Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Southernmost North American Stupa in Progress

From the last post on a center in Hawai'i, back to the continental USA and to the southeastern extremity. The state of Florida is host to a number of Vajrayana dharma centers. Today's focus is Kagyu Shedrup Chöling, founded by Ven. Lama Norlha Rinpoche, who immigrated to the States in the late 70's and founded Kagyu Thubten Chöling Monastery in New York State. The teachings at Kagyu Shedrup Chöling are very diverse and address several levels of technique and skill. Kagyu Shedrup Chöling's resident teacher is Ven. Lama Karma Chötso, who has also devoted her time as a Professional Volunteer Chaplain for Hospice Care and has performed Buddhist death rituals for deceased, among many other services.

Kagyu Shedrup Chöling stupa project will ultimately result in the southernmost stupa constructed in North America, an interesting point for the entire energetic network of stupas on the continent.

Stupas have a long history and tradition of serving both as symbolic representations of the Buddha's enlightened mind, as spaces for circumambulatory movement and meditation and tributes to precious teachers. They also have an additional and incredibly interesting dimension of 'acting' on and with the environment. It is a type of construction that sees form as infused with energy as the elements and with the ability (and often necessity) of interacting with them.

Kagyu Shedrup Chöling's blog, South Florida Kagyu Stupas, notes:

"The treasure vase is a Tibetan tradition that goes back to the time of Guru Rinpoche, who gave specific instructions on how they were to be made and their purpose. These vases can help balance the environment and promote healing of all kinds. Here in South Florida the basic elements of earth, water, fire, air and space are all out of balance. These vases are part of the reason the stupas will be balancing them and will help avert negative forces of all kinds -- storms, wars, etc."

Treasure Vases
Source: South Florida Kagyu Stupas Blog

It appears that as of late, the foundation is being set and the stupa construction is in motion. Check out Kagyu Shedrup Chöling's blog for visuals and to watch the process unfold.

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