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Tashi Choling Shares Update on Stupa Project to Honor Gyatrul Rinpoche

Image courtesy of Tashi Choling

The Tashi Choling Center for Buddhist Studies in Ashland, Oregon, has shared an update on its plans to build a memorial stupa or chorten for the revered Nyingma lama Venerable Dhomang Gyatrul Rinpoche, who died early in 2023 year, aged 98. The progress report included welcome news of fundraising success, as well as activity and planning related to the actual construction.

“We are very pleased to announce that we have received US$124,000 in donations to date and have exceeded our first fundraising goal!” the Tashi Choling Center for Buddhist Studies said in a message shared with BDG. “It is heartwarming to witness the outpouring of devotion and gratitude from students and friends as you all expressed generosity without hesitation. This is truly a cause of celebration and collective great merit. We rejoice with gratitude for our anonymous matching grant sponsor. Fundraising will continue for this large-scale project involving many phases of exterior construction and ornamentation and interior consecration.”

Gyatrul Rinpoche, one of the last great Nyingma masters of his generation, passed into parinirvana in the early hours of 8 April 2023 at his home in Half Moon Bay, California, in the presence of family members and close attendants.*

The planned stupa is to be a changchub chorten (the Tibetan term changchub refers to the concept of enlightenment or awakening), which will stand 9.8 meters tall. Tashi Choling previously announced that a US$100,000 matching grant had been pledged by a long-time student of Gyatrul Rinpoche for funds donated toward the effort, although this initial target has already been exceeded.

“The site has been selected on the land at Tashi Choling, exquisite custom copper ornaments have been commissioned from highly skilled artisans in Nepal, and local sangha have been making thousands of tsa tsas [Tib. small votive offerings], which will be used to fill the stupa,” Tashi Choling noted.

“More information will be shared as soon as we are able. We are working to meet county permitting requirements and determining the cost for construction [of an] access road to the chosen site, as well as creating an area to serve as a construction work pad. Necessary information sought for the engineered footing and foundation is expected soon. Once these details have been worked out and winter weather is behind us, we will be ready to prepare the ground.”

Tsa tsa offerings for the planned stupa. Image courtesy of Tashi Choling

Click here for full details on the stupa project

Gyatrul Rinpoche was born in 1924 in modern-day Sichuan Province, China. He was recognized as a tulku at the age of seven by Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro and Tulku Natsok Rangrol, and trained at Payul Dhomang Monastery in eastern Tibet. He spent many years in solitary retreat before fleeing to India in 1959, where he lived for 12 years. Gyatrul Rinpoche then moved to the United States, where he was appointed as the spiritual representative of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche.

Rinpoche was instrumental in establishing many Nyingma centers throughout the US, including Tashi Choling in Oregon, Orgyen Dorje Den in the San Francisco Bay Area, Norbu Ling in Texas, Namdroling in Montana, and a center in Ensenada, Mexico. A prolific author, Gyatrul Rinpoche also shared a wealth of profound Vajrayana teachings in written form. His books include: Meditation, Transformation, and Dream Yoga (Shambhala Publications 2002); Generating the Deity (Snow Lion Publications 1992); and a commentary on Natural Liberation: Padmasambhava’s Teachings on the Six Bardos (Wisdom Publications 1998).

Ven. Dhomang Gyatrul Rinpoche. From orgyendorjeden.org

In his introduction to the 1999 translation of Jamgon Kongtrul’s landmark text The Teacher-Student Relationship, Gyatrul Rinpoche wrote:

All teachers must eventually leave this world, just as did the Buddha himself. Yet, the lineage that we still receive, the legacy of their enlightened awareness, is passed on from generation to generation through the teachings that remain. Since that is inevitable, what we have to call a lineage in their physical absence is the blessing of their unbroken lineage of teachings. This is what we, in turn, are expected to pass on to our and future generations. If we were to depend solely upon the physical presence of the teacher, then the lineages would have been lost long ago. The Buddha said, “I shall reveal the path that leads to liberation. You must practice the path in order to reach liberation.”

* Parinirvana of the Esteemed Nyingma Lama Dhomang Gyatrul Rinpoche Announced (BDG)

References

Jamgon Kongtrul the Great. The Teacher-Student Relationship. Translated by Ron Garry, 1999. Boulder, CO: Shambhala Publications

See more

Tashi Choling Center for Buddhist Studies
Stupa Project at Tashi Choling

Related news reports from BDG

Tashi Choling Center to Build Stupa to Honor Gyatrul Rinpoche
Parinirvana of the Esteemed Nyingma Lama Dhomang Gyatrul Rinpoche Announced

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