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The non-ending journey
of  Master John D. Hughes




Melbourne: Sabbe Sankhara Anicca (All conditions are impermanent). Master John D. Hughes passed away on Saturday 29 November 2003 at 5:50pm EST at the Angliss Hospital, Melbourne, Australia. Master John D. Hughes was with his wife Anita Hughes and persons who love him.

Buddha Dhamma Chanting has been occurring, throughout the day beginning about 12:00pm.

Many Venerable Monks and students of Master John D. Hughes chanted blessings for three hours following his death.

Master John D. Hughes was the Founder, Abbot and Resident Teacher of the Buddhist Discussion Centre (Upwey) Ltd. It is a Regional Centre of the World Fellowship of Buddhists, an Associated Institution of the World Buddhist University and a member of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria.

Master John D. Hughes was a former Vice-President of the World Fellowship of Buddhists and the recipient of the Visuddhananda Peace Award 1999.

Master John D. Hughes taught over 1 million students in 14 countries during this lifetime.

Master John D. Hughes was a great man who dedicated his life to the Buddha-Dhamma and his passing away is a loss to the Buddha Sasana. Master John D. Hughes' high spirit of propagating the Dhamma will live on in our hearts. Let the Dhamma be the guide in times of grief. May the Lord Buddha bless everyone with peace!

Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammasambuddhassa

Master John David Hughes
Born 9 September 1930 - Deceased 29 November 2003
Funeral Celebration Ceremony
Saturday 6 December 2003

11.00 am Dana Lunch offering to Venerable Sangha and blessings

12.00 MD Bell Puja

12.05 pm Family Offering
Offering of flowers, 6 vegetarian dishes, 1 large bowl of rice, fruit and incense

12.10 pm Sutra recitation to John Hughes by Master Ru Sun

12.40 pm Dhamma talk to John Hughes by Master Ru Sun

12.45 pm Offering of incense and recitations by guests, family, students and friends

2.00 pm Departure of funeral party to The Necropolis, Princes Highway, Springvale, Victoria, Australia

3.00 pm to 3.30 pm Cremation Ceremony at the Necropolis, Princess Highway, Springvale


Master John Hughes at the World Fellowship of Buddhists Conference in Thai Lan (1999)

Venerable Thich Nguyen Tang and Master John Hughes
in front of His Buddhist Centre (Melbourne, Australia, 01-2001)




The most important thing for John fundamentally is to show teachable beings the way out of suffering, to help them to understand the way out of suffering and to provide the materiality to do it.

 by Evelin C. Halls


Australia - John David Hughes is a fourth generation Australian and was born on the 9th of September 1930 in Mentone, which is located by the beach near Melbourne in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia. John’s father’s father was rich. He had 28 employees and his sons worked for him. Keith Albert Hughes, John’s father, was also rich, but in 1930, the business collapsed in the Great Depression. Then his father was unemployed. But John’s parents as well as other family members provided him with everything he needed and his childhood was a very happy one. John was the only child and on Sundays up to 18 family members used to come for dinner, presenting a strong sense of family. He was a very bright and unusual boy.


Today, John is the resident Buddha Dhamma Teacher and Founder of the Buddhist Discussion Centre (Upwey) Ltd. He built this temple to provide persons in Australia the opportunity to make merit, so that they can learn and practice Buddha Dhamma. John chose a suitable location for the temple in the quiet hills of the Yarra Ranges. He established a heavenly Ch'an garden surrounding the Buddhist Centre and has built a multilingual Buddhist reference library, the John D. Hughes Collection, in the temple, which he wants to last for at least 500 years. On 9 September 2000, John's 70th birthday, the 70th Buddha relic arrived for this year. Over 300 Buddha relics including three hair relics are now stored in the Centre. The lemma John chose for the organisation is 'Lifetimes of Learning'.

 The most important thing for John fundamentally is to show teachable beings the way out of suffering, to help them to understand the way out of suffering and to provide the materiality to do it.

 John sees himself in a process of becoming, not as a static entity, but in a process of a non-ending journey until he will end up as a Buddhist Chief monk, Sariputta, under the future Buddha. He trains himself every day to this aim in a very focused and coherent way following his life plan.

 People that really make a difference in the world in many countries, including about 8000 Buddhist monks, bodhisattvas, business leaders and politicians, have shaped John's life. Some of them he has personally met. Atisha, one of the great beings, whom John met in a past life 1000 years ago, still inspires him today.

 John has a Diploma of Applied Chemistry from Swinburne College of Technology, a Trained Technical Teacher's Certificate from the Education Department of Victoria, he has studied Arts and Education at Deakin University, was awarded a Graduate Diploma in Adult and Industrial Education from Deakin University and studied Mathematics at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. For many years he taught science in Victorian Technical Schools and was Committee Member and later Chairman of the Boronia Teacher Education Centre.

