We have made a difference

Our virtuous friends: Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe

The preparations for May 8 are in full swing. Special guest speakers, procession, consecration, music offering, and one big after-event party with dancing to collectively celebrate our great good fortune. May 8 will be a precious opportunity to express gratitude for the kindness not just of Lama, but of all our teachers, and most especially of Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche who, without wavering, took on the load of guiding us all and has been tirelessly supporting us ever since.

May 8 is also our opportunity to collectively rejoice in the positive difference we are making in our own lives, those of our families and of our communities. Vajrapani Institute has been in existence for over 30 years now during which we have diligently and courageously worked on our minds; we have individually taken action to create a world infused with kindness and compassion, and we have made a difference!

Behind the scenes, the Vajrapani team is working double-speed to engineer a most splendid and meaningful event to be remembered. So many details! Heidi, our SPC, Jennifer, the event’s project manager and myself (fabienne – director) went to see the Cirque du Soleil perform in San Jose the other night. We marvelled at these artists at the top of their game and creativity. And our heads spun at the level of organizational complexity required to host such events. That felt strangely grounding. It puts things in reassuring perspective. We will pull it off.

Tom Waggoner and his crew are unstoppable. Tomorrow they are finishing the thrones. They are transforming the Ridge area into a pure land. Lama’s Ridge was already an amazing place to do retreat but after Tom’s Ridge vision comes fully manifest, it will truly be a contemplative and holy retreat pure land.

To find out about sponsorship opportunities for this most remarkable event, please contact fabienne@vajrapani.org.

You can also donate now to sponsor the most precious relics of all, the Dharmakaya relic mantras which will fill all four stupas.

May all who contribute in any way to this project reap the fruit of pure guru devotion, the root of the path to enlightenment, and may all their temporal and ultimate wishes be fulfilled.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche accepts to consecrate the stupas – May 8!

Lama Yeshe and Rinpoche

Rejoice with us at this most fabulous news! It’s now confirmed. Lama Zopa Rinpoche, in His immeasurable kindness, has accepted our invitation to consecrate the stupas on May 8. Rinpoche asked Geshe Dakpa, astrologer and resident teacher at Tse Chen Ling in San Francisco, to check the date. It came out most auspicious.

Yeshe Jackson and Tom W. in front of the 'stupas' last week

That’s in 7 weeks. You may think it’s crazy given we just filled the base/thrones. Yes it is crazy. Completely crazy. Wild crazy. And yet Tom Waggoner and his construction crew

committed to that schedule out of sheer passion and devotion for this holy object and what it represents. On the right is a picture of Tom and Yeshe in front of the site 5 days ago and below is a sketch of what it’s envisioned to look like on May 8…..

The vision for May 8!

All of you, join us for this most special day of celebration and rejoicing! This consecration will be the most significant event to happen at Vajrapani Institute of the past 20 years since His Holiness blessed the land with His presence. It will also happen in the middle of 4 days of teachings and Great Chenrezig Initation offered by Rinpoche.

Details will be posted on this blog and on vajrapani’s website. Also good idea to sign up on Vajrapani’s e-mail list for last minute updates!

For sponsorship opportunities for this most remarkable event, please contact fabienne@vajrapani.org.

Donate now to sponsor the most precious relics of all, the Dharmakaya relic mantras which will fill all four stupas.

May all who contribute in any way to this project reap the fruit of pure guru devotion, the root of the path to enlightenment, and may all their temporal and ultimate wishes be fulfilled.

t’was a grand grand couple of days….

Choden Rinpoche approaching the stupa site

The last two days have been a whirlwind of blessings and joy. On Tuesday Choden Rinpoche joined us in the Gompa to consecrate the stupa items. Before he did his set of prayers, he gave us the White Dzambhala mantra

Consecration altar

oral transmission so we could recite it throughout the rituals. He walked over to the three tables on which we had all the items laid out neatly. He nodded approval and smiled at the unconventional nature of some of the items… how many traditional stupas contain Yodas?!

