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Buddhists welcome new monastery

July 29, 2010

Resident monks, lamas to teach enlightenment
By Sam Cooper (
The Province (Canada)
July 26, 2010

Struck by the light reflected from the
four-metre-high, gold-plated Shakyamuni Buddha,
one might think they were resting in an isolated shrine in the hills of Nepal.

Actually, it's the new Thrangu Monastery in
Richmond, the first of its kind outside Asia, according to its builders.

The Thrangu Monastery will be home to seven monks
and lamas from Nepal, here to guide local
practitioners on the path to peace and
enlightenment, said Lyle Weinstein, spokesman for
the Thrangu Vajra Vidhya Buddhist Association.

At Sunday's opening ceremony, attended by
Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, the worldwide leader
of Thrangu Monastery, monks and lamas performed
special rituals and unveiled the focal point of
the monastery's shrine, the gold-plated Shakyamuni Buddha.

The central Buddha is flanked by 35 smaller
Buddhas of confession and 1,000 medicine Buddhas
that offer protection from illness and danger, spokeswoman Laurie Cooper said.

Cooper said the statues and artwork in the new
shrine were created by lamas, high-level monks
who go through rigorous training.

While it takes almost eight years to become a
Buddhist monk, to get to the next level, a lama
must go into complete isolation for three years,
three months and three days, meditating in a tiny
box for 24 hours a day, only exiting for meal and washroom breaks, she said.

Weinstein said from July 27 to Aug. 1, there will
be a series of teachings by Khenchen Thrangu
Rinpoche, called "The Jewel Ornament of Liberation."

Resident monks and lamas will guide practitioners
on short-and long-term retreats, and
non-Buddhists are welcome to visit the shrine, Weinstein said.

The Thrangu Monastery is at 8140 No. 5 Road in
Richmond, Vancouver, British Columbia.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
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