On May 12, 2017, Buddha House in the suburbs of Adelaide, Australia, celebrated one year since receiving the keys to its new property and beginning extensive renovations. Buddha House student Carole Migalka described the process of finding the 1866 bluestone church its community now calls home:
“From humble beginnings in a student’s shed after Lama Yeshe’s visit in 1982, Buddha House in Adelaide has grown and flourished into a well-established FPMT center. The pioneer community purchased and renovated the first premises, a residential home, which over the years outgrew the local council bylaws. This forced the center into lease for over a decade while looking for a suitable property to purchase with limited funds.
“During the Bendigo retreat in 2014 a group of Buddha House students met with Lama Zopa Rinpoche to ask for advice about how to develop the center. His advice included doing regular specific practices together and having statues made to create the merit and conditions to finance a new center.
“A statue fund was formed, members and friends donated generously, and the two advised statues were commissioned. At that time Rinpoche also explained the merits of having the Sixteen Arhats statues at FPMT centers and these were made for us at Nalanda Monastery. In November 2015 the Arhats arrived in Australia ready to be painted, filled, and consecrated. Shortly after this, financial support in the form of a loan was offered to Buddha House to assist us in the purchase of our own property, coinciding with the auction of a heritage listed church and hall only eight minutes from the existing center!
“Checks were carried out by Rinpoche for its suitability. Prayers, practices, and pujas were advised and hastily completed with world-wide support, including the making of 1,000 Ganapati tsa-tsas. This task was completed by volunteers at Chenrezig Institute in five days before the date of auction.
“On February 13, 2016, the Buddha House board gathered in front of the church to successfully bid—the only offer!
“One year has passed since settlement and with great effort by many volunteers, generous donations, numerous working bees, and a dedicated building committee, an old run-down property has been transformed. The result is a wonderful Dharma center with the gompa housed in the heritage chapel, a Dharma shop and office at the entrance, a community lounge and café in the center, and a large hall and courtyards at the rear that is available for hire by local community groups.
“At the request of our kind and skillful sponsor, a loan repayment agreement has been reached between Buddha House and the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion in Bendigo, enabling us to directly assist this wonderful project!
“In keeping with Lama Yeshe’s vision, Buddha House aspires to continue growing and attracting people to the center, enabling generations of sentient beings to generate merit and benefit from the pristine and inspirational teachings of the Buddha.”
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