The Amitabha Stupa

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Making the Amitabha Stupa

 

“Here in the United States there are so few places to expect the miraculous.  The Amitabha Stupa is one such place”    Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

 

The Sedona Peace Park is a place to touch the sacred and be transformed.  It is home to the Amitabha Stupa.  It is a Buddhists Architecture that symbolizes and embodies the enlightened mind.  The 36 foot high Stupa sits on 14 acres of beautiful high desert red rocks.  The peace park is an oasis of solitude and place of purity, promise and peace.  Amitabha Stupa is a living presence of awakened compassion.  It radiates unceasingly happiness and blessings to decrease the suffering in the world.  It is said all who see a Stupa is forever changed by it’s grace.

 

The Sacred History

 

Stupas have a profound spiritual legacy going back thousands of years.  They exist in every buddhists country.  It is a rare treasure having a Stupa here in the United States and in our sacred red rocks of Sedona.  Stupa’s are powerful agents of spiritual transformation.  The purpose of a Stupa is to protect all beings from illness, poverty, famine, plagues and war.  Stupa’s bring about environmental stability, happiness and harmony to the world.  The Stupa symbolizes the interplay of the 5 elements, the 4 immeasurable, the eightfold path, the 6 perfections..all the stages and qualities of enlightenment.

 

The Stupas square base represents equanimity, the round dome is indestructibility, the triangular spire is compassion the semi circular umbrella is all accomplishing action.  At the very top the jewel  shaped crystal drop represents all pervading awareness.  The Stupa is a gateway that merges a person’s innate wisdom and compassion with the luminously pure, all pervasive, primordial nature,{Dharmakaya}

 

A Stupa is the ultimate remedy for the problems of the world….Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche    

 

 

Jetsunma has built nearly 3 dozen stupas, to oversee the building of the Amitabha Stupa Jetsunma invited the worlds foremost stupa builders Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche.  He led the ceremonies that would create the most auspicious conditions for the building and empowerment of the stupa.  It took 18 months and culminated in a 3 day ceremony in July and August 2004.

 

World renown Feng Shui expert Lillian Too said the 14 acres of land that is the Peace Park has all the natural configurations of mountains that embrace it on all sides.  To the North is a mountain that looks like a turtle.  To the West is a long rock with an eagles head.  To the South is are 2 tiger fangs and to the East are dragon hills.  The Amitabha Stupa park is truly a place where the earth rised up to meet the spirit.  The sacred building of the Stupa began July 2003.  A dedicated small team began building the foundation of the Stupa which symbolizes the 10 positive actions of the body, speech and mind.  As well as the understanding of how to live a virtuous life.  The first 3 steps represent the gateway into Buddhist practice.  The 3 spiritual refuges of the Buddha(Enlightened Masters) the Dharma (The Budddha’s teaching) and the Sangha (The Spiritual community)

 

Every morning the small crew made prayers wishing that the most auspicious work thru them.  While the construction team was working on the outside, there was another team preparing the ritual offerings the would fill the inside chambers.  Inside are tsa-tsas which are mini clay stupas.  The workers had to adhere to a strict diet while making the tsa-tsas.  Their diet meant a strict adherence to no meat, no dairy, no eggs, no garlic, no onions, no alcohol, no tobacco, and no sexual activity.  Special prayers are recited with pure intention.  Setting the stage for the transformation of ordinary clay into an object of reverence.  Their nose and mouth are completely covered to prevent any breath from falling onto the tsa-tsas.  Mantras are visibly printed onto the tsa-tsas before being fired into hardness and filled with small mantra scroll, juniper and sacred substances.  They are then painted, only half of the 7000 tsa-tsas were considered worthy of placement into the Amitabha Stupa

 

Holy objects are more precious that skies filled with gold…..Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

 

Once the foundation was complete, they began on the throne and the 4 steps to the throne.  The throne on which the body of the Stupa rests represents the invincibility of the Dharma.  The 4 steps represent the first 4 paths on the journey to enlightenment, the 4 mindfulness, the 4 perfect efforts and the 4 miraculous feats and the 5 powers.

