The flickering of candles across rich reds and blues and a glowing wood fire create a warmth in the Palpung Buddhist Institute in Invermay.
Walking into the room, meditation stools are laid out in a neat grid, and the silence and stillness create a feeling like the release of a big breath.
The centre has been running for 17 years, and grew out of the Northern Tasmanian community.
“It was recognised 20, 30 years ago the community of Tasmania desperately needed the Buddhist teachings here and they desperately needed a Lama,” Judy Reiner said, one of the founding people who worked to establish the centre.
It was recognised 20, 30 years ago the community of Tasmania desperately needed the Buddhist teachings...Judy Reiner
The centre is based on the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, a lineage of Buddhism where oral teachings are passed on from master to student.
It has had Venerable Lama Tsewang in residence for the past eight years.
“It’s grown to what it is today through everybody's efforts and aspirations and the blessings of our great masters in allowing Lamas to come here,” Mrs Reiner said.
While the centre has grown in numbers Mrs Reiner and Lama Tsewang said the growth of individuals is a more important measure of the centre’s growth.
“We don't look at it in terms of numbers,” Mrs Reiner said.
“It’s grown in numbers, but it’s grown in depth too … it’s about the benefit to people and the growth of understanding and depth of your practice rather than how many people come.”
Lama Tsewang said the focus of the centre, and practitioners, is on helping others and building respect, compassion and kindness for others.
“That is why I am here, just doing what I can to be helping others … most important to this religion is [being of] benefit to other,” he said.
The centre holds regular meditation classes on Tuesday from 6.15pm and Saturday from 2pm, daily pujas, as well as a gathering, or “Day of Dharma”, the first Sunday of the month at 11am where everyone is welcome.
The centre’s doors are always open, and it can be found at 13-15 Bryan Street in Invermay.