Posts Tagged "holy objects"

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Stupa at Land of Calm Abiding, California, April 2014. Photo courtesy of Land of Calm Abiding.

Enlightenment Stupa at Land of Calm Abiding, California, April 2014. Photo courtesy of Land of Calm Abiding.

A Land of Calm Abiding is a 485-acre (196-hectare) wilderness ranch in Big Sur, California and is dedicated to supporting long-term solitary retreats. Director Ven. Lhundup Chonyi (Patricia DeVoe) recently reported to Mandala some of the progress the center has made since June 2013.

In less than a year, our Enlightenment Stupa was completed with the motivation that it would become “a wish-fulfilling jewel.” On June 1, 2013, with 25 people present, the stupa was consecrated and dedicated to the long life of Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Built within park-like surroundings, it is located near the entrance gate welcoming and blessing everyone who comes.

Nine months later, all eight of us who now live on the land, came together outside of the front of the main house and participated in a naga puja along with a consecration for the wonderful and completed water feature. With its bubbling sounds of water cascading down the eight steps and entering into the pool at the bottom, it creates such a pleasant and relaxing presence.

Rejoicing continues as the staff here, who were committed to setting aside two months for being in retreat mode, completed this challenge March 26, 2014. Each of us experienced this time in different ways and all three of us are unanimous that it changed our lives and perspective, affecting our minds and bodies, as well as enhancing our prayers and practices. By actually stopping and gradually moving into retreat mode regardless of what “needed to be done,” we emerged with a greater sense of meaning and confidence that we can actually serve residents on the land in a more healthy and spiritual manner.

All five retreat cabins are now occupied with meditators committed to accomplishing long retreats. Needless to say, there is a calmness that pervades throughout the land.

Land of Calm Abiding, California, April 2014. Photo courtesy of Land of Calm Abiding.

Water feature at Land of Calm Abiding, California, April 2014. Photo courtesy of Land of Calm Abiding.

Mandala brings you news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings and events from over 160 FPMT centers, projects and services around the globe. If you like what you read on Mandala, consider becoming a Friend of FPMT, which supports our work.

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A new Namthose statue arrives at Rinchen Jangsem Ling, Triang, Malaysia, April 2014. Photo courtesy of Rinchen Jangsem Ling.

A new Namthose statue arrives at Rinchen Jangsem Ling, Triang, Malaysia, April 2014. Photo courtesy of Rinchen Jangsem Ling.

Selina Foong, director of Rinchen Jangsem Ling (RJL) in Triang, Malaysia, shared news about the latest holy object to arrive at the center:

Wonderful things are happening at RJL after our Sanghata Sutra retreat on the Day of Miracles weekend! Our collective karma finally ripened in mid-April, and we are now rejoicing at the arrival of holy Namthose after almost two years of carving in Vietnam and an arduous journey by sea and road. 

Namthose is gently set into his new home at Rinchen Jangsem Ling, Triang, Malaysia, April 2014. Photo courtesy of Rinchen Jangsem Ling.

Namthose is gently set into his new home at Rinchen Jangsem Ling, Triang, Malaysia, April 2014. Photo courtesy of Rinchen Jangsem Ling.

It was all quite an exercise in logistics, as the statue weighed 12 tons and, due to the height of Namthose’s parasol, was unable to fit into a standard container. Three trucks, one crane, and hours of delicate handling finally enabled the lotus base to be lifted into position first, while Namthose was invited into a tented pavilion to be gilded. When Namthose was placed on the lotus throne several days later, our sculptor, Tho, who we had flown in from Vietnam, then got to work by applying the final touch-ups. The result is simply beautiful!

Tho commented that this Namthose is by far the most complicated statue he has ever worked on. He also mentioned that the marble used to carve Namthose was of extremely good quality and very even in texture. Such qualities only become evident upon carving, and there is no way to know this when the stone is first procured. Tho also mentioned that the marble he used to carve RJL’s Kwan Yin statue had been of similar high quality. Indeed, this is a reflection of RJL’s wonderful karma, and a great cause for rejoicing.

There were many sponsors of holy Namthose, and we are grateful to them all. 

Final touches are made to the Namthose statue while his throne is installed, Rinchen Jangsem Ling, Triang, Malaysia, April 2014. Photo courtesy of Rinchen Jangsem Ling.

Final touches are made to the Namthose statue while his throne is installed, Rinchen Jangsem Ling, Triang, Malaysia, April 2014. Photo courtesy of Rinchen Jangsem Ling.

Mandala brings you news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings and events from over 160 FPMT centers, projects and services around the globe. If you like what you read on Mandala, consider becoming a Friend of FPMT, which supports our work.

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The Waite family during their 3:30 pm spin, April 2014. Photo via Facebook, Land of Medicine Buddha.

The Waite family during their 3:30 pm spin, April 2014. Photo via Facebook, Land of Medicine Buddha.

On April 6, students of Land of Medicine Buddha in Soquel, California launched a 24-hour “Wheelathon” fundraiser for the construction of a four-story replica of the Mahabodhi Stupa on their property. The original Mahabodhi Stupa in Bodhgaya, India, marks to the site where Buddha achieved enlightenment.

