Chenrezig Institute

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Chenrezig Institute
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Chenrezig Institute

Information
Main School Mahayana
Sub School Tibetan, Gelug, FPMT
Affiliation Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition
Founded 1974
STUPA
Stupa Yes (See Stupa Page)
People
Founder(s) Lama Thubten Yeshe
Teacher(s) Geshe Lobsang Jamyang
Contact Infotmation
Address 33 Johnsons Road
Eudlo
Queensland 4554
Australia
Country Australia
Coordinates
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Map
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Phone (07) 5453 2108
Fax (07) 5453 2188
Website http://www.chenrezig.com.au/
Email info@chenrezig.com.au
Postal Address PO Box 41 Eudlo QLD 4554
Social Media

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Chenrezig Institute is a Buddhist retreat and study centre nestled in the hills of the Sunshine Coast hinterland in Queensland, Australia. Established in 1974, the Institute was among the first Tibetan Buddhist centres in the Western World and remains one of the largest. It is a registered charitable organisation affiliated with the FPMT. The Institute is home to a Tibetan teacher, a large number of nuns and monks, and a thriving community of students, volunteers and guests. We provide a range of Buddhist and secular programmes through which people’s minds and hearts can be transformed for the benefit of others. Our programmes include meditation retreats, teachings on Buddhism, advanced study courses, art classes and workshops on Buddhist psychology and mental well being. The centre also has accommodation facilities, a vegetarian cafe, library, meditation hall, art studio, memorial garden and beautiful grounds which are all open to the general public from Tuesday to Sunday every week.

The History of Chenrezig Institute

Chenrezig Institute traces its origins to 1974, when a month long meditation course – the first of its kind in Australia – was conducted by Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche in nearby Diamond Valley, Mooloolah. This historic course attracted approximately 200 people from all across Australia.

During the course many students decided they wanted the opportunity for ongoing study and so the Eudlo property was donated by four students so that a meditation centre could be established. This rather barren plot of land, lying fallow, became what is now the lush sub-tropical environment of Chenrezig Institute. This transformation from one-time cattle grazing land to thriving centre for Tibetan Buddhist education and practice was made possible by the hard work of countless volunteer students and visitors over many years.

The centre gets its name from Chenrezig (Sanskrit: Avalokiteshvara) the Bodhisattva of compassion. Chenrezig is one of the most beloved figures in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. He represents the embodiment of the compassion of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in their tireless work for the benefit of all beings. Chenrezig’s mantra is: OM MANI PADME HUM. Chenrezig literally translates as “all seeing”, and manifests in many forms; male and female, and often with many arms and eyes.

The Community of Chenrezig Institute

The centre is home to a vibrant community of lay and ordained people, consisting of:

  • a resident Tibetan Geshe,
  • ordained monks and nuns (the Sangha),
  • staff members
  • students, and
  • volunteers

Everyone contributes to the day-to-day operation of the centre and ensures that the Buddhist teachings continue to flourish.

Resident Tibetan Lama: Geshe Phuntsok Tsultrim

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Geshe Phuntsok Tsultrim

Geshe-la was born in Tibet and at age 14 was admitted to Sera Je monastery, where after 18 years of studying the five textual systems, he completed his Geshe degree (the equivalent of a doctorate in Buddhist studies). He taught Buddhist philosophy at TCV School, Bylakuppee for two years before returning to Sera Je. Geshe Tsultrim also spent some time teaching at Root Institute where he was immensely popular for the warm and approachable way in which he presented the Dharma.

Tibetan/English Translator: Ven. Kartsön (Yaki Platt)

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Ven. Kartsön (Yaki Platt)

Born in Tel Aviv, Yaki worked in the Israeli Armed Forces before living in India for 4 years studying conversational and classical Tibetan. He came to Chenrezig Institute in 2005 as the translator for Geshe Jamyang and is now translating for Geshe Tsultrim. Yaki is a graduate of the Buddhist Studies Programme. He ordained in 2015 and is now called Ven. Kartsön.

