For this autumn’s Transmission Weekend, Maggie Lehnert, Wojtek Kossowski, Eva and Manfred Seegers and Caty Hartung came to share their deep knowledge, experiences and many magical stories about Stupas with us.
Mind’s full potential can show itself in many different forms. For centuries, buddhist cultures around the world have been building stupas to symbolise enlightenment. They are full of meaning and are a blessing for the region and the whole country they are built in.
Stupas are vivid monuments to the enlightened mind, Buddhist monuments for peace, prosperity, harmony of the world and an ideal place to learn, reflect, and meditate. The outer structure of a Stupa has a deep meaning at many levels and its inner treasure chambers are filled with symbolical objects. Consequently qualified Lamas charge the Stupas through powerful ceremonies. Maggie’s stories of her 20 years of assisting Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche while he guided the construction of the first stupas in the West touched us deeply.
Eva and Manfred Seegers took us on a virtual world tour to show how stupas developed over the millennia and around the world. Originating from Nepal and India, just like Buddhism they can today be found e.g. in the whole of Asia, Russia, America and Europe.
According to the Buddhist teachings there are eight different types of Tibetan Stupas, of which all have also been built in the West over the last decades. Each of them represents an important event of the Buddha’s life story. The Enlightenment Stupa Chang Chub Chorten in Tibetan) symbolises the achievement of Buddha’s enlightenment, the nature of a fully awakened mind.
Each of the 8 different Stupa types is built according to very precise instructions where both the exact design and proportions have to be correctly followed. Our architect expert Wojtek Kossowski gave un an insight on the many things that need to happen on a very practical level when building a stupa.
Stupas are normally closed monoliths, which Buddhists circumambulate (by Tibetans referred to by the term kora) while expressing their deep wishes as being in front of Buddha himself. To absorb its beneficial influence into our lives it is recommended to walk around the Stupa in a clock wise direction. Buddhists believe that wishes done near a Stupa may become true.
If you would like to know more about Stupas, please visit the website of the great Enlightenment Stupa in Benalmàdena, Spain.