Canadian Dharma Celebration 2009
The Central Canadian Dharma Celebration was held just after the New Year at Kadampa Meditation Centre Canada in downtown Toronto. People treavelled from as far away as Ottawa and London to attend; and there were even two attendees from British Columbia. Over the weekend, we received the Blessing Empowerment of 1000-armed Avalokiteshvara and teachings on compassion by our National Spiritual Director and KMC Canada Resident Teacher, Gen Kelsang Thekchen.
As the renovation of the Toronto Kadampa Temple is not yet completed, the Celebration was held at the KMC Canada residences nearby. The mediation room was filled to capacity at the introduction with Gen Thekchen on Friday evening. Saturday morning began with a beautiful
meditation on compassion led by Debbie Corrigan, Resident Teacher of Atisha Centre, a Kadampa centre located in the east part of Toronto. Following the meditation was an empowerment and teachings on compassion led by Gen Thekchen. On Sunday morning we had two retreat sessions on the practice of Avalokiteshvara led by Gen Thekchen that gave us an opportunity to practise the prayers and make a special connection with the Buddha of Compassion.
The weekend empowerment was a wonderful opportunity for the Ontario Kadampa community and friends to experience the residences of KMC Canada and make themselves at home there. One residence was converted to a World Peace Cafe for the weekend – a place where people could enjoy a delicious latte, tea or cake. One day we hope that this same building will be the site of a future ‘permanent’ World Peace Cafe open to the public.
Receiving these teachings on compassion, surrounded by old friends and making new friends, was the best way possible to start the New Year.
May 2009 be filled with a year of blessings so that compassion will grow in all our hearts.