It was a deeply enriching weekend at a special place as the community and the Gyuto Monks came together at the Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens to celebrate the second anniversary of the building of the World Peace Stupa, writes Candida Baker of Verandah Magazine.
“Noooo. It can’t be two years since the Gyuto Monks blessed the beautiful Kalachakra World Peace Stupa – can it?
Apparently it can be, and was, because some of the Crystal Castle’s most beloved friends, the Gyuto Monks of Tibet have just spent five days at the Crystal Castle and the Shambhala Gardens offering their heart-filled program of chanting, meditations and activities, in order to celebrate the Peace Stupa's second birthday on Saturday October 11, 2014.
For those of us who were there for the blessing of the site back in December 2010, with its beautiful indigenous ceremony and consecration by the Monks, watching the Stupa rise from its foundations to the eight-metre high glorious gold and blue monument it is today, has been an enriching experience. Before the Stupa existed on its large, naturally amphitheatre-styled space, the Crystal Castle and its gardens were still a special place – but the Stupa has brought with it, not just the presence of the monks, but a sense of spiritual peace even when they are not in residence. For me, the ritual of walking clockwise around the Stupa three times, turning the golden metal prayer wheels as I go, has an immediate calming effect, and I drop into a meditative state almost immediately. Click here for the full story.
Naren and Sono and the Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens thank everyone who joined us and participated in this ancient custom and powerful ceremony for personal, regional and world transformation.
Photos by Tao Jones
From Wednesday October 8th through Sunday October 12th the Gyuto monks will be offering a beautiful daily program of morning and afternoon chants, meditations and fun and enriching cultural activities.
During their stay the Gyuto Monks will be creating a number of large Mani Stones, which are round, flat stones inscribed across two rows with the syllables of the sacred Avalokiteshvara mantra, Om mani padme hum, carved in Tibetan script, and visitors will be invited to participate. On Sunday, the final day of their visit, these sacred stones will be placed around the Kalachakra World Peace Stupa, forming The Mani Way.
On Saturday 11th October we will celebrate the second birthday of the Kalachakra World Peace Stupa with Free Entry to the Crystal Castle for everyone, all day for this special community event.
The monks will perform a universal cleansing ceremony, Theng Khru Yol Khru. This puja to create peace energy and cleanse the Buddhafield will first take in the area the World Peace Stupa sits within, then widen to encompass everything from sea level to the skies. The monks will chant for approximately two hours including an invitation to the Buddhas to join with them in reciting the requisite prayers.
This is a unique opportunity to participate in an ancient custom and a powerful ceremony for personal, regional and world transformation.
Green Tara String Mandala of Compassion
And the Kalachakra World Peace Stupa Birthday Celebrations
Monday October 7th through to Sunday October 13th
The Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens is honoured to welcome back our beloved friends of the Byron Shire the Gyuto Monks of Tibet after their whirlwind tour; including Glastonbury Festival in the UK and the release of their latest CD ‘Chants of Tibet’.
The Gyuto Monks will be joining us with another enriching daily program from Monday October 7th to Sunday 13th.
Saturday October 12th – First Birthday Celebration of the World Peace Stupa
Join the Gyuto Monks and us for this very special day. As we celebrate together the first birthday of the Kalachakra World Peace Stupa.
Free entry for all visitors Saturday 12th October
The daily program will begin at 10.30 am and at 4pm, a very special ceremony will begin as we take a sacred walk to the World Peace Stupa for the Dissolution ceremony of the Green Tara String Mandala of Compassion.
Click here for the daily program...
Monday 11th to Sunday 17th February
With the Tibetan Buddhist monks from Sera Mey Monastery in South India
Join us at the Crystal Castle as we welcome the monks from Sera Mey Monastery for the creation of the Medicine Buddha Sand Mandala.
“The Medicine Buddha is the Buddha of healing. He heals not only physical sickness but also mental sickness like anger, pride and jealousy. The mandala is an ancient art form of Tibetan Buddhism and is a sacred form of art used by Tibetan monks & artists, & is translated as ‘circle of harmony. It is a palace, and all of the patterns in the mandala have symbolism and meaning.” Geshe Ngawang Gedun, Sera Mey Monastery in southern India.
Join the monks each day at 10.30am for chanting and meditation to invoke the divine energy of the Medicine Buddha, who resides within the mandala itself. The mandala is, as such, a divine palace of residence.
The monks request the Medicine Buddha's blessings for healing for all beings; for the people who come to see it; for the local community and for the region; for our country and for the world.
