Monday, October 31, 2005

October 31st...Where we came from...

This photo is from July of 2004. You can see how the Stupa Park looked back then (I'm posting this today as a way of encouraging the Stupa gang). We're all pushing the limits at our jobs (every one of us has used all our leave), getting up early on our days off, and working until conditions prevent us from doing more. So here's a look at how far we've come! You can see from the photos yesterday the Stupa Park is now looking shiny again!

I received an update from Ani Rene this evening. First, the bumpa is now yellow with primer! Yeckta is going to be out really early tomorrow, and I'll be out there too (maybe not quite as early). The big obstacle today was similar to ours yesterday...Ladybugs! Ani Rene said the Stupa was simply covered with them. So many in fact, that she found herself unable to continue painting. She recommended I get out there really early, before the sun warms the concrete too much, so we can paint before they gather...we'll see! Regardless, we'll be out tomorrow continuing the effort to get them finished before the winter sets in!

Finally, no work is required to benefit from the Stupas! They exist for the sole purpose of bringing benefit to beings, regardless of species (insects, birds, humans, they don't care). They offering healing, peace and prosperity to all that encounter them. You don't have to be Buddhist, you don't even have to believe it, it is simply their nature to offer it. So, if you're looking for a place to get away from the chaos of modern life for a while, or if you're curious what this is all about, it is our hope that you'll come out and see the Stupas for yourself!Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 30, 2005

October 30th...forging ahead...

We had high hopes for the day as it is suppose to be warm and sunny...something we haven't seen in a long time! Ashby joined us out there today. He's been promoting his artwork recently, but took a break today to catch up with his Stupa dudes... Posted by Picasa

We were so thrilled at the warm temperatures and sunny day we could hardly wait to get to work...but when we started mixing paint we also started running into problems. Our cordless drill died (always the way!). Ashby volunteered to head back for our corded drill (we now always keep one of those on hand!).  Posted by Picasa

After navigating our first stumbles for the day, we got to work. Lisa started spraying while I worked up on the spire of the Long Life Stupa (not for the faint of heart let me tell you!).  Posted by Picasa

Even though it had two coats already, the small Stupas looked so much better sprayed that we put another coat on the Long Life Stupa, to give a more even look. The spraying was really fast, and though a little tricky, it worked out well... Posted by Picasa

Though we had a few scares, after we sprayed the Stupas a second time (the new nozzle made a huge difference in how far the paint went) we felt much better.  Posted by Picasa

The light's not great, but here's a shot anyway. The Stupa Park has been painted with the exception of Auspicious Manifold Doorways. That remains another challenge ahead...though Lisa is now ready to begin making casts from our mold!
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After lunch we packed up and headed out to Migyur Dorje. The sun was already sinking in the sky (this daylight savings thing is a pain to those of us working outdoors!) but we were determined to utilize every last illuminating ray of it. Ashley, Lisa's daughter, joined us when we went to Migyur Dorje. She helped out a lot, being our runner on the ground. After we settled in up top she even started painting on the throne! Posted by Picasa

I worked on finishing up repairs while Lisa painted the harmika. We were so focused on getting as much out of this sunny day that I forgot to take many pictures... Posted by Picasa

Out at the Stupa Park our obstacles took the form of forgotten items and the gnats that kept covering the Stupas (as Buddhists we do all we can to avoid harming other beings). Once we got out to Migyur Dorje it was ladybugs...they were all over the Stupa! Posted by Picasa

Another shot of our cute guests. Unfortunately, they were EVERYWHERE on the Stupa. That made work a little more difficult, as we tried hard to avoid harming them... Posted by Picasa

Here's a shot of the crack repaired. So we finally wrapped up the repairs today...all we have to do now is keep them moist for a few days. Posted by Picasa

At the end of the day we'd primed the top of the bumpa and the harmika. Ashley contributed too, getting started on the snow lions! Ani Rene has said she plans on getting out there this week also, so we'll see what happens. I'm working the next few days, but will keep you updated on the progress. There's molds cooking at Lisa Banana's house as well. Keep us in your prayers, and the weather!

Of course, we're doing all of this so the Stupas may bring inspiration as well as blessings to all who visit them. The Stupas exist as a source of peace, healing and prosperity for all beings...ladybugs and gnats as well as humans! So do come on out and see them for yourselves. It's a chance to see something precious with ancient roots built right here in Poolesville, Maryland. All our Stupas were constructed under the guidance of qualified Lamas, containing all the necessary relics, and all have been consecrated according to ancient traditions, making them fully empowered Tibetan Buddhist Stupas, right here in suburban Maryland, a short drive from the Washington D.C. How amazing... Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 29, 2005

October 29th....Cliffhanger...

When I ran into them this morning, it was an interesting contrast. Lisa was totally bundled up, while James was dressed for summer weather, telling stories about a 70 degree forecast....We all got together early as planned, and James faithfully delivered the vanilla lattes! Posted by Picasa

You'll never guess who the first one up on the spire was! Yup! It was Lisa Banana, who started this whole project deathly afraid of heights...Here she is ready to paint the sun and moon on top of the umbrella! Posted by Picasa

While Lisa worked on the spire, James started on the repairs to the gau...we're all feeling the urgency of the ending season... Posted by Picasa

Here's a look at the repair James dug out. It was extensive (we were very relieved it wasn't deeper!). Now it was time to fill it... Posted by Picasa

Amber joined us today! She didn't bring Sophie (her new baby), Dad took care of her while Amber came out to help on the Stupa! She was thrilled to have the chance to get back out and work. So thrilled in fact, she braved her fear of heights to put a second coat of primer on the relief! Posted by Picasa

Here she is, devoted as ever! Posted by Picasa

We discussed it for a while...moving the ladder and painting the shady side of the spire. It was definitely colder over there, cold enough to make us worry. But with the sun warming things a little (we're talking up to maybe 55 degrees), and winter breathing down our necks, we decided to go for it. James wanted his turn on the here it is! Posted by Picasa

After James had enough on the spire I took up the job. I had to get a shot of the tigle while I was there though! Posted by Picasa

After the repair was built up, we decided to try putting a heater near it to help it set up faster... Posted by Picasa

Lisa came back after Ashley's soccer game (they won again!). Ashley joined us for a while here, grinding some paint off that lingered after our stripping attempts... Posted by Picasa

James and Lisa finish up the last of the painting up on the spire... Posted by Picasa

After the painting of the spire was completed we made a quick run back to the temple to grab work lights and get the forecast for the night (we'd all concentrated on the daytime temps). We were shocked to learn it could drop to 29 degrees in Poolesville tonight!!! We rushed back out to complete the repair before dark. You can see Lisa actually had to lay on her belly on the top of the bumpa to reach down and scrape the repair into shape around the gau...Not bad for a gal that started this project terrified of heights! You can also see, though, that she was securely tied in... Posted by Picasa