Thursday, March 30, 2006

March 30th...Getting closer...

Norbu spent the day yesterday cutting up the frame of the trailer with his sawzall. By the time I got out last night it was too dark to take you can see, the same almost happened today! But the pottery is photographed, at least all the pieces we could find. So the trailer is nearly gone. All that remains to be done is getting this stuff off to the dump! Posted by Picasa

I don't some ways this upcoming job has some resemblence to what we read about in the hell realms! : ) It won't be easy...but it will be done! ; ) Posted by Picasa

As usual, I took a few turns around the Enlightenment Stupa before heading home this evening. Back to work in the morning (the paying kind) but on Saturday we'll be carting off what's left of the trailer. Right down to the removal of the frame! Say some prayers that our muscles hold out!

Of course, you need not engage in such arduous activity in order to enjoy the benefits of the Stupas. They offer their blessings constantly, to whomever encounters them. They exist only to bring those blessings to all without exception. It is our sincere hope that you will come on out and experience it for yourself. And if you're far away from Poolesville, either geographically or because of time constraints, we'll keep you in touch here! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

March 29th...Moving Forward?

Though Norbu might have considered it slacking...I spent the afternoon holed up indoors taking photographs of products our temple has received as a donation, and which we'll be offering up for sale in the near future. I also took some photos of malas which Amy, who heads up our giftstore, makes by hand! With the table set up (talk about a shoe-string set up, I'll get a photo of the rig when we're done!), Amy was kind enough to let me photograph my favorite statue...this is Vajrasattva.

While I labored with issues like stiff tripods and reflective glare, Norbu was outside sweating it out as he cut up the entire frame of what was once the trailer!!! Yup---by himself he took that entire thing apart with nothing more than his sawzall!! Of course, a few blades met their end in the process, but we're ready for a final dump day and the trailer will be GONE! : ) Don't worry though...we'll all be getting back to Stupa work really soon!

Though there's a lot going on around here, we hope you'll take the time to come out and experience the temple and Stupas for yourself! You need not be Buddhist to enjoy the amazing blessings available right here in Poolesville, Maryland! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 26, 2006

March 26th...Planning...

Though I wasn't around yesterday for the adventure, I made sure to take note of the progress! This is what remains of the trailer, just the concrete blocks and the steel frame they support! There is some lumber left, but that was at the request of some of our sangha members here, who saw what we were up to and had use for the materials. So we're almost there! All we have to do now is figure out how to take the frame apart!

The day was spent indoors today. We attended the morning teaching, and then the sangha (our community) had a meeting in the afternoon, to discuss upcoming events and plans. Lots coming up, so keep checking in!

Of course, we Stupa folks are working out our own plans as well....more on that as the week progresses, but we're keeping a close eye on the weather...

While I was taking some photos of the remains of the trailer, I noticed some of the children from our Children's Program working on their tye-dyed T-Shirts. They're doing them as a fund raiser for the temple!  Posted by Picasa

Even as plans are generated for the coming season or repairs and enhancements to the Stupas and land, it is our hope that you will come out an enjoy them at this amazing time! The temple and Stupas are open to all, whether you are Buddhist or not, even if you'd just like to take a look around out of curiosity. All of it is open to you, 24 hours a day, every day. These are our offerings to you! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 25, 2006

March 25th...The Rally....

Here's a look at the trailer as of January 11th this year. It was at that time, when we heard our teacher had asked a second time why it hadn't been removed (long unused it became home to animals, mold despite being used as back up storage). Why post this now? Posted by Picasa

Here's the other side of it... Posted by Picasa

This was the scene on Chokur Duchen, when we tore the floor off the frame of the trailer. Norbu has spent the past week working on cutting up the pieces into "pick up truck" sized loads. Today, while I toiled away at work, the crew gathered once again and got 7 loads off to the dump in Poolesville! Lisa reported this, but didn't say how much was left...but we're getting real darn close to it being totally GONE! : )

We've also been planning for the upcoming season of "repair friendly" weather....I'll be sharing a concept photo for the wall of Migyur Dorje soon!

For now, suffice it to say there's going to be TONS of activity at the temple this April, many visiting Lamas! Even a Tulku from Tibet! So please do stop by for a visit, to see the Stupas, spend some quiet time in the prayer room or sit in on a Buddhist teaching by an authentic Tibetan (or Bhutanese---Khenpo Norgye is from Bhutan origianlly) teacher! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 19, 2006

March 19th....Spring is almost here!

