Shambhala Buddhism

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"The Great Stupa"

Hi everybody! I know I’ve been delinquent in my posting duties. This Shambhala post is coming more than two weeks after the episode was actually released. I was hoping Jeff could get around to doing it at some point, since he’s a more engaging writer than me, but alas he has found a job and now has limited time to devote to blogs. Strangely enough I have now been unemployed for nearly a month and I am still too busy to post on time. Job hunting and despair are sucking up quite a bit of my free time.

So let’s get down to business… Some months ago Jeff had the idea of heading up to Shambhala Mountain Buddhist Center – a kind of Buddhist retreat in the gorgeous and moderately remote area of Red Feather Lakes, Colorado. It’s about an hour northwest of Fort Collins.

It actually took quite a while to get permission to do any kind of recording up there, because whoever was in charge of media relations was quite reluctant to agree to anything, fearing we would do some sort of ambush interview and edit the show in such a way as to make the center in particular or Buddhism in general look bad. Seriously. I was accidentally CC’d an internal email to this effect. But once we convinced the gatekeeper that we had no agenda and that this episode is essentially for our own edification on Shambhala Buddhism (and an excuse just to go into that beautiful area) then everyone involved was beyond accommodating and generous with their time.

Michael Gayner, director of Guest Services of the center, and Joshua Mulder, stupa architect, gave us a bit of a private tour from “basecamp” to the center’s stupa, a few hundred feet higher up in elevation. As we walked they explained to us about Shambhala Buddhism and their experiences with it.

By the way, this is going to be a picture-heavy post. Deal with it.

Michael and Jeff walking up to the Stupa.

The fountain of junk we mention toward the end of show.

The plastic card in the foreground might be the Blockbuster card that Jeff was taken with.

Apparently I have reached my limit regarding pics I am allowed to upload to WordPress without paying a fee, so instead I will link to them from now on. Hopefully it turns out okay.

These are from my Picasa album

Jeff and Michael recording in from of the “junk” structure

A view from the stupa looking toward the rockies

Views of the beautiful and intricate design from the outside

Views from the inside

Upon arriving at the stupa I went inside and sat crossed-legged on those cushions they have on the floor and closed my eyes and for a few moments. It was pure bliss. It may have been that I was tired of walking and out of breath, but whatever, it was nice.

I would like to give a special thanks to Joshua and Michael for being so generous with their time and expertise to a couple of strange atheists from the city.


Joshua and Michael

Here’s a link to the whole Picasa album if you would like to browse


One thought on “Shambhala Buddhism

  1. “The necessary and welcome economic growth within our Sangha, in the form of business operations and commercial and domestic investments, has brought along as a by—product an increasing frequency of disagreements and disputes. There is a need for our society to provide resources for the sane, nonagressive resolution of such conflicts in keeping with the principles of Dharma and the Great Eastern Sun. Accordingly I have decided to institute and appoint the Upaya Council. The function of the Upaya Council shall be to mediate and/or arbitrate commercial and domestic disputes among members of the Vajradhatu community, as individuals, groups, or businesses. It shall be the initial task of the Upaya Council to propose to me and my Privy Council a set of guidelines under which it shall operate. There shall be no internal hierarchy within the Upaya Council and each member shall have an equal voice; the findings of the Council shall be arrived at by unanimous consent.”

    ~ Vajracarya the Venerable Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, Spring, 1979.

    Upaya Council

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