A New Home for Vajradhara
The Vajradhara thangka was installed at the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya on Sunday, December 5th. To commemorate the occasion, two dozen staff, program participants, and visitors from Boulder performed a lhasang ceremony (smoke purification offering). The lhasang was followed by a recitation of the Kagyu lineage chant and meditation session inside the Stupa.
Vajradhara now hovers over the head of any and all who enter the east gate of the Stupa, facing the gilded statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. The thangka occupies a niche that seems to have been tailor made for its grandeur and splendor. Entering the stupa and looking up at the thangka provokes an experience of awe and wonder. As one community member commented, “I was sad to see the Vajradhara thangka leave Boulder. I never imagined that the thangka would find a home more spectacular than Karme Dzong, but it did.”
View photos and a video of the occasion.
The thangka was removed from the Boulder Shambhala Center (also known as Karme Dzong) in late November in preparation for renovations to the center’s main shrine hall. One of the lineage treasures of the Shambhala community, the thangka was commissioned by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and bears a handprint of the Sixteenth Karmapa on its back side. The announcement of its removal had sparked sadness among many in Boulder who treasure it. Community members had the opportunity to sit with the thangka for several evenings prior to its removal.
After much speculation about its final destination, it was decided to display the lineage relic on the ground floor of the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya. Bob and Lindy King, along with Joshua Mulder and Greg Smith, supervised its installation over the weekend and organized the lhasang on Sunday.
Watch the Vajradhara Installation at the Stupa, video by Greg Smith:
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Photos by Greg Smith and Patrick Elliott.