At least 25 people, including nuns and monks, took shifts spinning Land of Medicine Buddha’s large prayer wheel with the goal of raising US$1,000 an hour. Community members were invited to help spin the wheel as well as recite prayers and mantras. The Great Prayer Wheel contains over 170 billion mantras and millions of Buddhist texts printed on microfiche. Students prepared a promotional video to encourage community members to participate:

Over 193 sponsors offered or pledged more than US$35,000 by the end of the event, a huge step forward for the estimated US$815,000 project. Lama Zopa Rinpoche has already personally pledged US$50,000 in support of the immense undertaking.

Ven. Steve Carlier leading "Prayer to the Six Syllable Great Compassionate One," April 2014. Photo via Facebook, Land of Medicine Buddha.

Ven. Steve Carlier leading “Prayer to the Six Syllable Great Compassionate One,” April 2014. Photo via Facebook, Land of Medicine Buddha.

The Mahabodhi Stupa at Land of Medicine Buddha will not only help to preserve pan-Buddhist culture and serve as an educational site, but will also be designed to honor people such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thich Nhat Hanh and others who have tirelessly promoted world peace. 

The ground blessing ceremony for the new stupa with Geshe Ngawang Dakpa, resident geshe of Tse Chen Ling in San Francisco, and a group of Gyuto monks is scheduled for April 25.

Visit Land of Medicine Buddha online to learn more about the planned Mahabodhi Stupa and its current campaign.

Mandala brings you news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings and events from over 160 FPMT centers, projects and services around the globe. If you like what you read on Mandala, consider becoming a Friend of FPMT, which supports our work.

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Lama Zopa Rinpoche circumambulating the stupas on the way to front door of Kachoe Dechen Ling, October, 2013. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Every day, Sangha at Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s residence in Aptos, CA,  make three long life and 13 Mitukpa tsa-tsas as well as three small Kadampa stupas which are filled with a roll of the Four Dharmakaya Relic Mantras. These are dedicated to any person who is sick with prayers that they may immediately recover, be liberated from samsara, and may achieve enlightenment quickly. In addition, on the eighth day of the Tibetan month, three Eight Medicine Buddhas tsa-tsas are also made. On the thirtieth, one 12-inch (30-centimeter) tall Padmasambhava tsa-tsa is made.

After the tsa-tsas and stupas are made they are used in other stupas that many people circumambulate when visiting Kachoe Dechen Ling.  All the stupas and tsa tsas that are made are utilized in this way, given to others to use, or they go inside larger stupas that are being built. As each tsa-tsa is an image of a buddha it is created and cared for with utmost respect at all times.

 Rinpoche has commented often on the benefits of holy objects and how stupas can be used on the path to enlightenment.

You can offer any amount to the daily holy object creation at Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s residence.

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Lama Zopa Rinpoche in front of the first statue of Lama Yeshe commissioned by Vajrapani Institute, November, 2013.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche was very happy to make an offering of US$10,000 toward a new life-sized statue of Lama Yeshe which Vajrapani Institute, Boulder Creek, CA, USA is having built. This will be the second life-sized statue of Lama Yeshe commissioned by Vajrapani Institute.

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Lama Zopa Rinpoche and director of Vajrapani Institute, Fabienne, discussing the art for the new Lama Yeshe statue.

In February 2011, Vajrapani Institute asked Lama Zopa Rinpoche for advice regarding how to create the causes needed for the retreat center to further flourish and benefit many beings. Rinpoche recommended them to commission another statue of FPMT’s founder, Lama Thubten Yeshe.

Rinpoche also added that Vajrapani’s future new meditation hall should contain one-thousand statues of Lama Yeshe! This statue will act as the prototype for smaller ones to be made available.

 The budget for this statue is estimated at US$20,000. Please rejoice that Lama Zopa Rinpoche has offered half of funds needed to complete this beneficial statue.

 You may donate any amount to the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund which allows Rinpoche’s compassionate charitable activity to flourish:

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You may also donate directly to this statue of Lama Yeshe through Vajrapani Institute.

 

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Padmasambava - looks like me

The very famous Padmasambhava statue that is called “Looks Like Me” in Tibet that Lama Zopa Rinpoche often uses as an example.

 

The Padmasambhava Project for Peace is dedicated to fulfilling Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s goal of building many large statues of Padmasambhava around the world in order to create the cause for peace for all beings

In October of 2013 the project offered US$7,000 for gold and equipment needed for gold leafing a 70 ft Padmasambhava statue with two consorts.  A very skilled artist began the tremendous task of gold leafing this large statue. Scaffolding was set up and the artist spent time training some of the local monks in the gold leafing process. This year only one month of work was done due to the onset of Winter, but the gold leafing will continue next few years.

You are welcome to offer any amount toward this amazing offering of gold to Padmasambhava.

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Listen, beautiful one having the form of a goddess,
For those sentient beings who have not met me,
Statues of me in the future
Will become the light eliminating the darkness of ignorance.
Whoever builds such statues of me,
Which become objects of offering and so forth,
All their future lives will become meaningful
And they will establish the banner of the teachings.

