Chagdud Gonpa T'Hondup Ling To Construct First Shi-Tro Mandala For Universal Peace in U.S.

The following article is from the Summer, 1999 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.

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by Veronica Miller

As part of His Eminence Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche's efforts to preserve the spiritual and cultural tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, Lama Nubpa Chodak Gyatso (Lama Gyatso), resident lama of Chagdud Gonpa T'hondup Ling in Los Angeles, has commissioned a rare three-dimensional mandala of the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities of the One Hundred Buddha Families (Shi-Tro in Tibetan).

The Shi-Tro Mandala for Universal Peace, the first of its kind to be constructed in the United States, will be created by Tibetan artist Pema Namdol Thaye, one of only a handful of artists in the world qualified to execute a cultural treasure of this import.

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Lama Gyatso, H.E. Chagdud Rinpoche and Tulku Jigme Rinpoche (son of Chagdud Rinpoche)

Though often made with sprinkled sand in two dimensions, all mandalas are actually three-dimensional, with sand mandalas only hinting at the top view of a dazzlingly elaborate creation intended to depict the precise proportions and structure of the divine realms. The deities of the Shi-Tro Mandala are expressions of enlightened qualities that have the power to transform negativity. Each aspect of the Mandala is highly symbolic and is intended to reveal qualities inherent within us that will further us on the path to enlightenment. Because of the large commitment of time, expertise, and funding needed to create such an intricate mandala, the Shi-Tro Mandala, unlike a sand mandala, will not be dismantled upon completion. Rather, it will be available for exhibition in museums and other venues throughout the United States before being permanently installed at the Los Angeles center of Chagdud Gonpa.

Documenting the process of creating this cultural treasure, by video and other means, will help to preserve the sacred Tibetan culture, whose very existence continues to be threatened.

The Mandala project includes publication of the text of the One Hundred Peaceful and Wrathful Deities practice, currently being translated by Lama Chokyi Nyima (Richard Barron) and soon to be available through Chagdud Gonpa In addition, the creation of the mandala will be used to educate various groupsincluding at-risk youthabout the path of nonviolence.

The public is invited to generate merit by supporting the creation of the Mandala, which will take nine months to complete. By contributing $500, individuals can sponsor one of the deity statues within the mandala. The merit of such sponsorship can be dedicated to family members or friends, or on behalf of those who have passed away. Sponsors' names will appear on a plaque, which will be included in the mandala display. Offerings of building materials, art supplies, and pearls are welcome, and individuals can help sponsor the artist and his assistant for any portion of their nine-month residency. Taxdeductible donations of any amount will be greatly appreciated. They can be sent to Chagdud Gonpa Foundation T'hondup Ling, PO Box 292499, Los Angeles, CA 90029. To obtain further information about the Mandala Project, call T'hondup Ling at 323769-5511 or send an e-mail to <Thondup_Ling@juno.com>. To order the One Hundred Peaceful and Wrathful Deities text, please call Chagdud Gonpa Rigdzin Ling at 530-623-2714. ä_æ

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