New meditation centre near Morinville hosts Jade Buddha

An official overlooks the crowd gathering at the foot of the Jade Buddha at the Westlock Meditation Centre located on a range road slightly northwest of Alcomdale. The Buddha was carved from a single jade boulder mined in British Columbia and will tour five continents before being permanently installed in Australia. - Photo Jan Buterman

By Jan Buterman
special to

Alcomdale – If anything might be needed to prove the diversity found throughout Alberta, the Westlock Meditation Centre might be a good choice. Situated in rolling farmland near Alcomdale, a few minutes northwest of Morinville on Twp. 580 and R.R. 270, the Meditation Centre has housing and outbuildings typical to most rural Albertan farms plus a glaring difference: a practice centre obviously designed with Asian inspiration, including a gracefully curved, tiled roof.

As part of a special event from July 25 through Aug. 1 to host and exhibit the Jade Buddha – a four-plus-tonne sculpture carved from a single jade boulder – the Meditation Centre’s grounds included a massive campground full of tents to help accommodate those attending a week-long Mindfulness Retreat. Many participants were attired in the traditional grey two-piece temple clothing of trousers and a smock, with monastics clad in dark orange robes. The retreat was to allow individuals and even entire families a chance to practice the mindful living precepts of Buddhism.

“Planning started two years ago,” said one monk, indicating the practice centre, dorms, and land with a broad smile.

Managed by the Edmonton Buddhist Research Institute located at the Truc Lam Monastery in Edmonton, the Meditation Centre’s facilities can be booked for other events in accordance with the Institute’s purpose.

Email or phone 780-471-1093 for more information about upcoming events at the Westlock Meditation Centre.

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