Stupa

Stupas are monuments for peace in the world. They are constructions which express the pure nature of the mind in a perfect form.

Stupas have been built in Asia for centuries and in Europe since 1982. Their symbolism is multifaceted: they stand for the various Buddha wisdoms, for instance, but also for the society of practitioners, the Sangha. Generally, it is said that the spiritual influence of a stupa is so great that those who revere them, help with their construction or those who live in the vicinity experience its positive effect as a source of peace, happiness and prosperity.

Stupa of Long Life

On the grounds of the Europe Center just below the Villa there is a Stupa of Long Life, also sometimes called the Stupa of Complete Victory. It commemorates the time when the Buddha increased his lifespan by three months at the request of his students. It also shows that during the lifespan of the Buddha he was able to transmit the entirety of his teachings.

Those who circumambulate the stupa clockwise while making wishes for the benefit of all beings experience a blessing, which enables one to live a long, meaningful and exemplary life.

Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche, who is highly revered in the Himalayas for his deep compassion, inaugurated the stupa in a traditional ceremony.

The deep meaning of stupas

Alongside the previously mentioned qualities, there are beneficial qualities ascribed to a stupa:

  • A stupa purifies the atmosphere making it possible for realized teachers to be reborn there.
  • The Dharma (Buddha’s teachings) can grow.
  • The stupas in Europe mean that the transmission of Buddhism from Asia to Europe can be strengthened and take root here.
  • The stupa brings peace and prosperity to the country in which it is built.
  • It protects the location where it stands, such as a Buddhist center.

Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche

Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche (1918 – 2003) was one of the most revered Buddhist meditation masters in the Himalayas. He was not just the first teacher of Hannah and Ole Nydahl, but also a key figure, who held the various Buddhist communities together in the region.

Through his power and inspiration 16 stupas were built in Europe, with the strongest focus in Spain. There he oversaw the construction of the Kalachakra Stupa in 1994 near Vélez Málaga, which aims to maintain peace, and in Benalmádena he planned the construction of a 33 meter high (108 foot) Stupa of Enlightenment, the completion of which he was unfortunately not able to experience.

Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche was an exceptional practitioner, although he was never considered a special rebirth in the classical manner. In response to the question of the 16th Karmapa whether he would finally like to know who he really is, Rinpoche answered, “No, thank you!”.

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