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Lama Choedak Rinpoche Leads in Australia 49th Day Tibetan Prayer Ceremony for Tsunami Victims

Phayul, February 15, 2005

Canberra, Australia -- Sakya Losal Choe Dzong and its thirteen affiliated Tibetan Buddhist centers across Australia and New Zealand have engaged in helping the victims of Tsunami and the deceased from the beginning when the news of the disaster became known until the 49th day. On 29th December, under the guidance of Lama Choedak Rinpoche, the spiritual Director of all the centers led a special prayer ceremony at Rongton Buddhist College in Canberra.

Ani Nangtong, Neuza and residents at Virupa Retreat Centre coordinated and collected many trunks of clothes and was donated to Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Canberra. Also a special New Year Eve prayer of Sixteen Arhats at Sakya Dolma Choe Ling in Sydney was also dedicated for the victims of tsunami disaster. Lama Choedak Rinpoche was interviewed by Age Newspaper and Radio National on Buddhist perspective on natural disaster. Rinpoche gave a special talk on the topic which was appreciated by many and will be published soon.

On 21 January Virupa Retreat centre hoisted new prayer flag on the big flag pole and condiucted another Soor Ceremony as the third and the fourth week are considered important to do such prayers for the deceased. Led by Lama Choedak Rinpoche, several Tibetan monks including Loppon Tenzin Choephak, Khenpo Paljor Gyatso, Mr. Tenzin Phuntsok Atisha, the representative HH the Dalai Lama in Australia and all the students who were attending an intensive Tibetan language course participated in this moving ceremony.

After attending the launch of new name and logo of Maitreya Hospice Care Inc. by Dr Lesley Clark Labour MP of Far North Queensland and Dr Louise from the palliative care group, Cairns Hospital at the Public Library in Cairns, Lama Choedak Rinpoche also spoke at a special Fund Raising event for Tsunami victims on 5 February hosted by Khacho Yulo Ling Tibetan Buddhist Centre in Cairns. Ani Rinchen Jigme Wangmo announced that all proceeds from the evening it to be donated to Care Australia?s work in tsunami affected areas. Many members of all the centres around the country were requested to perform Soor prayer daily.

On 9 February Vietnamese Buddhist organized a big New Year festival at Shakyamuni Buddhist Centre in Canberra. Speaking at the celebration Rinpoche reminded the gathering not to become too carried away in festival mood but reflect and pray for the many have died only in recent weeks in Tsunami natural disaster. Other speakers at the festival included Labour ACT Senator Kate Lundy, Liberal ACT Senator Gary Humphrey, John Stanhope, Chief Minster of ACT and many community leaders.

On 14 February being the 49th day of the deceased from Tsunami natural disaster, Lama Choedak Rinpoche led a special Soor ceremony held at Sakya Losal Choe Dzong. All those attended poured Kar Soor food mixture in the fire on behalf of all those who died in the disaster and prayed for their quick rebirth.

May the consciousness of all those who have died due to this natural disaster be freed from the fear of bardo and be reborn in the land of bliss, Sukhavati! May the world leaders wake up and not cause any more man made disaster in Iraq for which there is no relief work except humanity, compassion and tolerance!

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