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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Canada's first traditional Tibetan Buddhist monastery opens

July 25, 2010

By ANDREA WOO,
The Vancouver Sun
July 23, 2010

METRO VANCOUVER - Buddhist philosophy teaches
that Buddhahood is achieved by looking inward,
but the architectural design of a place of
worship can greatly affect one’s inner peace and state of mind.

That is one reason, Thrangu Rinpoche told a news
conference Friday, that it is so significant that
Richmond is now home to the first
traditional-style Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Canada.

"This architecture, when you see it, it helps you
have a kind heart and a good mind," Rinpoche, the
worldwide leader of the Thrangu monasteries, said
through a translator. “It helps you feel
peaceful. It’s something that is very beneficial
for people who are practising Buddhist
meditation. It has the power to make people feel peaceful and happy."

The monastery, located at 8140 No. 5 Rd.,
incorporates ancient Indian and Tibetan Buddhist
elements, Rinpoche said. The main shrine hall is
dominated by red and gold. Six decorated pillars
reach up to 12 colourful mandalas painted on the
ceiling, and along the two side walls, 1,000
small, gold Buddha statues look out from
individual glass cases. Adjacent to the main
entrance are 200 statues of Amitabha, a major figure in some forms of Buddhism.

Anchoring the room is a four-metre gold-plated
Shakyamuni Buddha, filled with precious offerings
including scriptures, scrolls and sacred stones
and pebbles from 108 different countries,
including China, Hong Kong, India, Tibet, Sri
Lanka and Canada. The shrine hall can comfortably accommodate up to 500 people.

The monastery is located in an area of Richmond
near mosques and Catholic churches, a fact not lost on Rinpoche.

"It’s an example of how all the religions in the
world can actually get along together," he said.
"That is why we are so fortunate to have this
opportunity, in the country of Canada in general,
and in particular this place in Richmond.”

Lyle Weinstein, English-language spokesman for
the Thrangu monastery in Canada, said building it
in the Pacific Northwest afforded modern
conveniences such as the Internet. “We will be
able to broadcast the events ... so that people
who are unable to be here in person can actually
participate in this wonderful celebration," he said.

This is the first Thrangu monastery outside of
Asia and will be home to seven monks and lamas.
The first Thrangu monastery was built in Kham,
Tibet, at the end of the 15th century.

The public will be able to tour the monastery at
10 a.m. on Sunday, during its grand opening.

After a ribbon-cutting ceremony, monastery
representatives and government officials will
make welcoming remarks. Thrangu Rinpoche will
speak before the official unveiling of the Buddha.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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