From humble abodes to lavish temple complexes, it all houses the dharma, the spaces all serving as hubs and way stations for practitioners on a path whose journey also involves the trekking of the inner terrains of the psyche, heart and mind.
I am gradually charting the layout of stupas in the land. I marvel at the spiritually based construction of Tibetan Buddhist architecture- the monasteries, the temples, the large prayer wheels, the stupas- and I eventually seek to expand my virtual and non-virtual explorations of these spaces to other continents.
But stunning religious architecture is not only what I seek. The heart of the practice, I know, is not dependent on a building constructed with auspicious placement of Buddhist symbols. Throughout the country, throughout the world, the dharma is being cultivated in scores of buildings that do not meet the description 'ornate and majestic.'
These being Tibetan Buddhist spaces however, no matter how humble, the expectation for a rush of color and dynamic art is high.
Dhongak Tharling Dharma Center
Source: The Pluralism Project
Dhongak Tharling Dharma Center, founded in 1994 in New Orleans, is spiritually directed by Lama Ngawang Tsultrim Zangpo, a Dzogchen master of the Rigdzin Dakgyud lineage. The spiritual abode is decidedly low key. A visit to their website reveals information that they are raising funds to purchase their building. So if this information is up to date and current, may they cultivate the means to secure this building for many years of practice to come.