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About the Centre

house at CKC winterChandrakirti Meditation Centre is a Tibetan Buddhist study and meditation centre, situated on a beautiful 5 acre property in the rolling hills of the Nelson Countryside. The Centre is affiliated with the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a world-wide network of over 159 centres, projects and services under the spiritual guidance of renowned Tibetan master, Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Inspired by the visits to Nelson of Kyabje Lama Zopa and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the centre aims to promote the wisdom, compassion and love that is at the core of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and practice.

The Centre is fortunate to have a resident teacher, Lharampa Geshe Jampa Tharchin, who has completed the Sera Je Lharampa Geshe degree PHD in South India and to host renowned Buddhist teachers from around the world. The Centre provides a peaceful harmonious environment that can help many people to overcome suffering and achieve wisdom and happiness in their lives.

The centre is named after the great Indian scholar Chandrakirti, a student of Nagarjuna's and Nalanda University's most famous Abbot. In the 6th century Chandrakirti wrote the Madhyamakavatara, "The Entrance Into the Middle Way" a root text for the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism. Chandrakirti means famous moon.


Read about Chandrakirti's history.


"The sun of real happiness shines in your life when you start to cherish others"

Our Resident Teacher: Lharampa Geshe Jampa Tharchin

Geshe Jampa Tharchin

In June 2011 Chandrakirti Centre welcomed Lharampa Geshe Jampa Tharchin as our new resident teacher. Geshe-la has completed the Sera Je Monastic University Lharampa Geshe Degree - PhD in South India, has a degree from Gyume Tantric College and taught at the Kopan Nunnery in Nepal. In 1991 Geshe Tharchin took gelong (full) ordination from His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. Geshe-la currently teaches 4 weekly classes at Chandrakirti Centre. Sunday morning public talk from 10am to 11.30am, is a great oppotunity to meet Geshe Tharchin, he gives a wonderful discourse followed by vegetarian lunch, providing the opportunity to interact with him further. He also travels to to Golden Bay & Blenheim for monthly teachings. For more details regarding our programme please go to: Upcoming Events.

Geshe-la has provided a brief account of his life, click here to read.

Nalanda Hall

people sitting facing altar

Nalanda Hall was named and opened by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on 29 May 2002 and is our meditation temple. Sitting in a grove of trees high on a ridge, with views out over the surrounding gardens and the western mountains, Nalanda Hall is the focal point of the Centre's activities. The building combines traditional Tibetan architecture with modern design and serves as an education centre for Buddhist studies, a gathering for regular meditation groups and a wonderful environment for hosting visiting teachers.Photo of Guru Rinpoche statue at the Gompa




We have Twenty One life size Tara statues adorning the walls of  Nalanda Hall. The statues were made in Nepal and are very exquisite all dressed in their silken brocades. Tara is the energy of swift accomplishment and success in all ones virtuous works.

We welcome you to view the 21 Taras and the new and impressive Guru Rinpoche statue.

Long Life Stupa

Long Life Stupa

Unique among all forms of sacred architecture, the stupa is the quintessential symbol of enlightenment, and the primordial sacred structure for all Buddhist traditions. Blessed by mantras and prayers that represent the body, speech and mind of the Buddha, the Chandrakirti Centre's Long Life Stupa is empowered by the relics of holy beings and filled with many statues and paintings. The Stupa was consecrated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on 29 May 2002.

"Holy objects such as stupas create the cause of success and happiness. Because holy objects exist, sentient beings make offerings to them. This helps them to create the causes of happiness and this is how they experience happiness up to the highest happiness of enlightenment.".........Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Community Events Building


Within the Chandrakirti Meditation Centre grounds is the new Community Events Building, an educational facility where people from all walks of life can learn how to develop inner awareness and the meaning of inner values. The aim of this Building is to promote non-sectarian harmonious and peaceful lifestyles and environments, nourishing principles such as compassion, kindness, generosity, self discipline, patience, forgiveness and contentment, to enrich individual lives, our local community and the wider region.

During the visit of His Holiness to Christchurch in June 2013 he advised us to help others by promoting inner values using modern learning techniques in accordance with scientific findings. In order to follow this advice we have developed the proper facilities and learning environment.


For the Community Events Building Programme please click here.

This facility can be rented for approved activities by Centre Manager, conditions apply. Please contact us with your interest.

Yeshe Pagoda

Yeshe PagodaThe lovely Yeshe Pagoda is suitable for doing Dorje Khadro retreat and fire pujas. It has a covered roof and is protected from the wind so is the perfect location for doing Dorje Khadro retreat committments. The Yeshe Pagoda is also a great place for Fire Pujas performed after commitment retreats.

If you would like to book the pagoda for a fire puja please give us a call.

Ways you can support Chandrakirti Meditation Centre

Teacher's House

  • Become a member
  • Work/live/study with us
  • Attend teachings and retreats
  • Join working days
  • Make donations to the projects
  • Become a regular supporter through automatic payments.

For further information about our Spiritual Director Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche and the FPMT network of Buddhist Centres please visit

Shugden Policy

Those in service or teaching in FPMT centers and projects do not engage in the practice of Shugden. Students regularly attending FPMT centers should not practice Shugden. FPMT teachers and key staff should not attend teachings by teachers who are known Shugden practitioners. Center members should be made aware of this policy. If possible, members with voting rights should also commit to following this policy.

More info and advice from HH the Dalai lama on this issue can be found here.