Daily Program Monday 11th to Saturday 16th
10.30 - 11am ~ Meditation and chanting
11am – 3.30pm ~ Medicine Buddha sand mandala creation
3.30pm to 4.30pm ~ Dedication prayers
Sunday 17th February
10.30 - 11am ~ Meditation and chanting
11am – 3.30pm ~ Medicine Buddha sand mandala creation
3.30pm ~ Dissolution ceremony of the sand mandala
After the sand mandala is finished you are invited to join the monks and collectively pray for peace and harmony in the world.
Click here for more information.
"Build it and they will come"
And come they did as almost 1,500 people filled the Crystal Castle’s amphitheatre for the grand opening of our extraordinary Kalachakra World Peace Stupa. The date was October 27th 2012, determined auspicious by our spiritual guide for the project, Gen Lama of the Gyuto monks of Tibet, and amazingly, exactly 365 days from the day that construction started.
'The sight of so many people filling, for the first time ever, the amphitheatre that we built 8 years ago, was truly amazing.” said Naren. “It seemed as if it had been waiting for this event. It was such a joy to see everyone placing their hands on mother earth as the Arakwals welcomed us all to country.”
It was a rich event, a colourful and peaceful day of ceremony, song and Tibetan butter tea, always overseen by the impressive blue and gold structure of the Stupa itself. Elyjah McCleod was our fabulous MC and there was honouring of the amazing input from so many different people, including hundreds within the local community, who have supported and co-created this wonderful project. The Gyuto Monks, as always, brought their joyful peace and depth of spirit, not to mention their amazing harmonic chanting, and the Kings’ daughter, Ayla, moved many to tears with her beautiful acapella rendition of John Lennon's Imagine.
‘The Kalachakra Stupa is very significant - wherever we build or construct them, these Stupas will bring peace, help in avoiding natural disasters and bring harmony and peace among the people” said Mr Sonam Dagpo, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama's representative in Australia as he officially opened the monument. “For Buddhist believers this is a place of pilgrimage, but for the non-believers this is piece of Buddhist architecture to look around and a very good place to have inspiration, peace, and happiness.”
Once the ceremonies were complete people waited in lines to take their turn to walk around the Stupa and spin the beautiful brass prayer wheels, each containing thousands of handwritten prayers to add wings to their peaceful intent.
Sono read out the dedication plaque : “This Stupa is dedicated to love and peace for all beings, to freedom for the Tibetan people and to their sacrifice in the name of peace. The hopes, dreams and commitment of the community have motivated and nurtured the creation of this sacred structure, designed to last for over 1,000 years. May Peace Prevail”.
On Sunday night over 200 people returned for the Full Moon Fire Puja, and the stupa was lit up for the first time, under the full moon, with the yak butter stupa sculpture dissolving in flames over several hours. It was a truly magical night of completion.
Thank you so much to everyone who came and shared your love and goodwill, and if you weren’t able to be there in person, you can get a taste of the magic in this great video created by Sharon Shostak from our local paper the Echo –
There are also lots of photos on facebook now – come and “like” the Crystal Castle and see this colourful, historic day.
Free Entry for all, all day.
Please assemble in the giant Buddha’s amphitheatre by 11.15am NSW time.
Bring a hat, cushion to sit on, wear sunscreen and an umbrella if it is wet.
Limited free bus transport from Mullumbimby High School carpark.
Departures 9.15am, 9.45am, 10.15am, 10.45am and 11.15am
Buses will return to Mullumbimby from 3.15pm onwards.
Butter Lamp Offering Ceremony Sunday Evening At 7pm
The Crystal Castle and the Café will remain open from 5pm to 8.30pm, (it's Free Entry from 5 pm).
Come anytime and enjoy the Full Moon Fire Puja with Giant Butter Lamp Offering, the final ceremony with the monks for the stupa opening.
Please gather at the Discovery Room at 7pm for the procession to the stupa.
Kalachakra World Peace Stupa
Thursday 18th – Sunday 28th October 2012
After two years of physical and spiritual effort and many years of hopes and dreams, the Kalachakra World Peace Stupa will finally be completed in a huge Blessing Ceremony.
As usual there will be much to do to prepare for this momentous occasion and the monks will be in residence for 10 days preparing and putting the finishing touches to their great work.
The Stupa Opening Ceremony will be held on Saturday October 27th.
The Ceremony and will begin at 11:30am lead by HH the 14th Dalai Lama’s representative in Australia, Mr Sonam Dagpo.
The Gyuto Monks and and members from the local Arakwal family will assist in the rituals which will include a Welcome to Country ceremony, a procession to the stupa, chanting by the monks and blessing of the land.
This will be a truly auspicious event, not to be missed!
Free Entry all day to the Crystal Castle for everyone.
All guests are welcome to participate in the ceremony at any point throughout the day. Please bring a blanket or cushion to sit on during the ceremony.
The monks will offer a daily public program from Thursday 18th, including special preparations for the completion of the stupa.
Click here for more details