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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.
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.
Land of Medicine Buddha (LMB) in Soquel, California, has had a busy summer. In June, they celebrated their Eleventh Medicine Buddha Festival Day, which also included a visit from the Maitreya Heart Shrine Relic Tour. Hundreds of people attended the festival. Lama Zopa Rinpoche attended in 2008 and gave much encouragement and advice, which LMB each year reviews and works to fulfill.
Denice Macy, LMB’s director, wrote, “The accomplishment this year was following Rinpoche’s advice to ‘have many performers, not just one or two.’ By following Rinpoche’s advice, we found that people stayed longer; it was Rinpoche’s observation that people left after the puja, and he wanted them to stay longer, so by adding more musical offerings, people did stay! It was a very moving and joyful day. We had music and dance offerings from India, Mongolia, Japan, Indonesia and Tibet!” A YouTube video was made of the performances.
The festival has become a significant community event, even being written up in the local newspaper, and attracting community involvement. “This year, as in the previous year, we offered a free lunch to at least seven hundred people,” Denice wrote. “The Santa Cruz Tibetan community made nearly three thousand momos. Also this year we received food offerings of green curry donated by Star of Siam Thai restaurant as well as Indian food that was donated by an Indian family. We also sold more than 50 sweet pies that were made by a team of volunteers and nearly 300 fresh coconuts!”
Then, LMB welcomed Choden Rinpoche, who gave lam-rim teachings at the center and who was offered a long life puja. On July 6, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s birthday and FPMT North America’s Compassion Day were celebrated with an incense puja and prayers followed by a picnic. Later in the afternoon, LMB community members performed the Blessing for the Sentient Beings in the Ocean (and who touch the ocean or have anything to do with the ocean) out on a pier in the Pacific Ocean. They placed their Namgyälma mantra board into the water and did a short meditation with mantra recitation, following the instructions of Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
The center celebrated Chokhor Duchen with a Shakyamuni Buddha puja and the liberation of 1,400 worms, the merit of which was dedicated to Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s good health, and quick and full recovery. Many more teachings and pujas took place over July and August.
On August 21, which was a full moon day, the day His Holiness the Dalai Lama finished his three-week retreat in Ladakh, India, and a Wednesday, which is a special day for His Holiness astrologically, LMB’s community of students, staff and local Tibetans gathered to perform the sang (incense) offering and made prayers advised by His Holiness for the Tibet cause and offered prayers for the long lives and good health of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche and for all their holy wishes to be fulfilled.
You can see more photos and learn more about the activities of Land of Medicine Buddha by visiting them on Facebook.
Mandala brings you news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and FPMT activities, teachers and events from over 160 FPMT centers, projects and services around the globe. If you have news you would like to share, please let us know.
FPMT Around the World
Lama Zopa Rinpoche joined the fourth Ksitigarbha Day celebration at Land of Medicine Buddha (LMB) in California on Saturday, September 15. Rinpoche gave explanations on Ksitigarbha and a lung of the mantra in the garden area around LMB’s Ksitigarbha statue, upon which Rinpoche bestowed the name Ksitigarbha Pure Land.
Rinpoche stayed at LMB for lunch, talked to many students and watched the day’s entertainment. LMB has posted many photos of the day on their Facebook page.
“Rinpoche shone with delight at all of the offerings, food, light, gold to the statue, water bowl and prayer … so, so beautiful,” shared Denice Macy, LMB’s director. Rinpoche has been on the West Coast of the United States since June 2012, visiting California, Oregon and Washington states.
On Sunday, September 30, Rinpoche offers a Vajrasattva initiation at Vajrapani Institute in California. This is Rinpoche’s last scheduled public event in the United States during this visit. Rinpoche returns to India and Nepal in October. He is scheduled to give a Most Secret Hayagriva oral transmission at Drati Khangtsen at Sera Je Monastery, India, on October 27 and a Vajrasattva initiation at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, in December.
To receive news on where Rinpoche is offering teachings and initiations, you can sign up to get updates in your email inbox by visiting Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Schedule page.
With 158 centers, projects and services around the globe, there is always news on FPMT activities, teachers and events. Mandala hopes to share as many of these timely stories as possible. If you have news you would like to share, please let us know.