Common ground reinforces bonds

Department of Defence

As Australia hosted key partners India, Japan and the United States for Exercise Malabar, the four navies were reminded of how much they have in common.

Not only do they share similar naval traditions, but also some cultural practices.

On board the task group command ship HMAS Choules, Chaplain Simon Edds conducted a guided meditation, enjoyed by ship’s crew and visitors from partner nations alike.

Recently appointed the first Buddhist chaplain in the ADF, Chaplain Edds is posted to HMAS Choules.

During his time on board, he has introduced an evening meditation practice in an effort to support the health and wellbeing of crew.

“As my first posting at sea, I am excited to be learning the ropes and understanding my positive contribution to the ship and the people on board,” he said.

“I’m getting regular feedback from crew members that following the meditation sessions they sleep more soundly and think more clearly.

“My experience in South-East Asia is that meditation reveals how we are more alike than we are different.

“It helps us be more accepting of diversity and more tolerant of our differences. In that sense it’s a very unifying activity.”

ADF chaplains are available to all personnel wanting support, advice or to discuss matters causing distress in their lives. It is not a requirement to have a religious belief or spiritual practice to talk to a chaplain.

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