We have tried to make Imagine Clarity an open platform for anyone who wants to discover their inner potential and lead a meaningful life. We offer accessible courses to train in meditation and develop good heart, along with advice for dealing with everyday challenges and deep explorations of the inner workings of the mind. Everything is presented in an open way that does not depend on particular beliefs. However, Matthieu Ricard, Alan Wallace and Charles Hastings have all studied and practiced with realized Tibetan masters for more than fifty years, and we have received requests to go deeper into the specific teachings of that tradition. While we are sticking to our open-ended open approach, we feel that it is time for us to share some of this living heritage.
Matthieu and Charles both saw their lives transformed by their meeting with Kangyur Rinpoche in Darjeeling, India, some 50 years ago. Now they are part of a community, based in France, guided by Jigme Khyentse Rinpoche and Pema Wangyal Rinpoche, who are Kangyur Rinpoche’s sons and spiritual heirs.
Thirty years ago our community constructed a stupa in a quiet wooded valley in Dordogne, France. Stupas are symbols of the Buddha’s mind. They have been constructed in Buddhist countries from the earliest times. As physical representations of the spiritual journey, they provide practitioners with a tangible reminder of the path towards enlightenment and liberation from suffering. Walking around them and respecting them in various ways are powerful acts of inner purification.
Stupas also serve as antennas of positive energy and are often constructed to pacify famine, war, epidemics, and other disturbances in the world.
For this reason, in view of our troubled times and the many looming global threats we face, our teachers decided to expand the radius of the initial stupa, surrounding it with eight stupas representing the different stages of the Buddha’s life and an encircling wall topped by 108 small stupas.
The stupas are constructed according to precise rules as to their form and proportions, and filled with thousands of small statues, relics of realized beings, millions of mantras and many other symbolic ingredients.
To give them their full power they need to be consecrated, and in a sense empowered, by an eminent master with extraordinary qualities.
Thus Kyabje Sakya Gongma Trichen was invited to perform three days of consecration ceremonies. After his initial training in Tibet, Sakya Gongma Trichen has worked tirelessly to foster the Buddhist community in India and beyond. For sixty years he has continued to teach and inspire students all over the world, which he continues to do with great vigour today.
Matthieu Ricard took part in the consecration, but also found time to take some spectacular photos, which he is happy to share with us.
Many people attended the ceremony. Visitors continue to come to soak up the atmosphere, and in the customary way, walk round the stupas, keeping them to their right, perhaps reciting some prayers or mantras, or just tuning in to their peaceful presence. It is considered beneficial to make any connection with the stupas, even by hearing about them or seeing a picture of them. In this spirit, we are sharing these pictures with you.