointed by Adyar as the Presidential Representative for South East Asia which was left vacant since the passing of Dr. C. V. Agarwal.
There have been changes in the territorial assignments. For South Asia, we now have separate Presidential Representatives for Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. For South East Asia, we have decided to include Greater China including Hong Kong and Taiwan. We have renamed the territory more appropriately as “East and South East Asia”. Chong Sanne has been asked to keep a watch on Myanmar, Thailand and Indo-China.
Of course, the Presidential Representative for East and South East Asia falls within the ambit of the Indo-Pacific Federation of the TS.
The tenth World Congress of the Theosophical Society will take place in Rome, Italy, from 10th to 15th July 2010, focusing on the following subject: “Universal Brotherhood without any distinctions: a path towards awareness”.
The subject is closely related to the history and activity of the Theosophical Society and to its previous nine World Congresses which have always offered great opportunities to scholars from all over the world to meet, to study, to share ideas and points of view.