Ven. Tenzin Tsepal (Advanced Programme Tutor)

Venerable Tsepal was ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2001, and is a graduate of the Buddhist Studies Programme. As the main western teacher, Tsepal teaches the Discovering Buddhism series and leads discussion/tutorial sessions for Geshe Jamyang’s weekend courses.

Ven. Ailsa Cameron

Ordained in 1987, Ailsa is a close student of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and has been editing his teachings since 1984 for the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. Ailsa leads annual Nyung Na retreats.

Ven. Tony Beaumont

Australian-born Tony Beaumont trained and worked as a psychiatric nurse. He has been ordained for almost 22 years, and has taught at FPMT centres around the world. Ven. Tony often teaches the general programme during July and December.

Ven. Lozang Lhagsam

Ordained in 2000, Venerable Lhagsam is a graduate of the Buddhist Studies Programme. She holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care from Flinders University and has worked with Cittamani Hospice Service for the last 15 years. Lhagsam regularly teaches Taste of Tibetan Buddhism and talks to guests who want to discuss issues with their practice.

T.Y. Alexander

TY has been a student of Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche since 1974. She spent many years studying and living in Nepal and India. TY was ordained by Serkong Dorje Chang and was a nun for nearly nine years. TY has received teachings over the years from many high lamas. Currently she teaches and leads retreats both in Australia and overseas.

Renate Ogilvie

Renate is a Psychotherapist in private practice, teacher of Buddhist Philosophy, and Corporate Trainer with over 20 years experience. She has worked for DER SPIEGEL news magazine in Germany, and as a Literary Agent and Publisher in London.

Miffi Maxmillion

Miffi is the Spiritual Programme Coordinator at our sister centre Langri Tangpa Centre in Brisbane, where she also leads introductory classes. Miffi leads workshops on emotional balance at Chenrezig Institute.

Ray Furminger

Ray studied Buddhist art for many years under master artist Andy Weber in the UK and now lives and works at Chenrezig Institute where he is the resident artist.

Lindsay Pratt

Lindsay is one Chenrezig Institute’s founding students and an accomplished meditation leader – he leads meditations in Maroochydore on Wednesday evenings.

=Geshe Tashi Tsering

Khen Rinpoche Lozang Rigdzin (aka Geshe Tashi Tsering) is a highly respected teacher who has lived and taught in the West for many years throughout Australia and New Zealand as well as in India and Tibet. Geshe-la was the resident teacher at Chenrezig Institute in Queensland from 1990 through 2008, where he developed an extensive programme of Buddhist teachings offered at the centre, catering to a wide range of interests and experience. He is now the Abbott of Gyume Tantric University in south India.

Ven. Robina Courtin

Venerable Robina Courtin was ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun in 1978. She has been the editorial director of Wisdom Publications, the editor of Mandala magazine, and the director of the Liberation Prison Project. Robina is now a full-time travelling teacher. Her teachings are unrelentingly challenging, serious, funny, inspiring and empowering. She specialises in applying the wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism to contemporary city life.

Andy Weber

Internationally renowned artist Andy Weber spent seven years living and studying the iconographical art of Tibetan Buddhism under the guidance of accomplished masters in India and Nepal. His unique style of authentic images for visualization are highly respected not only by the growing number of Western Buddhists but also by Tibetan Lamas of all traditions, many of whom have commissioned his work. His thangka paintings (= Tibetan scroll paintings) can be seen in Buddhist centres and temples throughout the world including the Potala Palace in Lhasa and his images have become well known and popular through numerous publications.

NeLi Martin

NeLi Martin is a psychologist in private practice, a meditation and yoga teacher, who integrates her psychology training and many years of mindfulness study and practice.

Dr. Samantha Clark

Dr. Samantha Clarke is a clinical psychologist and the co-director of Sunshine Coast Clinical Psychology. She has trained staff and university students across Australia, and has given numerous public talks around the world.

The Sangha at Chenrezig Institute

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The Sangha at Chenrezig Institute

The term Sangha refers to a community of ordained monks and nuns.