Yoda-in-a-stupa

Then this glorious sunny morning, driven in Vajrapani’s Rolls Royce golf cart, he visited the Ridge to consecrate the stupa site itself. Then, under the expert supervision of Geshe Gyalten, a dedicated team of Lama’s students old and new had the tremendous privilege of actually filling the base and thrones of these four stupas. All the items that have patiently been collected over the past four months from students around the world got placed inside these holy objects that will remain and bestow blessings to generations to come – Venerable Rene’s snow from Washington state, Tenzin and Elizabeth’s Rocky mountain snow, Karen’s purple men’s shirt and Miracle fragrance, Jennifer’s Chanel No 5, Maureen’s mother’s earrings, our anonymous friend’s diamond, Barbara’s pearl necklace, Scott’s wedding ring, Jan Willi’s key ring and other trinkets, Ram Dass’s metal labyrinth and malas, our Indonesian friends’ holy earth, Nick Ribush’s Kalachakra stupa soil, Richard’s gold dollar, Shealagh’s step father’s gold ring, Venerable Katy’s buddha, Heidi’s mum’s crystals, Venerable Yangchen’s cousin’s Atlantic Water, Kim, Angelica and Jacob’s silver dollars and the list goes on and on, all you out there who made this happen!

The happy bunch after having filled all four bases!

Elaine Jackson, Shasta, Tom and Yeshe at work on the main stupa

Tom Waggoner and Yeshe (Elaine Jackson’s son) then quickly sealed the bases – readying the thrones for more tsa-tsa.

Now we’re on a countdown – 8 weeks to go until Lama Zopa Rinpoche visits Varjapani Institute for the Great Chenrezig Initiation on May 7. That’s 8 weeks to complete the project in its entirety.

Donate now to help us bring this project to completion. Our target as of the February 25th is $16,254.

May all who contribute in any way to this project reap the fruit of pure guru devotion, the root of the path to enlightenment, and may all their temporal and ultimate wishes be fulfilled.

3pm on March 9th – Rejoice!

Choden Rinpoche

Choden Rinpoche flew in yesterday morning from Asia. Directors and students of the FPMT Bay area centers were eagerly awaiting his arrival at San Francisco Airport. Smiling and patient, he blessed us all, accepted our humble offerings and sipped tea at the Airport cafeteria whilst we sat at his feet feeling home and happy.

It’s now confirmed that, during his visit at Vajrapani Institute, he will perform the rituals to bless all the items for the stupa and consecrate the base/thrones.

Elaine Jackson, Tom Waggoner and others are now in the Gompa labeling, sorting, laughing as they spearhead the last push to have everything ready for next week.

Would you please join us for this project’s milestone event?

TUESDAY 9th MARCH, 3pm in Vajrapani Institute’s main Gompa.

Hope to celebrate with you!

Donate now to help us bring this project to completion. Our target as of the February 25th is $16,254.

May all who contribute in any way to this project reap the fruit of pure guru devotion, the root of the path to enlightenment, and may all their temporal and ultimate wishes be fulfilled.

Choden Rinpoche consecrating first stage on March 9th

Kyabje Choden Rinpoche

Thanks to the generous participation of many of you around the world, our fundraising efforts have steadily been yielding and as a result the construction is progressing well too! The foundations for all four stupas are now all in place. The base and thrones are ready to be filled; the retaining wall around the site completed. The erection of the stupas will be next as well as putting the path and korwa around the site. But first, we need to seal the bases and thrones!

We’re delighted to announce that Choden Rinpoche, in His great kindness, has accepted to bless the items we’ve been collecting for months, supervise the filling the the base/thrones and consecrate this first stage.

This most auspicious event will happen on March 9th – the day before March 10th White Zambhala initiation.  PLEASE DO JOIN US! Click for map of where we are.

Details: We’re envisaging a 10am start although details of the day need to be finalised with Rinpoche’s household so please call us the day prior to check in (831-338-6654)

Stupas this February!

