The future Stupa Site at Karme Choling Meditation Retreat Center, Vermont

The Stupa Site

If wisdom can be embodied and manifested in architecture, it would be the stupa.

The architecture of the stupa is transformative in nature. It changes the consciousness of all those who come into view of it, orienting them toward the view of basic and ultimate goodness in all things.

Dr. Eva Wong

The Stupa That Conquers All Directions

Future Stupa Site for Chogyam Trungpa at Karme Choling Meditation Retreat Center, Vermont

Karme Choling looks forward to constructing a stupa, as monument and memorial to Shambhala Buddhist founder Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Named The Stupa that Conquers all Directions, it will commemorate the memory and wisdom teachings of this beloved Tibetan meditation master, who first came to the United States in 1971.

What is a Stupa?

A stupa is a monument to peace and nonaggression, expressed in the form of Buddhist sacred architecture. It is a physical representation of the Buddhist ideal of enlightenment. Incorporated into its structure are symbols that depict the Buddha, the elements, and the steps on the path to enlightenment .

Stupas aid individuals and their communities on their spiritual path as well. Because they are seen to embody aspirations for increasing wisdom and compassion, Buddhists and others come to them to meditate, circumambulate and recite mantras or prayers. Magnetizing good energy and right timing, stupas can bring auspicious coincidence for the community.

What is the Symbolism of a Stupa?

The stupa represents the Buddha, crowned and sitting in a meditation posture, seated on a throne. It symbolizes his enlightened mind and presence.

Incorporated into the symbolism of the stupa is the Buddha, the elements, as well as the path to enlightenment.

The jewel, sun and moon representing the Space element of the Purkhang.

SPACE - All Encompassing Space
1. Jewel: The subtle body or enlightenment
2. Sun: The feminine aspect of prajna and wisdom
3. Moon: The masculine aspect of bodhichitta and skillful means

Wind element represented in the Purkhang at Karme Choling Meditation Retreat Center, Vermont

AIR - All Accommplishing Wisdom
4. Parasol: Compassionate protection for all beings

Fire element represented in the Purkhang at Karme Choling Meditation Retreat Center, Vermont

FIRE - Discriminating Awareness Wisdom
5. Thirteen Disks: Representing the 13 powers of the Buddha or his teaching styles.
6. Harmika: Representing the 8-fold noble path:
Right View or Understanding
Right Intention
Right Speech
Right Action
Right Livelihood
Right Effort
Right Mindfulness
Right Concentration or Samadhi

Water element represented in the Purkhang at Karme Choling Meditation Retreat Center, Vermont

WATER - Mirror-like Wisdom
7. Bumpa: Representing the 7 Factors of Enlightenment

Earth element represented in the Purkhang at Karme Choling Meditation Retreat Center, Vermont

EARTH - Wisdom of Equanimity
8. Four steps: Representing the 4 Immeasurables
Maitri or Loving Kindness

The Future of the Stupa

Your support is vital in building and empowering The Stupa That Conquers All Directions. The energy and potency of a stupa is directly related to the energy that a community puts into it. With your engagement and support, Karmê Chöling will be able to continue construction of the stupa, initiating a new era of growth and expanding our capacity to continue making the world a better, kinder place.

Karmê Chöling aspires to radiate the vision of Basic Goodness and Enlightened Society throughout our own community and beyond into the broader culture. As sacred architecture, the stupa will enable our unique and nurturing practice center to fulfill this vision more fully in the world.

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About Karme Choling Meditation Retreat Center in Vermont

A little about Karmê Chöling …

Karmê Chöling is a Buddhist meditation retreat center founded by Chogyam Trungpa, a Tibetan lineage holder. Established in 1971, it is one of the oldest retreat centers in the US. It has become part of a global movement and community of meditators working together to build enlightened society.

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