 John was the Founder and Secretary of Australian Manufacturers Patents, Industrial Designs, Trademark & Copyright Association (AMPICTA). The Buddhist Discussion Centre (Upwey) Ltd is a foundation member of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria. Also, John owns a company trading as WINNERS GAIN GROUND, which provides commercial training packages .

 Many nicknames were given to John over the years, but the one that really seems to stick is 'Spike'. It comes from the days when John enjoyed playing Jazz cornet and a popular band at the time had the name ‘Spike’. John has always liked music and reading a lot.

John D. Hughes was elected as Vice-President of the World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) in November 1998. On the 25th of January 2000 John was awarded with the Visuddhananda Peace Award (in Memory of His Holiness the Late 24th Mahasanghanayaka Visuddhananda Mahathero) from Bangladesh. The Venerable Shilalankar Mahathero, the Sangharaj of the Supreme Sangha Council of Bangladesh describes John in a letter to his 65th birthday as “one of the apostles of our New World Buddhist order in Australia, and one of the pioneers of Buddhism in the Australia - New Zealand region”.


John is one of the World's few living Ch'an Masters and has been painting Ch'an images for more than four decades. He founded the Ch'an Academy at the Buddhist Discussion Centre (Upwey) Ltd., where the 'Way of the Brush' is taught by him. The classic Chinese Ch'an painting method has many meanings; it is a Buddhist meditation practice. Ch’an, also known as Zen, is like Prajna Paramita. For John personally, he paints for long life practice and also as a way of thanking the Dragon King for helping him. The paintings are profoundly beautiful. John says that it is interesting in Australian nationalism to have an Australian painter that will be remembered for a long time for painting classic Ch'an in Australia.


John D. Hughes with students in Bangladesh

John travels regularly to national and international Buddhist conferences and Buddhist organisations and has helped many beings in Australia and Overseas with his wisdom and compassion. He has visited and taught students in 14 different countries around the world, which come from various cultural, social and economic backgrounds. In the future, John wants to establish a branch of a Buddhist university.

 Science is fundamentally the basic discipline John is trained in, and his hobby is the building of a private Geological Museum, which is again tied to the Dragon King. For over three decades John collected precious stones and rare fossils from all over the world and he plans to create an on-line Geological Museum on the internet as e-education, and wants to inspire persons to become geologists. On the 9th September 2000 John launched UMLAUT, the 'Upwey Museum Library All Uniting Think Tank'. He decided to publish the UMLAUT notes on the internet.

 Over the last 11 years John has been editor of the Buddha Dhyana Dana review, the flagship journal of the Buddhist Discussion Centre (Upwey) Ltd and he was also editor in the previous 11 years when the journal was called the BDCU Newsletter. This publication is distributed to 40 countries and will soon be available on one of John's specialised websites. John presently has seven truly beautiful Dhamma websites, they are a treasure, and he plans to build more multimedia sites. Also, John plans to build some low-tech sites, because many people have slow computers, such as with a 386 processor. He publishes ongoing teaching materials on his websites. John uses this virtual form instead of the traditional ideal face to face scenario to teach those students, who are not in the position to travel to the Centre.

 By using the new information technology he wants to enable many more beings to meet and learn the Buddha Dhamma. John is also Executive Producer of 'The Buddhist Hour' radio show, which is broadcasted every Sunday from the local Knox FM 87.6 & 88.0 radio station, and he is planning to broadcast the show digitally via the Internet in the future. In addition, John is going to publish a number of books. The first one is nearly ready and it is called The Library You Are Looking For. John operates at both the micro and the macro level.

 His knowledges are vast and he is full of loving kindness, always ready to lend a helping hand, and to show people the way out of suffering. John is practical and is often delegating tasks to others; he has many people helping him. John D. Hughes is a very inspirational person who has helped and will continue to help many beings. 

May Master John be blessed with a good rebirth.




The Unified Vietnamese Buddhist Congregation of Australia – New Zealand
Văn Phòng HỘI CHỦ, Chùa Pháp Hoa, 20 Butler Ave, Pennington, S.A.5013, Australia
(National Executive Council)

Tel 08-84478477 ; Fax 08-82401758
*Văn Phòng Tổng Thư Ký, Chùa Pháp Quang, 12 Freeman Rd, Durack, QLD  4077, Australia
Tel: 07-33721113 ; Mobile: 0402-442431 ; Fax: 07-33729988 ; Email:



Master John David Hughes was the founder and President of the Buddhist Discussion Centre (Upwey) Ltd
born on the 9th  September 1930 and passed away on 29th  November 2003 and

had enjoyed longevity of 73 years old.

Funeral Ceremony
Saturday 6 December 2003


The Unified Vietnamese Buddhist Congregation of Australia – New Zealand.National Executive Council and all sangha members send our condolences to the family and members of the Buddhist Discussion Centre on the great lost of Master John D.Hughes. To be blessed with good karma in the next realm.

Namyo Sakya Muni Buddha.

 President : Most Venerable Thich Nhu Hue




Update : 03-12-2003

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