The Buddhist Community Centre UK (BCCUK) was founded in 2007 with a vision to establish a monastery to serve the growing Buddhist Community in the Southeast region of the United Kingdom. After several years of hard work, dedication and fund raising activities by our dedicated committee members, a former social club was purchased and transformed into a traditional monastery.
Our monastery was consecrated and named by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche as ‘Tashi Dongak Choeling’ on the 18th of July 2014. Following this, our patron His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama officially inaugurated our monastery on the 29th of June 2015.
We are a registered charity organisation run by a team of volunteers with an aim to provide a peaceful place for meditation, and a community of support for the practice of Buddhism. Our centre has hosted public talks by His Holiness the Dalai Lama twice up to date, and continues to be blessed through the visits and teachings from many great Rinpoches. Alongside this, the centre also facilitates various ritual ceremonies ranging from weddings, naming ceremonies to funerals.
The centre is also used as a place for discussing community welfare issues and facilitates counselling and support where able. Working closely with local healthcare and policing teams, we have organised health awareness days, as well as health check ups for the elderly. As a charity founded on the principle of compassion, the centre was able to raise funds and help co-ordinate the disaster relief effort following the Nepal Earthquake crisis of 2015. Locally, we have supported a variety of charities including those involving homeless children, ‘Catch 22’ and ‘Step by Step’. In the future, we hope to continue expanding our humanitarian work alongside our religious.
The centre also regularly host visits for local schools and provides a good introduction to Buddhism for pupils. The variety of social and cultural activities, and regular mindfulness meditation classes carried out at the centre integrates people of all ages and faiths, making BCCUK a warm hub of community activity in Aldershot. Last year alone, the BCCUK attracted over 17000 local and international visitors, reflecting the growing popularity and demand of the BCCUK.
In order to accommodate this, we are currently expanding our monastery with the addition of a further meditation hall, larger social dining area, and new monks residence. Furthermore, we are also in the process of setting up BCCUK branches in London & ….
For years to come, I hope our centre will serve as a welcome oasis for all, where one can discover Buddha nature, achieve equanimity and find ultimate liberation.
Om Mani Padme Hum.