Please read here about the next steps the Tibetan Buddhist Society has introduced to help minimise the spread of COVID-19. We recognise what a challenging time this is, and it may help to recall the precious Buddhist teaching on impermanence, and that this time too will pass.
Cancellation of classes and activities
We regretfully advise you that all classes, retreats and other events and activities are cancelled from today (19 March) until further notice. We appreciate the strong advice from government and health authorities about the value of social distancing to reduce the risks of contracting COVID-19. This step is an essential contribution to Australia’s community effort.
This notice also extends to our Sunday lunches at Banksia Gardens Community Centre, especially to protect the many elderly attendees. Delivery for the study group is being reviewed after the school holidays. We will review this each month and provide regular updates to this website.
Looking after yourself and each other
We are all in uncharted waters right now and it’s normal to feel anxious or concerned. This is an opportunity to practice kindness and compassion towards yourself and your community — reach out to others and stay as connected as you can.
At this time we can reflect on the advice of our peerless founder and spiritual guide, Venerable Geshe Acharya Thubten Loden.
“The best way of looking after ourselves is to develop more peaceful, compassionate and generous minds. This makes us happy and also brings happiness to others. Merely looking after oneself is not fundamentally a human quality – even birds, dogs and other animals are capable of doing that! Life is very precious and also quite short. If we spend our time on this earth in developing the special human qualities of kindness, compassion and in looking after others then our life will be useful and meaningful.”
We are closely following all advice received from the Federal and Victorian Governments, official medical authorities, as well as the World Health Organisation (WHO), regarding precautions that are needed to minimise risks associated with COVID-19. Read more here.
We’re following recommended health and safety precautions and are continuing to work closely with residents to look after their needs and care for the centre, and others who may need to visit the centre from time to time.
Prayers and mantras
We suggest the practice of Medicine Buddha and White Tara prayers and mantras at this time – for the health and wellbeing of all, wisdom and compassion amongst our leaders, and peace and happiness for those facing a myriad of challenges as a result of this crisis.
Geshe-la’s special books are a perfect source of advice.
We are currently exploring the potential for live streaming of Path to Enlightenment classes, and possibly an introductory series focusing on tools to navigate this time of uncertainty.
Stay in touch
Let’s do all we can to continue to strengthen our community. Please keep in touch with the Tibetan Buddhist Society via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Wendy, Sox, Cathy or Anna on 9333 1770.
We will do our best to keep in touch with regular updates via email, the website and Facebook.
If you need any help or support, please do not hesitate to reach out to us, and to each other.
Take good care of yourself in the weeks ahead. If possible, try to maintain a daily meditation practice, exercise, eat healthy food and take advice from trusted sources, such as the Victorian State Government health website or the National Government health website.
While this might not be our usual program and what any of us expected, our aim remains unchanged: to share the precious Dharma amongst those interested in the Buddhist path.
Thank you for being part of our community in these unprecedented times.
Warmest wishes to you and your loved ones
Yours in Dharma