Triratna News

Stone Stupa Built at Akashavana Retreat Centre, Spain

On Thu, 25 November, 2021 - 12:13
Sadayasihi's picture

On a working retreat in November, a new stupa was built at Akashavana retreat centre, Spain, containing the ashes of Dhardo Rinpoche, one of Sangharakshita’s main teachers.

This stupa joins a number of other stupas dedicated to Dhardo Rinpoche across our community in retreat centres such as Tiratanaloka, Padmaloka and Vajrasana in the UK, Aryaloka (USA), Vimaladhatu (Germany), Guhyaloka (Spain), and Sudarshanaloka (New Zealand). Dhardo Rinpoche and Sangharakshita developed a strong friendship over the many years Sangharakshita lived in Kalimpong. Sangharakshita came to see Dhardo Rinpoche as a ‘living bodhisattva’ and received the bodhisattva ordination from him in 1962.

The stupa at Akashavana was built with the help of Tracey Blackwell, a talented dry stonewall builder with more than two decades’ experience.

Mumukshu from the Akashavana community writes:

Maitreyi led the practice and ritual side, which perfectly held all the hard work within a sense of the sacred and timeless. Dhardo’s ashes had been sitting on the shrine in the community for seven or eight years waiting for the right moment.

The design for it was inspired by the many ancient dry stone structures I had been noticing in this area of Spain (a corner of Aragón, called Matarraña), but it also evolved as we worked, led by Tracey’s expertise with stone construction and load-bearing. There were 14 of us on the retreat, including four of the newly ordained women from Mexico, and Siddhisvari cooking us wonderful meals.

A double vajra was buried at the base, with a metal pole connecting it up to the ‘flaming drop’, so the stones that make up the cone were threaded onto the pole, with holes drilled through them. The ashes were placed inside at the top of the ‘bell’ below the cone, in a special ritual, and earlier, offerings that had been sent or brought out were also placed inside.

It was physically demanding work, collecting the stones, mixing cement, dressing the stones and putting them in place, and we had very little free time, but the day was punctuated with practice and ritual so that the whole felt somehow outside of time and space.

Listen to a talk by Sangharakshita on his eight main teachers on Free Buddhist Audio

+Follow Akashavana on The Buddhist Centre Online

Listen to Nagabodhi talking about Dhardo Rinpoche, Stupa Building and Sangha

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maitripala's picture

Wonderful Sadhu !!

law60's picture

Sadhu - another exquisite stupa for Dhardo Rimpoche’s ashes. Thank you for your hard work. May this stupa stand for many years in honour of Dhardo and the Bodhisattva ideal that he embodied, and you have all displayed.

Cherish the doctrine, Live United, Radiate Love

Linda GFR Mitra Melbourne Aust

saddhanandi's picture

SADHU! SADHU! SADHU! It looks totally beautiful. I’m so glad it’s been built and is there for all of us to share. Thank you.

Amritapurna's picture

Beautiful! Thank you!

Rupadarshin's picture

Oh well done, all of you!  Sadhu sadhu indeed. 
Local materials used in a way that respects local traditions - I love it.  Plus the traditional detail of the crossed vajra holding the ground safe against the demons of earthquakes (more tradition…)  A Stupa is a special thing, more so if Dhardo Rimpoche is there with you.  Sadha - and Metta


khemajoti's picture

Well done all of you :-)