2002 Autumn/Winter Newsletter


The Rheged Exhibition, Cumbria. August 2006

Samye Ling Stupa
Holy Island Stupas

Mani Wall at Simdzi
Holy Mountain of Drakar

Structures and Settlements




Art and Artists
At the end of May this year Lama Thubten Kunsal arrived from Tashi Gonsar Monastery in Dege, East Tibet. He has trained from the age of fifteen with the most famous monastic artists in Tibet, first at Palpung Monastery where he learned drawing and painting, then the art of sculpture at his monastery in Dege, studying altogether for 20 years. He has completed a most beautiful statue of Amitabha, and one of Vajrapani, and by the winter will have also completed a Four Armed Chenrezig. These three statues are in the inner shrine of the Stupa and are all more than life-size. Outside a magnificent statue of Guru Rinpoche seated on a lotus in the middle of the Fountain of Blessings has already been finished and will be painted before the end of the autumn. It is almost unbelievable to see the effortless speed and accuracy of the Lama's work. Karma Lamzang, a senior western monk, has been acting as his assistant throughout. Having completed the carved decoration of the stupa, Pema and Karpu Yolmo joined Lama Thubten and Gyamtso the Umze (chant leader) who is a senior Tibetan monk and also an artist, for the work on the Guru Rinpoche Statue.

Very auspiciously the life stick, and blessed spinal armature of the statue was fixed in place with precious relics and prayers wrapped around it by Akong Rinpoche before he left for Tibet, in the presence of the wife and daughter of the late Panchen Lama of Tibet. This took place on the tenth day sacred to Guru Rinpoche and was also the anniversary of his emanation on the human plane. This makes the statue exceptionally blessed and powerful.

Having completed the statue Karpu and Pema began the outer decorative design of the fountain and we hope to have enough funds to complete this and the tiling of the basin of the fountain before the winter sets in. This will depend on incoming donations.

The other work of art nearly completed is the beautiful wooden bridge designed by Chenden. He decided to stay on until he had finished the bridge, the entrance canopy and the Stupa and has since changed his plans to move to London, having found a cottage nearby as a base for freelance work for which he is already available.

The errors in construction of the copper spire were rectified in the late summer and further remedial work to protect the bumpa has now been completed.

Consecration of Inner Shrine & Ashes by Minjyur Dorje Rinpoche in December
From Saturday December 7th until Sunday December 15th Tulku Minjyur Dorje, who has completed three 3-year retreats in Sherabling, and was the Retreat Master for the latter two, will visit Samye Ling to give teachings and empowerments. He will lead a five-day Drubcho to clear obstacles. This will include prayers for the dead and the preparation of ashes for placing in the new Stupa. It had been hoped that the wooden panelling and decoration of the inner Shrine would be completed by the winter, but due to lack of funds this has not been possible. One person's donation of £5,000 has made it possible for the cabinet maker to begin work on the shrine. We still need £100,000 to complete the project of which £60,000 will pay for the wood panelling and cabinets that will line the walls of the Stupa Shrine Room.

Fundraising for the Stupa Project
Donations - Always welcome! The brick fund, which we can now call the tile, panel and brick fund is still an option and for a £10 pound donation to the stupa the name of the sponsor and also the names of those the gift is dedicated to are entered in the Book of Peace.
You can sponsor a brick or a part of the Fountain of Blessings for £10, statues in the shrine room for £100 each, or the future prayer wheels that will surround the Stupa for £200. The cost of the Tiles that line the Fountain will be about £800.

Nyamso Pilgrimage Treks - have a new and more varied programme for 2003 and are now all being organised by Doug Scott's new company, Community Action Treks Ltd. This is the trading arm of his charity supporting the traditions and lives of the Himalayan people by helping to build and rebuild monasteries, schools, clinics and health posts, also providing water and advice on diversifying agricultural and craft production in remote areas. We hope with his help and experience of exploration and Tibetan climbs to be able to expand this kind of support into Tibet. Our brochure is available for next year and each journey includes expert guidance and background teaching. The pilgrimages will go to Sikkim, to Ladakh, Tibet and Nepal. The Kailash Pilgrimage in May was a great success, led by Bradley Rowe once again. He will also lead next years' pilgrimage to Kailash that will begin on April 28th. On October 2nd a small group of pilgrim trekkers set out on a ground breaking guided journey to East Tibet, visiting on the way Akong Rinpoche's monastery in Chamdo, Drolma Lhakang, and it is hoped they will also meet up with Rinpoche who is in Tibet on the way. Each person that goes on one of these journeys raises a minimum of £500 towards the Stupa Project.

The Faithful office Staff
None of this would be possible without the faithful voluntary work of a one or two who work without payment or holidays answering the phone and emails and doing all the humdrum daily tasks that ensure steady progress. Thanks go particularly to Karma Sherab who has appeared every morning and stayed until lunchtime for the last two years to bring sanity and calm to the world of visa payments and financial records. Thanks also to Brian who came to Samye Ling this summer from a high powered Advertising Company and volunteered to design our web site, new advertisements and leaflets.

A very happy, peaceful and prosperous Water Horse year to everyone, and may all your good wishes come true from the Stupa Team at Samye Ling.