Karma Choeling, New Zealand

During the summer of 98 - 99 we built the rough form or 6 more stupas, so now there are eight altogether. On the auspicious Day of Miracles, 2nd March 1999, an interesting assortment of western and Tibetan practitioners assembled to carry the 6 life trees down from the gompa to the stupas, accompanied by music and insence.

The weather was perfect, the life trees were inserted with appropriate aplomb, prayers were chanted and a group lunch shared. Altogether a happy occassion.

The pages below have about 5 jpegs on each, which have been seriously abused to make them load faster, plus a little explanation.
Before starting, it is good to put things in perspective. I'm a builder, so this is heavily slanted to the physical aspect. In fact, this only constitutes a small part of stupa construction. Lama Samten told me once that there should be about three times as many people working on the "inner" part as the "outer' (physical / concrete). In this case, we came close: there were usually about 3 to 6 people doing mantras, tsa tsa etc while we were 2 or three on the mixer and formwork. But they worked much longer hours, to keep ahead of us :)

It's easy to forget, what you see in the end is really a very beautiful envelope: what is hidden inside is what makes it come to life. And these ones are *packed*

What happens when you build a stupa (or 6) in concrete:


Foundation, blockwork, wealthy diety shrine

Page 2

Mud, Mahakala, "four steps"

Page 3

Bumpa construction. That's the vase like bulge half way up.

Page 4

Steps, tsa tsa and bumpas finished

Page 5

Doors, rings and bumpa stuffing

If per chance you arrived at this page from somewhere else, you might want to check out the front door of the Stupa Information Page