Queensland’s largest Buddhist temple, Fo Guang Shan Chung Tian Temple, is commencing it’s final stage of expansion with a blessing of the soil and sod turning taking place last weekend.
In 1989, the founding master of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order, Venerable Master Hsing Yun, visited a site of 32ha of pristine bushland adjoining the Daisy Hill Koala Park and envisaged that one day a large temple would be built providing a place that would: foster talent through education; promote Buddhism through cultural endeavours; benefit society through charitable programs; and purify hearts and minds through Buddhist practice.
He named this site Chung Tian meaning “middle heaven”.
Construction began in 1992 and over the past 30 years a series of extensions have taken place. These included the classrooms section, the striking Pagoda, Water Drop Tea House, and recently the Stage 2 development holding a major dining facility, Art Gallery, Conference Room, and Buddhist Hall.
The final expansion will see the construction of a large Main Shrine complementing the architectural style of Stage 2 and holding three giant Buddha’s. The Main Shrine will cater for all the temples major religious services and cultural events.
Over the years, the temple has become a sanctuary for peace and harmony where 150,000 people visit each year.
This includes over 10,000 school children who attend the temple as part of their cultural and religious studies.
There are also four terms of adult and children classes covering: Meditation, Tai Chi, Mandarin and English language, Buddhist Studies, as well as a number of one-day retreats. The temple also holds major events like the Lunar New Year celebrations and the Buddha Birthday Festival.
The sod turning guests included Most Venerable Hsin Pei the previous Abbot of Fo Guang Shan together with 15 Fo Guang Shan Venerable’s, many who travelled from Taiwan and interstate. Joining the event are also 600 invited dignitaries and guests including Federal and State Members of Parliament, Local Councillors, Faith and community leaders.
The event included a Chinese Drum performance, traditional Didgeridoo performance, Buddhist chanting service, as well as a procession and blessing over the site of the new Main Shrine which is expected to be completed within the next three years.
The temple through their charity arm is also donating 100 wheelchairs which are being collected by several State Members of Parliament and Brisbane City Councillors for their local communities.
Concluding the morning event was a Lion Dance Performance followed by a lunch for all invited guests.