Chenrezig Institute Origins
Our story begins with this unusual scene
Two Tibetan Buddhist lamas are far from home. They are meditating in a balmy, sub-tropical Queensland hideaway ideally named Diamond Valley in the distant continent of Australia.
They are definitely not alone. Word has spread. The lamas are surrounded by a couple of hundred young Australians who are eagerly looking for spiritual meaning as they start to navigate life. They have a sense meditation is at the heart of their path. And so a curiosity about meditation is the reason they’re here.
It is the mid-seventies, 1974 to be precise. Little do these vibrant young people realise they are turning the first auspicious pages of a much, much larger story; fortuitously, they are experiencing the first buds of Tibetan Buddhism growing in Australia. The two lamas are Lama Yeshe and his heart disciple Lama Zopa, precious teachers to four Australian students who persuaded them to visit.
Each day students leave their tents to attend teachings in the makeshift gompa, a large marquee. Teachings go late into the night. Students become accustomed to the ebb and flow of a month-long retreat and, importantly, the message of compassion, wisdom and loving kindness that Buddhism is giving them.
At the end of the course, Lama Yeshe leads a procession of students uphill through the trees to a large sect of adjoining rough land, which has been donated by those four devoted students.
Pujas are done, blessings made.
This land is called Chenrezig Institute for Wisdom Culture.
At this point it is nothing but a name, a large tract of steep virgin earth, and ideas. These ideas need to be quickly transformed into energy, plans and capital.
And so the work begins.
To turn the vision into a beautiful meditation centre to benefit all.