The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya – A visit to Shambhala Mountain Center

Love that place…

DISCLAIMER — Panoramic of ground level inside the 108-feet-tall ‘Great Stupa of Dharmakaya Which Liberates Upon Seeing’, the largest stupa in North America, at Shambhala Mountain Center, elevation 8000 ft, in Red Feather Lakes, Northern Colorado:

DSC00219

Inside the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya, Shambhala Mountain Center, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado (United States)Photos by © Michaël Van Broekhoven, September 2013

It had been about four years since my last visit.  It was wonderful to practice (meditation) in there for many hours.  Special energy.  Sometimes I felt at peace, sometimes emotionally stirred… in that luminous gentle but sharp powerful energy…

From the side, The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya, with volunteers working on it in September 2013. Photos by © Michaël Van Broekhoven

From the side, The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya, with volunteers working on it in September 2013.
Photos by © Michaël Van Broekhoven

Paint repairs.  )The giant Colorado wildfires in 2012, which came very clos to SMC, left smoke stains that didn't fade off, so the wildfire damage was repaired.  Gives an idea of the size of this magnificent monument to peace.   Photo by © Michaël Van Broekhoven, 2013

Paint repairs. (The massive Colorado wildfires in Summer 2012, which came very close to SMC, left smoke stains that didn’t fade off, so the wildfire damage was finally repaired.  Gives an idea of the size of this magnificent monument to peace.
Photo by © Michaël Van Broekhoven, 2013

Beautiful remembering of the time I took Refuge and Bodhisattva Vows here at a monthlong mostly-silent group retreat, now over a decade ago…

Reminiscing… I took those vows to strengthen my commitment to nonviolence, but didn’t quite realize that this path… over time of practicing meditation, would (at times) heighten my neurosis as part of “burning through it”, on and on and on…

Having a great teacher really helped.  The Shambhala International mandala, as well as the offshoot Dharma Ocean has many exceptional meditation instructors.

This particular Buddhist lineage “isn’t for everyone”, though.  It is open to all, but… it can be a bit intense.  :-)  The Vajrayana Dharmic path has even been described as “a self-destructive ego trip” leading one to (eventually…, grace permitting…) become who one is: Shunyata (luminous empty space inseparable from loving-kindness): free from conditioning, free of scheming (itself considered a form of violence, basically), free of all conceptualizing, devoid of a sense of solid identity, without agenda or plan, just present, experiencing the phenomenal reality as unmediated shocking awake energies, relating “from” one’s all-welcoming heart center…

Although there is nothing I could recommend more, because this path can be rather self-confrontational, something not everyone is into, I could not really recommend what I consider a “genuine spiritual path”.   It’s more of a calling than something you do for fun.   Good medicine for the courageous.

An honoring of H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoché, a teacher to many Tibetan lamas, including Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoché.  Inside the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya.  Click for article, "Chögyam Trungpa and Dilgo Khyentse: A Heart Connection"

An honoring of H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoché, a teacher to many  Buddhist lamas, including Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoché. Inside the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya. Click for article, “Chögyam Trungpa and Dilgo Khyentse: A Heart Connection”

Although there’s a lot of joy, laughter, humor and good times to be had, ultimately the dharma leads to a lack of self-importance.  As such, in stark contradiction to much of the orientation and pressures of this modern materialistic world, there is nothing in it “for me” (or you).   A nightmare for ego, truly, perhaps “just like life”, yet intensified. (Ego really is just Latin for ‘I’).

On a side, note all my grooving on “spiritual” scenes, journeys, visions, you name it…, relaying how “I had such an awesome *spiritual* experience”… all too often… it’s really just bullshit, misguided “making personal territory” out of the unclaimable…

As much as this journey has sucked at times, however, I’ve never doubted that I made the right choice.  :-)  The Dharma continues to be an inspiration.

‘Shambhala’, both the ethereal, as the manifest attempt “to make enlightened society possible”, will always be precious to me.   I have barely begun the journey, but have found that the vows are strangely indestructible.  Guiding posts…  Inconceivably so.

If interested in this path, I suggest the program ‘Winter Dathün‘, and for reading, I’d start with ‘Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism‘, by Chögyam Trungpa.  Cuts right to the heart of the matter.

Some more photos from this amazing place:

In the Tibetan tradition, there is often a chair for the teacher, even as the teacher may already have physically died.  It is understood that the Teacher’s wisdom energy, due to his or her high level of realization, remains accessible to devout practitioners:

"The Dharma Teacher may appear in any moment."

“The Dharma Teacher may appear in any moment.”

The painting, detailing on the pillars and marble floor art work is exceptional:

Detail inside the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya Photos by © Michaël Van Broekhoven, 2013

Pillar detail inside the magnificent inspiring ‘Great Stupa of Dharmakaya’  
Photos by © Michaël Van Broekhoven, 2013

Detail of marble flooring mosaic, inside the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya. Photos by © Michaël Van Broekhoven, 2013

Detail of GORGEOUS marble flooring mosaic, inside the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya.
Photos by © Michaël Van Broekhoven, 2013

Excerpt from a prayer by Chatral Rinpoche ('Prayer to Avert Nuclear War'), recommended by Lama Tharchin Rinpoche after the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear meltdowns in 2011.  While this is a very different situation, the vibrational effect makes reciting this prayer at this time very good and important. Click Image for more.

Grant your blessings so that my mind may be one with the Dharma
Grant your blessings so that Dharma may progress along the path
Grant your blessings so that the path may clarify confusion
Grant your blessings so that confusion may dawn as wisdom

 – The Four Dharmas of Gampopa, one of many chants regularly chanted during retreats at SMC.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya – A visit to Shambhala Mountain Center

  1. Pingback: The Tibetan Buddhist “Stupa of Miracles” in Huy, Belgium | Not All Alleged Is Apparent…

Thank you for commenting. Your comment won't show until approved. Sometimes that can take awhile. - mvb

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s