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September 22, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Avatamsaka Monastery is one of 27 branch monasteries of the Dharma Realm Buddhist
Association, established by Venerable Master Hsuan Hua. “Avatamsaka” is a Sanskrit word
meaning ‘flower garland’ and monastery in Sanskrit is “Bodhimanda,” a place for awakening.
Avatamsaka is also the name of one of the most significant Buddhist sutras.
This is our sacred space and we hope that all who enter will find the sacred within them. We
encourage people to open and expand their wisdom and compassion. Everyone, who has
an interest in self-exploration is welcome in our monastery.
We have an eclectic congregation of people from different backgrounds and countries and
accommodate the variety of languages they speak. The monastery offers numerous
activities during the year, including interfaith dialogues, veggie buffets, a banquet in
appreciation of seniors, and pilgrimages to Castle Mountain.
As you tour the Temple, you will see Dharma Masters, identifiable by their robes and
volunteers, identifiable by their vests. Please ask them any questions you have regarding
the various exhibits and traditional Buddhist art displayed throughout the monastery.
This building, originally called the Bow Building was designed by Dr. Cam Sproule and
completed in 1959. The rough-cut stones are native to Alberta. Since moving into this
building in 1996 we have undertaken two major renovations in 2005 and 2017 adding four
stories to the original building. The exterior is finished with the same rough-cut stones while
the interior now includes a meditation hall, a prayer hall, a dining area and ancillary rooms
for meetings and activities.
The prayer hall, completed in 2017, is called the Great Jewelled Hall. It is 62 feet in height
and houses the three bronze statues; the central statue of Vairochana Buddha including his
halo is 18 feet tall. The walls of the hall are lined with 10,000 statues which are all
handcrafted and made by volunteers in the basement of the monastery. You can view the
entire statue-making process in the video corner. At the west side of the Great Jewelled Hall
is a rare set of books of the Buddhist Canon.
In his address at the inauguration of the Great Jewelled Hall, Mayor Nenshi said, “This place
should be a centre of faith, a centre of community for many, many generations. . . . bringing
faith into the heart of our city . . . [and it] reminds us that our roles are to build a better
community for everyone.” We strive every day to build a better community and a better
world for all.
We pray that the Buddha’s light will shine throughout the city, the province, the country and
the entire world, bringing peace and compassion to all.
Pre-registration for guided tours, maximum 50 people. (11am and 2pm)