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Monks inspect Stupa development
Posted by Byron Movement on 2012-05-28 08:44:02.0

Gen Lama Thupten Phuntsok inspects the cuurent development of the stupa being built at the Crystal Castle in Rosebank. The stupa, which is the first of its kind to be built in the southern hemisphere, aims to protect against negative energies and restore balance to the earth in times of war, conflict and environmental destruction The Gyuto Monks have returned to their ‘home-base’ in Rosebank for a couple of days between gigs around the country with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

It was also a chance to see where the stupa’s construction is currently up to. ‘This stupa is very important for Byron Bay, the whole of Australia and for world peace,’ says Gen Lama Thupten Phuntsok, the Gyuto Monk elder who is guiding its construction. Since May last year, Nepalese craftsmen have been hand-beating the 54 brass prayer wheels that will surround the stupa. Over the past six months, at the Gyuto Monastery in India, monks have been chanting mantras and hand-rolling an incredible half a ton of prayers destined for the monument.

Blessed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama – as well as the Byron Shire Council who have approved its DA – the structure has been engineered to ‘last a thousand years’. Involvement of the local community is an essential part of creating a stupa, as this is one of the sources of its power. The whole project is now estimated to cost around $200,000, and the Crystal Castle has already committed substantial support to the project, as has the community. The next $30,000 raised will be matched by both locals Christopher and Lynda Dean, and also the Crystal Castle, thus growing it to $90,000.

The Gyuto Monks will be returning to Crystal Castle from August 13 to 21 to continue preparations, where the emphasis will be on painting and writing mantras on the Tree of Life. The tree to be used for the Tree of Life was found, blessed and felled in a dawn ceremony in May during the monks’ previous visit. The much-maligned camphor laurel was chosen for its durability, strength and longlasting protective scent qualities ideal for its purpose in the stupa.

The monks will also be accepting relevant items to be placed in the stupa treasury. To get involved visit www.crystalcastle.com.au/peace-stupa/. In late-breaking news, Gem Lama, pictured, suffered a stroke on Sunday night and is currently recovering in Lismore Base Hospital. ‘Managing dreamer’ of the Crystal Castle, Naren King, is asking the whole community to pray for his swift and full recovery.