| Under the Gyalwa Karmapa's guidance, Dr Akong Tulku established
a traditional 3-year meditation retreat at Samye Ling and launched
the construction of the Samye
Project; the building of a major traditional Tibetan Buddhist
temple and an accompanying College, Library and Museum.
Phase 1 of the Samye Project consists of the temple, built entirely
by the members of the Samye Ling community, under the active leadership
of Dr Akong Tulku, who was often to be seen with a trowel in hand on the
building site. The inside of the temple was exquisitely finished by a team
of fine artists, sculptors, woodcarvers and other craftspeople working
under the guidance of Sherapalden Beru. Sherapalden is one of the, if not
the, finest master-artists of the Karma Kagyu tradition.
The grand opening of Samye Temple took place on the 8th
August 1988, with a commemorative plaque being unveiled by the
XIIth Tai Situpa and the Rt. Hon. David Steel MP (now Lord Steel).
Senior representatives of the world's religions attended. During
this period of Samye Ling's development, various satellite centres
and activities had come into being. Samye Dzong centres [premises
without accompanying land] grew up in Belgium, Spain, Ireland,
South Africa, Zimbabwe and the UK. On another front, the interest
which many therapists and physicians showed in Dr Akong Tulku's
medicinal and therapeutic Buddhist skills led to the development
of a unique therapy system, now thriving as the Tara
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