Public tours spectacular Buddhist temple near Omemee

By Lance Anderson, Peterborough This Week, June 25, 2016

Omemee, Ontario (Canada) -- The Wutai Shan Temple is located in Cavan Monaghan Township but the “driveway is in the City of Kawartha Lakes,” laughed Diane Chen at a presentation and tour for dignitaries on Monday (June 20).

<< The public had a chance to look at a Buddhist Temple under construction near Omemee on Saturday (June 25).

The Temple is the first of the Buddhist Association of Canada Cham Shan Temple’s project to build four Temples that mimic the sacred Temples in China.

Ms Chen, who is Cham Shan Temple’s property development and project manager, said the Temples will take at least 20 years to build, as they are funded only by donations.

The Buddhist Association of Canada purchased about 1,700 acres of land years ago for this purpose. The Wutai Shan Temple, on 530 acres is the first to be built and the remaining three are planned for Manvers Township.

Representatives from Cham Shan Temple have also been among those trying to prevent an industrial wind turbine project (Sumac Ridge) from being built near one of the planned Temple sites.

Ms Chen praised City of Kawartha Lakes Ward 16 Councillor Heather Stauble for her support; not only against the wind turbines but to bring the Temple and the economic growth potential it represents to the City. “She has been with us from day one,” Ms Chen said.

Ms Chen explained that Buddhism is not a religion but a way of life; that people of all faiths are welcome to visit the Temple for meditation and solitude. She explained the four Temples in China, built on “sacred mountains” are world-famous, as is the Temple architecture. Built of wood, the construction uses an ancient technique - “a dying art,” said Ms Chen - that uses interlocking brackets with no nails.

The process has been used for about 1,000 years.

In China, the pilgrimages cover miles of roads and arduous climbs that many cannot physically complete. The idea, Ms Chen said, was to build four similar Temples on a smaller scale.

“We could have chosen anywhere, but we chose here,” she said of the area’s natural beauty. “It is an amazing project but it will take years, even among the long-living Chinese.”

She explained that the Temple is not just for those wishing a spiritual retreat. Everyone is welcome to spend time enjoying the natural beauty and solitude.

“But, there are no accommodations; we will need families willing to host visitors, bed and breakfasts, restaurants with vegetarian food (Buddhists do not kill anything for food),” she explained. “There will be nowhere else like this outside of China.”

She said when built, each Temple could attract visitors who may not have the resources to go to China, and there are millions of people who, while they may not practice Buddhism, follow its principles.

The Wutai Shan Temple is Phase One of the project and is in various stages of construction; some of the meditation sites are in place and the Temple itself is in place, including giant statues of Buddhist figures. It is expected to be completed in about three years, and the Buddhists are fundraising for the main building.

Outside every Temple, Ms Chen said, is a “happy Buddha.” The statue coming to Wutai Shan will be in 72 pieces due to its size and weight - the head alone weights 26 tons and is due to arrive this summer.

“We had to chop him up and we’ll have to put him back together,” laughed Ms Chen. “I hope the superglue holds.”

Coun. Stauble said people who practice Buddhism would move to the City to access the Temples, and Ward 15 Coun. Mary Ann Martin said Wutai Shan “has put Omemee on the map.”
We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Operator for Responsible Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: