Our Future Vision
Following Geshe Tsultrim’s vision – a traditional new Gompa and upgraded facilities, accommodation, amenities and café to provide for the next 50 years and far beyond
Now is the time to look towards the future, to update our facilities and create new ones for centuries to come!
In September 1974, the first Tibetan Buddhist Centre in Australia and one of the oldest in the West was founded by the beloved Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche. This was Chenrezig Institute for Wisdom Culture.
Located in the sub-tropical hinterland of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, the 160-acre property has developed into a thriving Buddhist facility for education and practice. The property was consecrated as Chenrezig Institute for Wisdom Culture, a place where sentient beings can come to hear the Buddhadharma, to meditate, to purify and to collect extensive merits.
As well as our revered resident teachers, many great Buddhist masters including Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, His Holiness Sakya Trinzin, His Eminence Ling Rinpoche, the great yogi Geshe Lama Konchog, Geshe Lhundrup Sopa, Ven Ribur Rinpoche, and even His Holiness the Dalai Lama have blessed the centre, with their presence and their profound wisdom.
– click on an image below to open the gallery of pictures of special guests in our Gompa
it's been NEARLY 50 years – now what?
Our beautiful Gompa has been the heart of our centre for nearly 50 years, a place of learning and practice offering the precious dharma to thousands of students and visitors. The time has come to develop further and create a new building to provide for many thousands more for centuries to come! And along with that, we plan to upgrade the existing facilities built with good hearts by dedicated volunteers over the past 50 years.
Chenrezig Institute was the first centre outside Nepal and India of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), the international Tibetan Buddhist organisation established by Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
Many wonderful courses and retreats have been offered since 1975, mostly in the main meditation hall, the gompa, but, as numbers grow, we wish to be able to schedule various activities simultaneously and this is currently not possible.
Our existing meditation hall has reached its limit. It cannot hold larger numbers of participants for special occasions or major teaching events. The building is a typical Queensland rural structure, practical in the Queensland environment, but not really representative of a temple with rich symbolic and spiritual significance.
For Chenrezig Institute to continue to serve our Dharma community and guests respectfully, the infrastructure and facilities – driveways, stairs, toilets, the Big Love Café and short term accommodation – will require serious improvement and renovation to meet current expectations and to be comfortable for our visitors, especially the older and disabled ones.
To address these issues and to fulfil the vision of our resident teacher, Geshe Tsultrim, Chenrezig Institute is proposing to build a new Gompa and to improve the existing facilities and amenities. The new Gompa will have architecture that respects and honours the spiritual traditions of our Tibetan Buddhist lineage.
Where should the New Gompa be?
1. The site of existing Gompa
Building on the current Gompa site would be challenging in many ways:
- Significant improvement would need to be made to driveways before construction could begin.
- It would be inevitable that there would be disturbance to the Sangha community during the construction
- During the construction, There would be loss of income since students would not be able to access the gompoa for teachings and the café and shop would have fewer visitors
This option would be more costly in terms of construction due to more difficult access, and the loss of operational income. Therefore, this option is currently the least favourable.
2. Vulture’s Peak
Over the years, trees have grown considerably at Vulture’s Peak and its surrounding land. There are many large gumtrees with diameter over 50cm, some reaching nearly 1 metre in diameter. Using this site would require significant clearing of these large trees and reshaping the landform, which may present significant issues with the Local and State Governments such as ecological impact, stormwater management and bushfire risks. We believe this site will be the most difficult to secure the government approvals.
3. Garden of Enlightenment
However, the downside is we would lose a large piece of the garden space from which visitors like to come to admire the beautiful stupas, and do yoga and meditation.
4. Land above Geshe Tsultrim’s Residence (the preferred site)
As the sun rises from the sea, it will be the first place the light touches as the sunlight cascades across the new golden roofs and pure white walls that crown Chenrezig Institute. This will be greatly enhanced by the intimate closeness to the sky and vast panoramic views that stretch the hinterland all the way to the ocean. Being visible from a great distance, the intention for the New GOMPA is to provide inspiration, happiness and peace to the entire region.