Walking my dog under this tree, I've been noting these little dudes. Yup, it's budding. For some, that means fishing season, others, time to till the soil, and still others, time to take account of where we left off last year with Stupa repairs! Lisa, Norbu and I sat out in front of the Enlightenment Stupa and documented a review (okay, Lisa documented, Norbu and I talked) of tasks still to be completed from last year. Of course, we're already generating new lists for ongoing maintenance and further as buds start blooming and critters get to frolicking, we'll be cranking up the Stupa gang for another season of loving devotion to these precious objects of refuge, so there'll be plenty of opportunities to not only come out and see them, but even help repair them if you wish! Posted by Picasa

So I'll leave you with a look at the Enlightenment Stupa from this afternoon. Though I only spent a few hours at the temple this afternoon, dozens of people, literally, came and circumambulated the Stupa while I sat on a bench catching up with sangha members. It was awesome to see, folks from many countries, many backgrounds, all coming out to spend part of this gorgeous spring day basking in the blessings of the Stupa!

Naturally I'm hoping to entice you to come on out and see it for yourself! If you're shy, or worried about this Buddhist thing being catching, don't worry. You can stay in your car and enjoy it from there! Of course, the Stupa and temple are open to anyone, of any faith, even any species, so no need to be shy. : ) Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 17, 2006

March 17th...Prayer and Peace

It's been a quiet week as far as labor goes. We got a lot done on Tuesday, but since then we've all been recovering.

For myself, I've been caretaking the prayer chart. We have a 24 hour Prayer Vigil that's going on 21 years this April! That means 21 years of unbroken prayer to end suffering for all beings! How amazing! Of course, it's also a lot of work, so the caretakers often spend their wee morning hours (yup, those shifts between midnight and 6 am are tough to fill!) making sure that chain of prayer remains unbroken. I spent some time in the prayer room this morning (after my shift, don't worry!) taking photos. This way, all of you who are no where near Poolesville can still get a sense of what a rare and precious place this is! If you want to see the whole collection you can go to my photo storage site:

Slide Show of Prayer Room

For those of you whose pop-up blockers stop the album from playing, you can see the images here:

Visit the Prayer Room

It is my hope that offering these images to you helps you bring those blessings right into your home or office! And of course, you are always welcome to come see this in person! No committments required, we're here to offer you a place of refuge and peace. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Chotrul Duchen...March 14th

Yesterday was Chotrul Duchen, the culmination of the Tibetan New Year which began 15 days ago on Losar. These 15 days are to celebrate the miracles the Buddha performed to increase the faith and devotion of his future disciples. As with all the major Buddhist holidays, we began the day with offerings to the Stupas...

For a slide show of all photos taken yesterday click on the title of this post, it links to an album I've uploaded. Posted by Picasa

We make rounds to all the Stupas. Here we are at the Stupa Park... Posted by Picasa

Even my dogs got to circumambulate! Posted by Picasa

Lisa offers incense to the Migyur Dorje Stupa... Posted by Picasa

After the morning offerings to the Stupa we all gathered in the prayer room for morning practice. But for Stupa folks practice has many facets, the kind where you sit on a cushion, and then the kind were you see how willing you really are! With practice open and reciting prayers to remove obstacles for the sangha, we headed out to continue or project to tear out the old, un-needed structure of the trailer. Norbu and Amber had worked on the removing the floor yesterday, here's a look at how far they got... Posted by Picasa

Here Norbu weilds the tool of choice for this project...thw sawzall. It does amazing things...but man that thing will leave your hands and forearms numb! It may be a power tool, but it is exhausting work! Posted by Picasa

Norbu ran the show out there on the trailer demo. Pema, Amber and I worked hard to keep up with him! Posted by Picasa

Sophie, Amber's little girl, quietly watched the action from a safe distance. She was lulled to sleep by the sound of the sawzall---maybe a future Stupa gal? Posted by Picasa

Here Pema looks over the remains of the trailer...we got the floor completely taken off. More dump runs in the near future! Posted by Picasa

Pema, who had been at the temple since, dawn, practiced and made offerings in the morning, demolished the trailer in the afternoon, and still had the energy and courage to climb up to the spire of the Long Life Stupa! Posted by Picasa

Here you go! We managed to get four streams of prayer flags up on the Long Life Stupa! We also hung some around Migyur Dorje. Prayer flags don't have to be hung from Stupas though...they're available from our gift store and you can hang them yourself anywhere you wish! Posted by Picasa

Each prayer flag literally has a prayer on it. When the wind blows the flag those prayer are spread as far and wide as the wind...all of them devoted to benefitting beings and relieving their suffering... Posted by Picasa

Late in the afternoon, when the kids had gotten out of school and Mom's were free to bring their little charges out to the temple, the Children's Program here at KPC had an activity set up especially for them!

There is a story in Tibet, about a worm, living in a cow pat, who by total accident (due to heavy rain) circumambulated a Stupa as the rainwater washed around it and had the seed of Enlightenment placed in it's mindstream. It went on to be reborn as a practitioner, and attained Enlightenment...all because of that accidental trip around the Stupa! So Michelle, the head of our Children's Program, set up an opportunity for the kids to offer that blessing to rescued worms! Not only will they offer these worms the seed of Enlightenment (from the Stupa) but they will also be saving their lives (these little worms were destined to be bait)! Posted by Picasa