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Stupa Tour

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 4 months ago



The above link will provide more in depth information on the stupa.  Below is the summary of 2 tours offered to Storyfield attendees, one given by Joshua who is the sculptor and artistic director, and who has been there for 21 years. 

First Tour:

The stupa itself refers to a “piled up heap of offerings.”  The  shape reflects the Buddha’s: Folded robe (square base)—Earth---  Body;

Begging bowl turned upside down (dome) – Water---  circulation

And his staff (spire)—Fire--  breath

At the top is the waxing crescent moon (masculine!), sun (feminine!) and jewel at the top (joining of masculine and feminine).  This part of the stupa is the element of Space  and Spirit.

Stupas contain the physical remains of great teachers, and in this case, the remains of Trungpa Rinpoche  (who was born in Tibet and escaped at the age of 19, came eventually to N. America., and had centers in Vermont and Colorado.

This particular stupa shows Buddha  returning from the God Realm, coming down the stairs with Indra and Brahma beside him. 

The colors of each of the 4 gates have particular meanings, as does the white space of the building itself, as follows;

NOTE:  although the colors refer to directions, the stupa itself is positioned according to people arriving up the hill and thus the colors start AS IF the entrance were positioned to the east.

Blue—East—Winter—Water—Anger/Hatred transformed to “mirror-like wisdom”

Yellow—South—Fall—Earth—Pride/poverty mentality transformed to valuing equality

Red—West—Spring—Fire—Grasping passion/cravings transformed to discriminating awareness/wisdom

Green—North—summer—air/wind—Envy/jealousy/paranoia transformed to all accomplishing wisdom

4 steps further up the stupa are the steps of the Bodhisattva, who puts others before self but who also embodies knowing yourself and meeting your own needs as the most important attribute.  The 4 steps are; 

Loving kindness (start with self)


Sympathetic Joy

Equanimity—skillful practice of the other 3 above

INSIDE the stupa:

Kalichakra is the Wheel of Time.  This is the painting on the ceiling of the inner room.  The Dahli Lama has declared this Kalichakra teaching the most important for world peace.   It is the highest teaching of the Buddha, and was taught in the Kingdom of Shambala. 

In front of the Buddha is a mark on the floor – called an “Ashe” (sp?)—one stroke calligraphy—meaning unconditional confidence.

Second tour (with Joshua):

The stupa sits on an enormous concrete pad, with necklaces in concrete to reflect what would have happened had the stupa been built in India.  As it turns out, people adorn the huge incense burner midway down the stairs in much the same tradition.

Joshua caved the figures, the columns, etc., using rubber molds and plywood, before pouring in sections, using a very special concrete. (He has been in contact with the scientists at Chernobyl to use the best concrete known).  They were instructed to build the stupa to be Big, Beautiful, and Long Lasting, which they aspire to be for 1000 years.

This is the Great Stupa of the Dharmakaya—the realm of Space/Truth, which Liberates upon Seeing.  It’s SPACE that creates clarity!!  The cycle of confusion starts with “I” then “ I want” then “I don’t want…”  If you’re no longer AFRAID of space, then you’ll no longer be confused.

This is why meditation is important:  space—finding out what’s REAL vs. conceptual.  The mind is fraught with deception,.

When the Dahli Lama was here last summer, he said:


Everything in the stupa has symbolic relevance.  There is a book:  Secret Teachings of the Kalichakra.. by Alan Wallis,  which would be a further resource.

The main teaching is creating an enlightened society, where full human potential is reached.

This particular Buddha is sculpted in a Greek style.  The iron structure is then covered in gum Arabic and mica powder.  It is not yet complete.

In this tradition, the Body refers to the Head; Speech to the Throat, and Mind to the Heart.

Finally, the steps to Enlightenment start with total acceptance of our own vulnerability and therefore others’ vulnerability.  What they’ve discovered is that the monks and nuns who were imprisoned for many years under deplorable conditions suffered from NO PTSD,  and in fact people who feel compassion for All will not suffer PTSD.


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