Tibetan Buddhist centre opens in Gisborne, NZ

The Gisborne Herald, September 15, 2008

Gisborne, New Zealand -- The official opening of the Palpung Kagyu Samten Choeling Tibetan Buddhist Institute was held at the weekend, the culmination of what members of the Gisborne Buddhist community have been working towards for years.

Open to the wider community, the ceremony was attended by Mayor Meng Foon and many of the dedicated practitioners of Buddhism who have contributed so much of their time and effort into opening the centre.

A series of puja (ceremonies) were led by the centre abbot, the Venerable Choje Lama Shedrup and resident lama, the Venerable Lama Lobsang.

Lama Shedrup said people from all religions and belief systems were welcome at the centre, as "we should all live together happy and harmoniously".

Tibetan Buddhism was based on unconditional love and compassion for every single life form on the planet, and recognition of the true power within.

"The power of enlightenment does not come from anyone else, but it comes on your own," he said.

After the ceremony proceedings, Meikle McNab paid tribute to the people who practiced the religion with "great sincerity and diligence" and those who had played such an important part in founding the new centre, particularly their major benefactors.

The Palpung Kagyu Samten Choeling Tibetan Buddhist Institute is now open to the community, with a programme of regular meditation and learning sessions.