An hour outside of Montreal is the little town of Sainte-Sophie which has just been established firmly on the Buddhist map after events over the weekend. Between August 15 and 16, 2015 this small town became home to one of eastern Canada’s Tibetan Buddhist centres proliferating the authentic lineage of Je Tsongkhapa. Known as Centre de Meditation Tsongkhapa (CMT), this Dharma centre was established by its spiritual guide Venerable Zawa Tulku.
The main entrance of Tsongkhapa Meditation Centre. Click to enlarge the image
For over a decade, Zawa Rinpoche has been on the forefront of the movement to lift the ban against Dorje Shugden. When he is not organizing and attending protests, Zawa Rinpoche has also been travelling tirelessly to receive practices from many great masters, to ensure lineages are not lost as great masters pass on. With the establishment of this new centre, Zawa Rinpoche now has a location from which he can spread and transmit the teachings he has received.
Officiating the opening ceremony was His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche who led eminent Dorje Shugden lamas in prayers to consecrate and bless the new centre and its land. This was followed by a teaching from His Holiness Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche, who spoke for two hours on the Segyu tradition of The Hundreds of Deities of the Land of Joy (Tushita Heaven), from a text composed by Tulku Chokyi Nyima. Attendees were blessed to hear His Holiness recite the text as he granted an oral transmission (lung) of this practice, which His Holiness himself had received from His Eminence Lati Rinpoche.
The gompa which has been sent up in the traditional manner. Click to enlarge the image
The second day of the two-day celebrations began with a smoke offering, followed a demonstration of prayers from First Nation natives. Accompanied by their traditional ritual instruments, they recited traditional prayers to invoke upon their ancestors to bless the land and the activities. This was followed by traditional Tibetan chanting by the Geshes who had flown from all over the world to celebrate this auspicious occasion.
His Holiness Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche arrives at the Tsongkhapa Meditation Centre to officiate the opening
After all, this opening was also an opportunity for Dorje Shugden practitioners from all over the world to come together to rejoice in yet another Dorje Shugden centre opening. Having been forced out of the monasteries, many Dorje Shugden lamas have worked hard to reestablish their centres, practices and lineages in whichever countries they have sought refuge. Thus every centre opening is another success story for our lineage, and further proof that faith, loyalty and devotion to our Dharma Protector can only bring good results.
DorjeShugden.com would like to congratulate Venerable Zawa Rinpoche and his hardworking committee on this auspicious occasion. With the opening of Centre de Meditation Tsongkhapa, it is actually the growth of the Buddhadharma and the expansion of Lama Tsongkhapa’s tradition in Canada. Thus we wish Zawa Rinpoche and his students every success, and offer our prayers that whatever their lama prays to accomplish with this new centre may manifest swiftly, immediately and without delay.
The side of the gompa. To the left is the garage which will be converted into a kitchen in the near future. The centre sits on four-acres of pristine Canadian forest. Click to enlarge the image
As you enter the main doors of the centre, you step into a reception area. Click to enlarge the image
The reception area of the centre. Click to enlarge the image
A look into the gompa (prayer hall) as seen from the reception area. Click to enlarge the image
The walls of the gompa were handpainted by Kyabje Zawa Rinpoche himself. Click to enlarge the image
Those entering the gompa will be blessed by thangkas of Dorje Shugden. Click to enlarge the image
The library at Tsongkhapa Meditation Centre. Click to enlarge the image
His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche’s throne. Click to enlarge the image
Some of the statues on the altar, including a set of Lama Tsongkhapa and sons. Click to enlarge the image
The centre also has a statue of His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche (bottom row, centre) on the altar of their gompa. Click to enlarge the image
A Vajrayogini statue in front of the Namgyalma stupa on the centre’s altar. Click to enlarge the image
The stupa of the late Geshe Khenrab, who was Venerable Zawa Rinpoche’s teacher and the founder of Tsongkhapa Meditation Centre’s previous location in Montreal. This stupa contains his holy and precious relics. Click to enlarge the image
On the left of the main altar is a separate cabinet for the Protector Dorje Shugden. Click to enlarge the image
A close-up of the centre’s Dorje Shugden statue. Click to enlarge the image
An auspicious lotus was drawn on the ground to welcome His Holiness Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche, in front of a tent set up to host the guests
A festive gate and prayer flags greets the guests
His Holiness Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche was welcomed by the Sangha present with khatas
His Holiness Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche was escorted into the gompa under a golden parasol, with flower petals scattered at his feet
His Holiness Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche listens to opening remarks from Venerable Zawa Rinpoche
His Holiness Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche leads the Sangha in short consecration prayers to bless the centre and the land
His Holiness Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche returns to the gompa after a short break, to give a teaching on The Hundreds of Deities of the Land of Joy (Tushita Heaven)
His Holiness Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche giving an oral commentary on Gaden Lhagyama
Guests enjoy a traditional Tibetan meal
Sangha recite traditional Buddhist chants on the second day of the opening ceremony
The Secretary of Kalsang Mejung Phuntsok (Canadian Gelugpa Society) makes an opening speech
Mireille Goetghebeur (second from left) and Zawa Rinpoche (second from right) prepare to offer a token of appreciation to the local dignitaries who had attended the occasion
A group photo of Tibetan community leaders and local dignitaries with Venerable Zawa Rinpoche (front row, left) and Geshe Tsultim Tenzin (right)
In the media
Click on the image above to enlarge.
Click on the image above to enlarge.