Twenty-four years ago, on 13th May 1999, His Holiness the Dalai Lama opened and consecrated the Tibetan Peace Garden. This only Tibetan monument in the heart of London, was commissioned by Tibet Foundation and built on land kindly provided by Southwark Council. It has been donated to the people of Britain for all to enjoy.
The Tibetan Peace Garden has a unique location. The park in which it is built houses the Imperial War Museum and so attracts large numbers of visitors from all over the UK and abroad. It is within walking distance of Waterloo Station and is close to the Houses of Parliament, Lambeth Palace, the London Eye, the South Bank Centre and Tate Modern.
The Tibetan Peace Garden honours one of the principal teachings of His Holiness – the need to create understanding between different cultures and to establish places of peace and harmony in the world. It is hoped that it will create a deepening awareness of His Holiness’s thoughts and words.
This Garden of Contemplation (Samten Kyil) is a place where anyone can come and enjoy a time of peace and tranquility. For the spiritually minded, this is no longer an ordinary place, because it has been both consecrated and blessed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to have a spiritual life of its own.
As part of the 24th anniversary of the Tibetan Peace Garden this year, the eight visiting monks from India-based Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, on Wednesday 24th May, prayed for World Peace and for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They also conducted Rabney – a Buddhist blessing. Friends from Southwark Council, local offices and Buddhist centres, including from Jamyang, Kagyu Samye Dzong and Lelung Dharma Centre joined the anniversary event. A small contingent of Tibetans from Belgium and Tibetan Community UK also attended the Buddhist prayer for World Peace.
HE Lelung Rinpoche, Founder and Spiritual Director of Lelung Dharma Trust, assigned Tsering Passang, a volunteer, who is also Founder and Chair of Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities, to organise this year’s anniversary event. Passang said: “It’s so wonderful to support the good work of HE Lelung Rinpoche and the Lelung Dharma Trust ensuring His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s message of Peace is continuously spread throughout the world. The monks from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery really made this year’s anniversary a special one with their presence at the Tibetan Peace Garden.”
Passang read out His Holiness the Dalai L ama’s Message, which is inscribed on the Stone Pillar in four different languages – Tibetan, English, Hindi and Chinese – in the Tibetan Peace Garden.
After the closing of the Tibet Foundation in 2021, the Lelung Dharma Trust agreed to and is committed to upkeep of the Tibetan Peace Garden in cooperation with the Southwark Council.
The visiting monks from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in south India are currently on their 50th anniversary of UK Tour 2023. The original Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Shigatse (Tibet) is the official seat of the Panchen Lamas. Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, who is the genuine reincarnation of the previous 10th Panchen Lama, recognised by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, has been missing since May 1995. For more, please read Tsering Passang’s piece – China Must Return the Stolen Tibetan Child – The 11th Panchen Lama
The Tibetan Peace Garden
Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park
St George’s Road
London SE1 6ER
Mainline train: London Waterloo; the garden is around 10 minutes’ walk from the station
Underground: Elephant & Castle (Bakerloo/Northern Lines) / Lambeth North (Bakerloo Line)
Bus: 12,45,53,63,68,159,168, 171,176,188,344 & C10 pass outside
Tashi Lhunpo Monastery UK Trust
Tashi Lhunpo Monks: 50th Anniversary Year Tour 2023