 

Amazingly the Amitabha Stupa is filled with 1 Billion sacred mantras and prayers.  Traditionally the mantras were handwritten and purified with saffron infused water and rolled by had around sticks of incense.  Hundreds of smaller rolls were done this way but with western technology made it possible to use a rolling press.  Saffron water was placed in the ink reservoirs misting the paper as it passed through the press.  There are well over a million on each roll.

 

The mantras were then delivered to the KPC temple, the mantra rolls were covered with the 5 auspicious colors of fine cloth.  Ribbons of blue, white, red green, yellow.  They were then blessed in an elaborate ceremony and placed in every stupa chamber.

 

Through mantra, we no longer cling to the reality of the speed and sound encountered in life, but experience it as essentially empty.  Then confusion of the speech aspect of our being is transformed into enlightened awareness…..Kalu Rinpoche

 

Abundance..Generosity..Rejuvenation…..21 wealth vases and one large copper cauldron were placed in the center of the Stupas throne to heal and protect the environment.  To replenish the 5 elements..Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space.  To restore Earth’s vital energies and to foster temporal and spiritual prosperity.  The vases symbolize the inexhaustible treasury of the Buddha’s teachings- Wisdom that never diminishes.

 

Symbolic offerings…The Stupa was filled in stages of consecrated offerings.  Sacred substances such as aromatic cedar and buckets of grains, rakes and shovels to antidote hunger and famine and homeopathic medicines were included to promote health and healing.  Water, Earth and rocks from every continent and meteorites from space extend the Stupa’s blessing through out earth and sky.

 

Suffering only happens through clinging and desire….Generosity is an antidote…Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

 

The Spire of the Stupa is adorned with powerful Vajra Guru mantras in sanskrit (Om Ah Hung Vajra Guru Pema Siddhi Hung)  The completed bronze spiral rests on a bed of lotus petals.  Inside the Stupa is the auspicious tree of life or sok-shing.  It is a 4 sided cedar column that is the central channel and life force of the Stupa.  Once completed the sok-shing was painted red and adorned with golden mantras and sacred seed syllables that correlate to the tibetan chakra system.  Rare relics form past Buddhas were placed precisely on the tree enhancing the spiritual potency of the Stupa.  Many ceremonies were performed before it was placed in the the central core.

 

Activating the Stupa….

The tibetan word for stupa is chorten which means “receptacle for offerings”  Every square inch of space inside the Stupa is packed solid from top to bottom with consecrated offerings, holy texts and sacred images and objects.  Literally truckloads of mantras, tsa-tsas and relics of holy beings and wealth vases to activate and magnify its spiritual power.  This light of compassionate radiates blessings to BEINGS EVERYWHERE.  The spire has 13 rings representing the 10 powers of the Buddha and the 3 foundations of mindfulness.

 

Stupa’s benefit all beings and protect them from the 5 major disasters:  War, epidemic diseases, famine, pollution and povertyAkong Tulku Rinpoche

 

Crowning the spire is the pinnacle of perfection.  A brass victory umbrella crafted in Nepal holds and upturned crescent moon and sun.  A large hand carved crystal drop or title, seated in a lotus, completes the Stupa.  When the moon representing compassion and sun symbolizing wisdom are fully perfected, enlightenment dawns the radiant jewel of the spiritual path.

 

All negative karma and obscurations are purified by dreaming of a stops, seeing a stupa and even being touched by the shadow of a stupa”…….

Stainless Beam Sutra, Lord Buddha

 

The Amitabha Stupa

is a wish-fulfilling jewel.  It radiates blessings to people of all spiritual traditions.  Bring your hopes, dreams and visions as well as sorrow and walk around the stupa making offerings and you will leave with a renewed sense of hope, inspiration and promise of a new you.

 

You do not have to believe in stupa’s just as you do not have to believe in rain.  It will come down naturally if there are the right conditions.  The benefit of the stupa happens quite naturally because of it’s structure and content.  It is a manifestation of our true nature, beyond the confusion of words..Akong Tulku Rinpoche

 

 

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