Bruce Farley and Phillipa Rutherford the founders of the center had been inviting Lamas to teach for several years at their 5 acre lifestyle property in rural Upper Moutere before joining FPMT.
Chandrakirti Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Centre was named by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche in April 1999 when we became part of the international FPMT organization.
Khenshur Thabkey Rinpoche and Ven Thuben Rinpoche were the main teachers in the early years giving guidance and loving support to the fledgling Buddhist community. Other notable Lamas visiting and teaching at the center included – Denma Locho Rinpoche, Ven Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, H E Choden Rinpoche, Geshe Jampa Tekchog, Kangurwa Khensur Rinpoche and Khenshur Rinpoche Geshe Tashi Tsering.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama visited and blessed the center in May 2002, and opened and named the new meditation hall Nalanda Hall.
The Meditation Hall was built in 2002, the teachers residence in 2006 and the community events building in 2014.
Resident teacher Lharampa Geshe Jampa Tharchin from Sera Jey monastery joined the center in 2011 and has ben with us for over 8 years.
The center also sports many holy objects – amazing collection of the 21 Taras filling Nalanda Hall, a larger than life Guru Rinpoche statue, a 7ft long-life Stupa, A 7ft Shakamuni Buddha statue in the garden and a large prayer wheel is currently under construction.
Chandrakirti Center runs a regular and varied teaching program catering to all levels of interest including – FPMT Basic Studies program, Beginners Buddhism, Mindfulness retreats, community outreach programs in other towns, meditation classes, with visits to schools and other community based organizations as requested.
Chandrakirti Center is now 20 years old and is a well-established and respected part of the wider community providing spiritual and pastoral support for people of all ages, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds.
The center has grown somewhat organically over 20 years in response to the growing community need. Bruce and Phillipa have continued to care for the centre under the guidance of Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, with the help of many amazingly supportive members and students. They officially donated the valuable 5-acre property to the Chandrakirti Trust in 2019.