Saturday, July 02, 2011

Stupa containing Dhardo Rimpoche's ashes inaugrated at Vimaladhatu Retreat Centre in Germany

Jnanacandra (chair of Buddhistisches Zentrum Essen) writes:

What is a stupa? A symbol of the great Awakening that can happen in our own minds.... a symbol of the Path.... an object that makes us wonder, makes us stand in awe with a sense of something great, ungraspable, yet real...

Sunday 22 May was a very auspicious date indeed for Triratna in Germany: the day when we finally completed and inaugurated the beautiful Stupa in our Retreat Centre Vimaladhatu.
About 120 people came to Vimaladhatu for this occasion - the shrine-room had never been as full before! Our guests of honour were Rupadarshin, the stonemason and main creator of the stupa, and Mahamati who was master of ceremonies.
Rupadarshin touched many peoples hearts when he talked about his personal connection to stupas. Quite a few people who hadn't fully made that connection themselves later said that something in his way of putting it had reached them and made a difference. Rupadarshin also talked about the practical side of the work, including his struggles with the very hard and unpredictable stone and with tools frozen onto the stone on cold mornings! (You will soon be able to listen to this talk on FreeBuddhistAudio). 

Mahamati gave a beautiful talk on Dhardo Rimpoche and his meaning for Triratna. Bhante Sangharakshita had entrusted one of his last relics of Dhardo Rimpoche to Mahamati, who had brought it to Germany to be enshrined in the stupa. The relic is a Tibetan-style "tsatsa", a mixture of clay and ashes moulded into the form of White Tara. Through this relic, and through his threefold message engraved in golden letters in the stupa, Dhardo Rimpoche's life and work have become a continuous influence and presence in our collective practice at Vimaladhatu.   

The enshrinement happened in the context of a seven-fold puja. Mahamati started the Green Tara mantra and led us all in a long procession down the hill to the stupa. Here the container with the tsatsa was installed in the special cavity made for it, then the final stone was put into place. We recited Dhardos merits in call and response and three very loud 'Sadhus' resounded up to the realms of the devas who rejoiced and showered petals down on us.

You can see more photos of this joyous occasion and of the building process on
It feels like we've done something daunting, significant, of lasting value. This stupa will stand there and do its magic long after we're all dead. Already the place does feel transformed in a very palpable way...


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