Buddhism has been steadily growing in popularity in Victoria, Australia over the past few decades. With a diverse population and a thriving multicultural community, Buddhism has found a welcoming home in this vibrant state. In this article, we will explore the history and current state of Buddhism in Victoria, Australia.
History of Buddhism in Victoria
Buddhism has a long history in Victoria, dating back to the early 20th century when Chinese and Japanese immigrants first began arriving in the state. The first Buddhist temple in Victoria was established in 1938 in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond. Over the years, Buddhism continued to grow in Victoria, with more and more temples and meditation centres opening up across the state.
From the 1970s, the arrival of immigrants from Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia in Victoria helped to spur the growth of Theravada Buddhism even further. These immigrants brought with them a rich tradition of Buddhism, which quickly gained popularity in the state. As of 2021, a total of 204,493 Victorians identify themselves as followers of Buddhism.
Current State of Buddhism in Victoria
Today, there are over 100 Buddhist temples and meditation centres in Victoria, serving a diverse population of Buddhists from different cultural backgrounds. These temples and centres offer a range of programs and activities, including meditation classes, retreats, and Buddhist teachings.
One of the most prominent Buddhist centres in Victoria is the Buddhist Society of Victoria, which was established in 1953. This centre offers a range of programs and activities, including meditation classes, Buddhist teachings, and retreats.
A popular Buddhist centre in Victoria is the Bodhi Tree Forest Monastery and Retreat Centre, located in the town of East Warburton. This Centre offers meditation retreats and workshops, as well as Buddhist teachings and other activities.
Dhamma Sarana Buddhist Temple in Keysborough is another large Sri Lankan Buddhist temple managed by a honouree committee of the Buddhist Sri Lankan Association of Victoria.
In addition to these centres, there are also a number of smaller Buddhist communities and meditation groups scattered throughout Victoria. These groups offer a more intimate setting for practicing Buddhism and connecting with other Buddhists.