A PLAN FOR DEVELOPING OUR CENTRE
THE NEW GOMPA BUILDING
The New Gompa building will consist of three main levels, integrated into the natural contour and landscape. The building will be safe, secure, strong, cyclone, termite, and fireproof to last hundreds of years. The building will be equipped with modern amenities such as lifts and disabled access.
At the top: Level 02 – Accommodation for Lama Zopa Rinpoche and our Teacher, kitchen, amenities, stairs, lifts and terrace
In the middle: Level 01 – The main meditation hall, the altar, protector room(s), kitchenette, storage, accessible amenities
Ground floor: Reception, offices, amenities, accommodation, meeting rooms, storage
Basement: Parking, storage
On the outside will be beautiful landscaping and some parking with well-made access roads
THE UPGRADING OF CURRENT FACILITIES
THE PROPOSED SCHEDULE AND MASTERPLAN:
Phase 1: Feb 2023 to Dec 2024
Feb 2023: Complete preliminary practices, pujas and prayers to remove obstacles
April 2023: Complete preliminary planning and design drawings. Consultation with Local and State Government
Sept 2023: Upgrade of toilets and facilities near the Big Love Cafe
Jan 2024: Obtain council approval and commence construction of the new Gompa
Sept 2024: Lama Zopa Rinpoche visits to give teachings and consecration ceremony to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Chenrezig Institute
Dec 2024: Complete construction of external structure and internal fit-out of Level 01, the new Gompa, altar, protector room.
Phase 2: Jan 2025 to Dec 2025
- Complete the internal fit-out of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Teacher’s accommodation, kitchen, amenities, stairs, lifts and roof terrace on Level 2 of the New Gompa Building
- Complete internal fit-out of accommodation, amenities, reception, offices, meeting rooms, kitchen, storage on the ground floor level
- Commence improvement on landscaping, parking, access road, pathways to the New Gompa from the Main Gate
Phase 3: Jan 2026 to Dec 2026
- Upgrade of the Big Love Café. Services will be temporarily relocated to the New Gompa during the renovation
- Upgrade/ replacement of existing accommodation huts to include en-suite facilities and kitchenettes
PUTTING TOGETHER A TEAM…
Of course the impetus for this project comes from our precious resident teacher Geshe Phuntsok Tsultrim. He is supported by the executive committee of Chenrezig Institute Incorporated Association who have appointed a steering committee to work directly on this project under their guidance.
We are most fortunate to have the enthusiastic service of Calvin Yu, and assistance from Buddhist architect Rob Neill. With the Chairman of the Chenrezig Executive, Colin Crosbie, Calvin and Rob joined Geshe Tsultrim in India and were even able to meet His Holiness Dalai Lama and present the project to him for his blessing!
Then they went on to Kathmandu and were able to spend time with the most holy Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche before travelling back to Dharamsala with him. Of course there was much discussion about the project which Geshela and the team will tell us all about on their return.
Click on one of the photos below to open the gallery of their adventures.
Click here to access the YouTube Playlist of videos made during the wonderful trip
videos made during the wonderful trip including one by Kyabje Lama ZopA Rinpoche!
click here to access the videos
“Building a Temple collects incredible, vast amounts of merit, because it is a holy place containing Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. The number of atoms making up the monastery’s temple is the same number of lifetimes that you will be born as a king in the deva or human realm, with all wealth and power. The merits increase all the time, for eons.”
Lama Zopa Rinpoche – Spiritual director of Chenrezig Institute and the FPMT
We are offering the opportunity for people to sponsor fully gilded statues of Shakyamuni Buddha, Four Armed Chenrezig, Manjushri and Arya Tara.
Each 20cm statue will be exquisitely ornamented to a high standard of ancient traditional craftsmanship, and will be placed individually in a lit shrine alcove as part of the beautiful ornamental frieze on the internal walls of the Gompa.
The statues will be filled and consecrated at a special puja held at Chenrezig Institute for our sponsors. Each sponsor’s name will be inscribed upon the base of their sponsored statue(s). These will last for thousands of years and inspire all who see them, leading them to enlightenment. Every benefit to every sentient being influenced by each statue will benefit the sponsor continuously.
The Buddha descended to teach on the earth from the God Realm of 33. In memory of this auspicious number:
Sponsorship of each statue will be A$3300
You may make a one-off payment or set up monthly direct debits