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Tibetan New Year Festival

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by Vanessa (subscribe)
WeekendNotes Chief Editor / Chief Writer / PR & Communications.
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Abundant Joy from the Land of Snows

The theme of this year's Tibetan New Year Festival, Abundant Joy from the Land of Snows, focuses on the remarkable legacy of Tibet and its spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The Festival on the weekend of 17 and 18 March in Yuroke has three special features:

  • A meditation fiesta of guided meditation, its underlying philosophy, workshop, children's meditation and the opportunity to perceive the benefits this marvellous practice for better health and happiness can bring

  • A magnificent traditional Tibetan temple and beautiful 10-acre gardens for everyone to enjoy

  • Special ceremony that includes prayers and meditation for His Holiness the Dalai Lama's long life and good health

    The Festival is a much-celebrated annual community event.

    The New Year Blessing Ceremony at 12 noon on Saturday 17 March is especially popular. Keynote speakers will share their thoughts on the festival theme. Community, government and religious leaders are invited to join the Ceremony and join prayers for His Holiness the Dalai Lama's long life and well-being and the fulfilment of his wishes: a world free of war and poverty - filled with peace and harmony.

    Director Michael Joseph says: "Each year we are delighted to be joined by leaders from the three tiers of government and representatives from community groups and religious traditions including Buddhist centres, Christians, Hindus and Muslims.

    "This upcoming Festival is special as it recognises His Holiness the Dalai Lama's and Tibet's contribution to the world: a life focused on non-violence and peace for family, community and internationally. His Holiness is one of the great leaders of our time, and his values of love, forgiveness, tolerance and compassion are not simply a religious matter. They are universal and essential to benefit people everywhere."

    The Tibetan Buddhist Society is pleased to have had a very long association with the Dalai Lama. The Society's founder, Venerable Geshe Acharya Thubten Loden, who passed away in 2011, consulted with His Holiness before first coming to Australia in the 1970s. His Holiness honoured the Tibetan Buddhist Society by blessing our temple during his Australian tour in 2002, describing it as a place for study and practice of the rich Buddhist philosophy, prayers and meditations.

    Geshe Loden established the Tibetan Buddhist Society and this festival to repay the kindness he experienced from Australia over 35 years and to provide an opportunity for people to learn about the philosophy and culture of Tibet. For more than 25 years, this festival has been drawing people from all over Victoria including our students, the local community and people interested in Buddhism, mindfulness and meditation.

    Teachers from different Buddhist traditions will focus on guided meditation and Buddhist philosophy over the weekend and explore different ways of making the most of daily meditation practice.

    This is a family-friendly event. There is children's meditation each day, a relaxed, gentle session for everyone in the family with a story and meditation, and free face painting for the kids.

    The Peaceful Land of Joy Meditation Centre is one of Melbourne's most beautiful and peaceful settings. The magnificently vibrant temple is filled with Tibetan paintings and statues and surrounded by acres of flowering gardens including roses, salvias, and native Australian flowers.

    Throughout the weekend there will be tours of the temple explaining its history and significance, and of the garden, which is grown without pesticides. Visitors will be able to learn about organic methods of cultivation of beautiful plants in our challenging climate.

    Tibetan dumplings, or momos, are the highlight of the cafe's menu. Healthy fresh vegetarian Indian food, chai, coffee and homemade cake are more options for people's enjoyment. There's also a market and the Enjoyment Shop with wares made locally and from around the world, including soaps, books, incense, cards, meditation seating and traditional Tibetan shawls, clothing and jewellery.

    There will be a display of beautiful images of old Tibet and re-established Tibetan communities, which flourished in India in the latter half of last century. DVDs and films are shown during the weekend of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teachings and exploring the story of Tibet.

    Festival entry $5. Family rate $10 for parents and school age children or younger.

    Facility charge for talks is $10 for one talk or $15 for two or three talks a day. Temple tours are $5.

    The 30 minute guided meditation session each day, children's meditation & storytelling, face painting, photo exhibition & garden tours are free.

    All proceeds support the temple and gardens.

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    When: 17 and 18 March, 10.30 am - 4 pm
    Where: 1425 Mickleham Rd., Yuroke (access Cookes Rd) 35 minutes north of the CBD off the Tulla Fwy
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