Whyalla Buddhist Meditation Centre (Sakya Yigah Choe Ling)

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Whyalla Buddhist Meditation Centre (Sakya Yigah Choe Ling)
Main School Vajrayana
Sub School Tibetan, Sakya
Founded 1996
Contact person(s) Bruce
Teacher(s) Lama Ngawang Kunga
Contact Infotmation
Address 78 Wileman St
South Australia 5600
Country Australia
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Phone (08) 8645 8482
Mobile 04 17 454 620, 04 27 452 160
Website http://whyallameditationcentre.org
Email rwa44722@bigpond.net.au

The Whyalla Buddhist Meditation Centre had its beginnings in early 1996 when Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe, who was the Resident Teacher from Sakya Tharpa Ling, Sydney, joined a local of group of practitioners who had been meditating together to formally establish the Centre. This was done under the auspices of His Eminence Dungyud Tulku Rinpoche from Bir Monastery in India. Khenpo has returned on a number of occasions over the years to give well received teachings and public talks.

Later in 1996, the Centre hosted spectacular activities by the Gyuto Monks and then a momentuous visit by HE Chogye Trichen Rinpoche accompanied by Lama Choedak Rinpoche. During this visit, His Eminence offered the Centre its name, Sakya Yigah Choeling. This means the Sakya Dharma Place of Happiness. His Eminence explained that he offered the name because he was very happy to be in Whyalla and also because he felt there was a lot of happiness being shared between the Centre members and also in the community.

The following year in 1997, HH Sakya Trizin visited to give profound teachings and empowerments and this further consolidated the Centre’s activities and practices. His Holiness participated in the burial of a special Terbum (Wealth Vase) on the then named Eco City Core Site as part of an Interfaith activity, where the Centre had acquired land in Whyalla. The Centre has had the very good fortune to host His Holiness again in 2003 and 2009 for extensive teaching programs.

Later in 1997, the Abbot of the Centre, HE Dungyud Tulku Rinpoche visited the Centre for the first time and established a very warm and enduring connection with the members. He has returned on numerous occasions to give important teachings and empowerments and to provide guidance for the Centre’s activities. His Eminence, with the blessings and approval of HH Sakya Trizin, appointed a Resident Teacher for the Centre, Loppon Tsering Samdup who arrived in early 2000 and remained until 2009. The arrival of Loppon Tsering has had a significant impact on the Centre, as a result of his teachings and careful guidance of individuals with their meditational practices. Within the City he was well accepted and his flowing maroon robes have become a symbol of multiculturalism and religious tolerance.

In early 1998, the Centre hosted a straw bale building workshop by Huff ‘N’ Puff Constructions and built the first stage of its planned temple complex using straw bale building technology on the Eco City Core Site. Later in the year, Her Eminence Jetsun Kushok Rinpoche visited the Centre to give powerful empowerments and teachings and she gave her support for the building activities on the Eco City Core Site. She returned the next year at her own request and again in 2007.

Many other international Buddhist leaders have been hosted by the Centre over the years, including HE Luding Khenchen Rinpoche, HE Ratna Vajra Rinpoche, HE Gyana Vajra Rinpoche, HE Ngor Khen Rinpoche, HE Gyalsay Tulku Rinpoche and Khenpo Migmar Tsering. These visits have all been an outstanding success, with visitors coming from all over Australia and overseas. On several occasions the City Council has hosted Mayoral Receptions to welcome the visiting teachers.

With an important lesson in impermanence, the proposedEcoCitydevelopment did not go ahead as planned, as the site has become the Legends Estate. However, all the effort put in by the members at material and spiritual levels over the years was not wasted, as a valuable asset had been established with the land and building on the Core Site. The sale of this asset and additional fundrasing enabled the Centre to purchase an ordinary house in suburban Whyalla in 2008. The house has a living area for a Resident Teacher, a large community area and shared facilities area and a lined shed that has been converted into aTemple. For larger events, when there are international visitors, public venues are hired.

Ongoing activities for the Centre include meditation classes and practices, traditional ceremonies, teachings, retreats and community events. Also over the years the Centre members have been very active in various Interfaith activities, playing a leading role in organising many events.