Chenrezig Institute is fortunate to be home to a large Sangha community. There are currently more than 25 Australian and International Western Buddhist Nuns who form the Chenrezig Nuns Community. There are also a number of monks living at the centre as part of the Losang Dragpa Monastery.

Most Sangha members come to Chenrezig Institute to engage in the Advanced Study Programme. After graduating from this program, they will take up a variety of roles to help meet the great need for qualified teachers in the Western World.

The Sangha offer support to many sentient beings through teachings, leading meditations and pujas, offering spiritual counselling and undertaking hospice work. If you are visiting the centre, you are welcome to chat to any of the Sangha members.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of Chenrezig Institute is responsible for monitoring the operations, and legal and financial well-being of the centre. The committee also works with the Director to formulate the strategic plan, and ensure that the Institute continues to progress toward achieving its goals. The committee is elected at the Chenrezig Institute Inc. Annual General meeting in November each year.

FPMT

Chenrezig Institute is affiliated with the FPMT (Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition). The FPMT is an international, non-profit organization, founded in 1975 by Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935-84). The Spiritual Director of the Foundation is Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

The FPMT is devoted to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation, and community service. It provides integrated education through which people’s minds and hearts can be transformed into their highest potential for the benefit of others.

The organization is based on the Gelug tradition of Lama Tsongkhapa of Tibet as taught to us by our founder Lama Thubten Yeshe and Spiritual Director Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

The FPMT is a rapidly growing non-profit organization participating in many aspects of the world community. Following the example and inspiration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his compassionate service to humanity, FPMT students in retreat and study centres, monasteries and businesses around the world try to serve others with kindness and wisdom.

Tibetan Buddhism

During his lifetime, the Buddha gave numerous teachings on how to live a worthwhile human life and train one’s mind through meditation. After his passing some 2500 years ago, his teachings spread widely throughout Asia – from Japan and China in the east, Sri Lanka and Indonesia in the south, Afghanistan in the west, and Korea and Mongolia in the north. In each country that Buddhism traveled to, certain teachings that the Buddha gave were more or less strongly emphasized. These teaching were later influenced by the characteristics and temperaments of people in the different Buddhist countries, thus giving rise to the variety of Buddhist traditions and practices we see today.

‘Tibetan Buddhism’ actually refers to a form of Buddhism practiced in Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal and parts of India. It is unique in that it encompasses all the teachings of the types of Buddhism found in other countries around the world – the Foundational Vehicle (Hinayana), the Universal Vehicle (Mahāyāna) and the Tantric Vehicle (Vajrayāna). Tibetan Buddhism emphasizes the Mahayana goal of spiritual development – to achieve the enlightenment in order to help all other sentient beings – and teaches methods for achieving buddhahood more quickly by including the Vajrayāna practices.

For some, Tibetan Buddhism is simply a philosophy for living, for others it seems to be a highly ritualistic religion, and yet others see it as an advanced study of the nature of mind. There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to approach it – what works for people of one disposition may not work for those of another. In fact, the Buddha himself encouraged us to listen to, contemplate, and integrate what is useful for them and to discard anything that they do not find useful. As our founder, Lama Thubten Yeshe put it:


Learning meditation, or studying Buddhism, is learning about you, your own nature. The subject is about your own mind. Learning meditation or Buddhism does not mean learning sceptical doctrine or philosophy. It is a method how to control undisciplined mind, which is what we have. So, by learning the characteristic nature of our own undisciplined mind, the control is the nature, because you understand; through the understanding, you release the emotionally ignorant. It is so important to know the mentality of your own mind, no matter you believing or not believing, you are religious or not religious, you are Christian, or you are Hinduism, or you are science, or you are black or East or West or…no matter. To know your own mind is very , very important.

There are numerous sources of information about Buddhism on the internet, but if you’re really interested in exploring the fundamentals of Tibetan Buddhism we’d encourage you to attend a Buddhism in a Nutshell course at Chenrezig Institute, or to do it online via FPMT Foundation Store. You can also read and listen to teachings from our founding lamas, the Dalai Lama, and many other lineage lamas at Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. Copies of the LYWA free books are available through any FPMT centre.