A sunny morning greeted the Canberra community on Wednesday 8 November 2017.
A small army of volunteers arrived at 7am to our temple grounds in Kambah with enthusiasm and eager to create a successful ground breaking. Starting hours before, Rick and Don had loaded up their vans to deliver everything to the site. The ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, along with many other special guests were arriving at 10am, and we had lots to do before they all arrived.
We were all allocated roles quickly: many people helped put the authentic Tibetan tent up, food and teas needed to be prepared, there were people preparing the fire for the puja and the audio, chairs and promotional materials needed displaying. It was lucky that we had Joerg and Rick clean the site almost a week before, we had no time to spare!
There was a buzz around as more people arrived early to help. Through the kindness of the Sri Lankan Buddhist community, they loaned us chairs, their kitchen and some parking. As 10am arrived, the mass migration of chairs and food arrived and the Tibetan chanting created a sense of true calmness amongst our busy persona.
We all eagerly awaited the 10am arrival as we saw the Chief Minister arrive. He was greeted by Lama Choedak Rinpoche, our Executive Committee, Khentul Rinpoche, HE Dungyud Tulku Rinpoche, Mr. Lhakpa Tshoko, Ven. Tenzin Choephak, Ven. Thich Quang Bah and various dignitaries, making our event a spectacle to behold.
The invited Indigenous Elders of the area has begun a smoking ceremony to invite us all to the land. Jampal, our project manager, opened the event by welcoming the traditional owners and all who we invited. Shining brightly with the pride of this project coming to reality, Lama Choedak Rinpoche informed us all about the purpose of this Stupa Temple of Peace and how to best being about change through peace and compassion. Then the ACT Chief Minister warmly thanked us for all our hard work so far and would love to be invited to the opening! Ven. Thich Quang Bah finished the speech by thanking the Canberra community for their help in establishing Buddhism here and viewed the next period of time here with great excitement.
Then, with the attention of all focused on a piece of earth, the Chief Minister and Lama Cheodak Rinpoche took a gold shovel and turned the soil where our Buddha statue will stand to cheers and applause.
We then shared a beautiful morning tea with traditional Tibetan food and fresh fruit grown in Australia. There was celebration from all.
After this, a Tibetan Buddhist fire offering ceremony, called a puja, was performed by those invited Tibetan Buddhist teachers: Lama Choedak Rinpoche, Khentul Rinpoche, HE Dungyud Tulku Rinpoche, Mr. Lhakpa Tshoko, Ven. Tenzin Choephak and Ven. Jamyang to tame any obstacles in the land and prepare the building process for all. This was expertly prepared by Tharchin and Ven Tenzn Phil.
Some photos were taken of the day by Don.We thank him, and all those who helped prepare and officiate the day, for a very successful event.
This event was even covered by the Canberra Times newspaper!
May the building of this temple help all sentient beings!