Sharon is both an accomplished writer as well as a passionate visual artist.
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Published April 25th 2014
The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion had guided tours during the Easter Festival last weekend, so I went along to find out a little about this huge Buddhist temple.
Great Stupa of Compassion Bendigo
Stupas are usually built as solid mounds, however, this enormous steel and concrete one in Myers Flat, Bendigo is being built hollow so that people will be able to enter it. There will be a temple with seating for up to 500 people and viewing areas on several levels, as well as a library.
It was an impressive sight when we drove past the blue and yellow exhibition sign and saw the ¾ built Stupa from a distance for the first time.
Ringing the door bell to announce our entrance at the exhibition centre, we were asked to enter and told we would be attended to soon. Rhonda our guide warmly explained (after I questioned whether this was necessary today as the door was open and people were inside) that the ringing of the door bell announces our presence as visitors for the staff at the centre. I felt quite welcomed by this.
After donning our safety helmets, along with a mixed group of people, we went for the guided tour of the Stupa. Rhonda was informative and welcoming and ensured that we were not rushed at all.
Inside the Stupa at the moment are two larger than life statues, one of which is a replica of the Jade Buddha that is currently travelling the world (see jadebuddha.org.au) We were allowed anywhere on the ground floor and then Rhonda took three of the group up to the third level. The view was fabulous and I felt a sense of peace and tranquillity as I overlooked the bush surrounds.
Back at the exhibition building there is a video which gives further background to this Buddhist wonder.
The two things that I was amazed to find out is that the entire project is being funded from donations and that much of the work is done by volunteers.
There will be a Vesak Festival of Light at the Stupa on Saturday 17th May 2014, between 12 noon and 7.30 pm.
For further information contact the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion, 25 Sandhurst Town Road, Myers Flat (Bendigo, Victoria). Phone 61 3 5446 7568; e: email@example.com www.stupa.org.au