Donate now to help us bring this project to completion. Our target as of the February 25th is $16,254.

May all who contribute in any way to this project reap the fruit of pure guru devotion, the root of the path to enlightenment, and may all their temporal and ultimate wishes be fulfilled.

Dedication from an anonymous donor

A student who offered a diamond specifically purchased for the stupa send us a very moving dedication:

Moved to Offer a Diamond
– by an Anonymous, Eternally Grateful Student

Sketch of the Lama Yeshe Cremation stupas

I have been profoundly touched by the energy, teachings and love of Lama Yeshe – as well as by the devoted teachers and students of this beautiful, pure lineage of the Buddha. In a world filled with confusion and anger, Vajrapani Institute remains a rare oasis of peace and loving kindness – showing us our great potential as human beings.

Deep within my heart, I have wanted to feel complete as a living being. I have wanted to feel union. Before discovering the spiritual path, I tried to feel complete through various means … through things, activities, knowledge, work, sense stimuli, and relationships. Coming to Vajrapani has helped me expand my limited view and explore another type of union … union with the divine.

Lama Yeshe’s energy, as emanated through his cremation site, enlightenment stupa, teachings, books, devoted disciples, relics, and other means, has offered something really profound. I didn’t understand what “holy” meant until I came in contact with the 3 jewels of Buddha, dharma and sangha.

In retrospect, I can see the agitation, dissatisfaction and suffering that my previous actions created. In retrospect, I feel like I was a blind beggar who stumbled upon a rare and precious jewel in the redwoods, thanks to selfless visionaries such as Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and their devoted disciples.

Drawing received from a donor (ps: our scanner is psychedelic...)

Based on my deep sense of love and gratitude for all that is called “Vajrapani” and “Lama Yeshe”, I feel honored and extremely grateful to be able to offer this gift. I feel that the brilliance of the diamond has no match to the brilliance of what Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche have offered to so many beings.

I would like to dedicate these merits so that all beings in need of assistance may be guided by enlightened energy, so that they may quickly awaken to their inner purity and brilliance.

Donate now to help us bring this project to completion. Our target as of the February 2nd is $22,835.76.

May all who contribute in any way to this project reap the fruit of pure guru devotion, the root of the path to enlightenment, and may all their temporal and ultimate wishes be fulfilled.

Still time to offer diamonds and pearls…

Yesterday, Shasta Wallace (long time Vajrapani community member and student of Lama Yeshe) and I (Fabienne, current director of Vajrapani) spent the day in the main gompa sorting out items for the four stupa base and thrones – what an amazing process. The idea is to gather symbolic items to support a prosperous country (‘think of it as a store’ says Geshe Dakpa) – foodstuff such as grains, honey, dried fruit; clothes; gems and precious metals; fertile soil; dharma texts; coins; medicine; earth and water from holy sites; earth from rich people; toy cars and airplanes; magazines and photographs portraying influential people and so forth.

Last Friday was a momentum day where the construction team poured the first concrete foundations. The retaining wall surrounding the site has also gone up. On Saturday I was circumambulating the cremation site and soon-to-be stupas and for the first time got a sense of proportion of the large korwa that will surround the stupas – it will be breathtaking!

In a two to three weeks, weather and other unknown permitting, the base and thrones will be ready to fill. Geshe Dakpa will come from San Francisco to consecrate the items and supervise the filling. Erecting the stupas will happen next.

So there is still time for you to send items to go into the base/thrones. A student sent us their wedding ring. Another one purchased a diamond specifically for the stupa.

WHAT CAN YOU SEND? Jewelry; precious stones; precious metals; earth from rich people’s land; new clothes; perfume; coins

SEND TO: Fabienne Pradelle; c/o Vajrapani Institute; PO Box 2130; Boulder Creek; CA; 95006; USA

Donate now to help us bring this project to completion. Our target as of the January 6th is $33,817.

May all who contribute in any way to this project reap the fruit of pure guru devotion, the root of the path to enlightenment, and may all their temporal and ultimate wishes be fulfilled.