—Padmasambhava

 

 

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Rinpoche recently finished a brand new teaching and translation on the benefits of offering to stupas – Padmasambhava’s Instruction on Offerings to Stupas. It is quite an amazing, monumental work, which took Rinpoche more than two months to complete, and which Rinpoche would like to be used far and wide. The text details the benefits of circumambulating, and prostrating, making offerings, and offering service to stupas. The booklet is available in eBook, booklet letter, and A4 formats as well as in Italian.

 

Holy objects, including stupas, are very important to Rinpoche and the FPMT for enabling students to create merit on their path to enlightenment. Building 100,000 stupas around the world is one of Rinpoche’s Vast Visions. Please enjoy the very inspiring collection of information and photos of the 48 stupas completed so far!

 

You will find more advice from Rinpoche about holy objects below.

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DSC 5949Prayer Flages, photo by Marc Sakamoto. Unique to the Himalayas, prayer flags are pieces of cloth stamped with mantras and images, either in a pattern of five colors (blue, white, red, green and yellow) horizontally on a long string, or a single narrow vertical flag on a pole. Prayer flags are flown on auspicious days for different reasons including: the removal of obstacles or illness; protection against harm when traveling; and on important occasions such as the third day of the Tibetan New Year, marriages and other official functions.

Prayer Flags and Auspicious Days,” by Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Please refer to the Liberation Calendar for days appropriate for hanging prayer flags as obstacles can be experienced when hung on the wrong days of the Tibetan calendar.

The FPMT Foundation Store has prayer flags available for purchase.

 

 

padmasambhava      Thangka of Guru Rinpoche, hand-painted on
      cloth by Nepali-Tibetan artists in Kathmandu,
      Nepal.
Thangkas are painted or appliquéd depictions of deities, venerated spiritual figures, or common religious symbols, usually framed by colorful brocade.

About holy objects, Lama Zopa Rinpoche has said, “You may think that a statue or thangka is just a statue or thangka, but it is the transcendental wisdom of dharmakaya, which understands and directly sees absolute truth, as well as conventional truth.”

You can find many high quality thangkas for purchase at the online FPMT Foundation Store.

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

Thangka Events

Lama Zopa Rinpoche has encouraged, as part of the Vast Visions for FPMT, to support, create and display large thangkas, and to host thangka festival days where many people can gather to enjoy the beauty and power of the holy artwork, and participate in making offerings and other virtuous activities. In alliance with this vision, some FPMT centers host thangka events:
 
  • In 2011 Lama Zopa Rinpoche, through the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund, commissioned a 55 ft x 40 ft high stitched appliquéd thangka of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) to be displayed at Lawudo Retreat Center, Nepal. More info on this project….
  • Chenrezig Institute, AUS, will be hosting an annual Chenrezig Festival on the anniversary of His Holiness’ visit to the center. At this event they will unfurl their large 1,000-Arm Chenrezig thangka, make offerings, engage in Chenrezig practice and collectively watch a teaching from His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
  • Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa, Italy, has a large Maitreya thangka which they show during Buddha multiplying days (weather permitting) and during any great occasions at the center.
  • Land of Medicine Buddha in California, USA, holds two large thangka events annually: Medicine Buddha Festival Day and Ksitigarbha Day.
  • Lama Zopa Rinpoche was offered a large Medicine Buddha thangka from Mongolia, and it came out most beneficial in Rinpoche’s observation to offer it to Losang Dragpa Centre (LDC), Malaysia. LDC unveiled the thangka as part of their 1,000 Offerings Event, with Khenrinpoche Geshe Chonyi presiding.
 
The FPMT Foundation Store has for sale many high quality thangkas from Nepali-Tibetan artists.

 

manjushriTsa-Tsa of Manjushri, from Tsa Tsa Studios. Tsa-tsas are a form of Buddhist art that has flourished for centuries in the Himalayas, most notably Tibet. Like many Tibetan sacred objects, they are iconographic forms of various buddhas.

Often, students are given a commitment to make 100,000 tsa-tsas of a particular buddha or meditational deity during their lifetime.

In Tibet, tsa-tsas are made with clay from the earth. These days, more modern and durable materials are used, such as plaster, hydro-stone, or a professional casting system consisting of architectural-grade gypsum.

 

Making tsa-tsas pacifies obstacles, bad conditions, accidents, and sudden diseases like heart attacks and paralysis. By making tsa-tsas you pacify enemies, interferers and harms. You accumulate all merit, purify all obscurations and achieve the resultant three kayas in a future life.
– Lama Zopa Rinpoche
 

Information About Tsa-Tsas

The Preliminary Practice of Tsa-Tsas,” available from the FPMT Foundation Store.

The Preliminary Practice of Tsa-Tsas eBook,” available from the FPMT Foundation Store.

Tsa Tsa Studio: Center for Tibetan Sacred Art

Nalanda Monastery has an art workshop from which you can order a variety of tsa-tsa molds.

Concise Guide for Filling and Consecrating your Holy Object