Tuesday 25 October 2016

Tibet temple rises in heart of West Cork

Graham Clifford

Published 17/04/2016 | 02:30

Retreat: Tricia Healy with course mentor John Douglas
Retreat: Tricia Healy with course mentor John Douglas

Work has commenced on the building of Ireland’s first-ever Buddhist Temple.

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Foundations at the €1.9m Dzogchen Beara retreat centre near Allihies in West Cork are being laid this week.

Those behind the temple development hope it will be completed by October 2017 and that the Dalai Lama will officially bless and open the place of worship.

Almost €500,000 has been fundraised and Tricia Healy,  director of the Dzogchen Beara retreat centre, told the Sunday Independent that “as the temple will be open to individuals, families, groups and communities of all backgrounds and faiths, we hope more people will contribute to the fund. You don’t have to be Buddhist to avail of the services here or see this place as somewhere you can come for spiritual sustenance”.

The temple, designed in Tibetan monastic style, will overlook the Atlantic waters of Bantry Bay, making full use of the stunning vistas.

In June 2008, Sogyal Rinpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying and the spiritual director of Dzogchen Beara, proposed building Ireland’s first Buddhist Temple.

Tibetan master Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche visited the cliff-top centre in May 2009 to advise on the temple design, location and orientation. The site has been consecrated.

More than 5,000 people come to the free daily guided meditations each year, with hundreds attending retreats at the centre annually.

There are currently 8,700 Buddhists in Ireland.

Sunday Independent

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