The community is invited to join festivities for a special New Year Meditation Festival on 23 and 24 February and experience how meditation can lead to a calmer, kinder, more resilient life in 2019.
The Tibetan Buddhist Society's festival will combine a wonderful celebration of the New Year centred around the beautiful traditional Tibetan temple and surrounding gardens, with a strong focus on meditation offering free guided meditations each day.
"Meditation is the key to happiness", was often quoted by Venerable Geshe Acharya Thubten Loden, the founder of the Tibetan Buddhist Society and spiritual leader, until his passing in August 2011.
On Saturday, 23 February, a celebration of Tibetan New Year will commence with a free 30-minute guided meditation at 11 am.
The New Year Blessing Ceremony on Saturday 23 February at 12 noon includes guests invited from all tiers of government, many spiritual and religious backgrounds and leaders and community representatives from diverse organisations. Everyone is welcome to hear speakers and join prayers and meditation for an auspicious year to benefit all people across the world and the environment.
On Saturday afternoon, Venerable Cathy Evans, who has extensive knowledge of Tibetan artistry and its relationship to Tibetan Buddhist philosophy will lead an extended temple tour and guided meditation
Sunday 24 February, a Day of Meditation, will feature guided meditations and guest speakers discussing how meditation can help us cultivate a calmer mind and positive qualities like resilience and compassion. Visitors are invited to start the day on Sunday with a free 30-minute guided meditation at 10.30 am.
There will be the opportunity to join three free talks by leading Buddhist teachers from different Buddhist traditions at 11.30 am, 1.30 pm and 3 pm, each including guided meditation.
Among teachers are Ekai Korematsu Osho from the Zen Soto school of Buddhism and Tim McKibben from the Tibetan Buddhist Society, who will explore the thought-provoking topic '21st Century Life: so full of stuff except peace and joy'.
Participating in a half-hour meditation workshop at 1 pm will provide an opportunity for you to ask questions about your meditation practice.
"Maybe you are finding it a challenge to deal with a busy mind or every time you meditate you get sleepy, or you would like to move to another level with your meditation. Two of our most experienced meditation teachers will be available to answer questions, with a facilitator to support the session," explains Director Wendy Milsom.
This is a family-friendly event. There is a children's meditation and activities session each day, weather permitting under the trees near the temple - a relaxed, gentle session for everyone in the family with a story and meditation.
The Peaceful Land of Joy Meditation Centre is one of Melbourne's most beautiful and peaceful settings. The vibrant temple is filled with Tibetan paintings and statues and surrounded by acres of flowering gardens including roses, salvias, and native Australian flowers.
On Saturday 23rd February at 2.30 pm, the Society is introducing an extended tour of the temple with its magnificent Buddha statue, altar and thangkas explaining its history and significance, followed by a guided meditation. Venerable Cathy Evans, the Society's artistic director, offers in-depth knowledge of the temple's iconography and paintings.
There will also be tours of the beautiful water-wise garden. Visitors will be able to learn about organic methods of cultivation of beautiful plants in our challenging climate.
Momos, or Tibetan dumplings, and rice paper rolls are features of the menu in the Terrace Café at the rear of the temple.
Chai and homemade cake will be offered for people's enjoyment and barista coffee cart on site to ensure the needs of Melbourne coffee lovers are met.
Gift and book stalls along with the centres 'Enjoyment Shop' offer wares made locally and from around the world, including soaps, books, incense, cards, meditation seating and traditional Tibetan shawls, clothing and jewellery providing plenty of opportunity for browsing.
There will be stalls dedicated to books with many special books on meditation and Buddhist philosophy and also a second-hand bookstall to raise funds for the Society's local community food program.
Entry $5. Family rate $10 for parents and school-age children or younger. Entry to temple talks, guided meditations, garden tours and children's meditations are all free. Temple tours are $5. All proceeds support maintenance of the temple and gardens.
The Tibetan Buddhist Society's Peaceful Land of Joy Meditation Centre is around 45 minutes from the Melbourne CBD, 20 Cookes Rd, Yuroke, (Turn from Mickleham Rd). For more information please call (03) 9333 1770, visit www.tibetanbuddhistsociety.org or visit the Society's Facebook pages.