Master of ceremonies for the happy day

by Georgie Pilcher, Herald Sun, July 7, 2008

Belgrave, Australia -- The Dalai Lama says the purpose of life is to be happy and yesterday Buddhist monks in Belgrave celebrated the wise man's words.

{gad}Spiritual director Khentrul Rinpoche led a rare "treasure vase" ceremony at the Tibetan Buddhist Rime Institute.

The 40-year-old "rimepa master" said the ancient ritual gave thanks for the treasures of life - our community, environment and happiness.

"The meaning is from the very, very long history of the Tibetan people," Rinpoche said. "We put all our treasures, so many kinds of jewels, medicines and precious relics inside the vase."

Rinpoche, a Buddhist teacher, came to Australia in 2003 to learn English and study Western culture.

He said he had grown to love Melbourne and its people.

"I like it because we have open mind, democracy, freedom and we respect all the other views," he said. "We are fortunate to be in Australia.

"Australia is home but I would like to build a bridge to Tibet."

Rinpoche teaches meditation and Buddhist philosophy. Monks from all Buddhist traditions attended yesterday's ceremony, which included market stalls and entertainment.