Tag Archives: stupa

Virtual Stupa Walk


The summer of 2015, in upstate New York, the Migyur Dorje Stupa was finally completed at our retreat center.

I uploaded a new video to YouTube and now you can listen and meditate while visualizing yourself doing Korwa (circumambulations) around the stupa to generate a limitless supply of merit.

Benefits:

Guru Rinpoche states:

If there is a man who offered melody music to the great stupa, shall be able to propagate the sound of dharma throughout the ten directions.  If there is a man who offered drum and melody sounds, shall obtain vast wisdom and prosperity.  If there is a man who offer the sound of bell, shall obtain a soft and harmonious voice, which is the voice of brahma.” — The Legend of Maha Buddha Stupa

From the book “Crystal Mirror 12” by author Elizabeth Cook states:

  1. Whoever offers prayers finds immediate fulfillment of his wishes for both himself and others.
  2. Whoever offers flowers to the Great Stupa obtains ease and contentment, prosperity and health.
  3. Whoever offers incense achieves pure action.
  4. Whoever offers lamps has the darkness of unknowing illuminated.
  5. Whoever offers perfume is freed from anxiety and suffering.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama states:

“It has long been the tradition that wherever the teachings of the Buddhas have been revered and practiced, communities of followers have built reliquary monuments known in Sanskrit as stupas and as chörtens in Tibetan.

And wherever they have been built, they have been regarded as sacred, for like religious images and scriptures, they represent aspects of enlightenment.”

The Sutra On The Merit of Bathing The Buddha states:

At that time, the World Honored One uttered these verses:

After my death
You will be able to honor my relics
Some will build stupas
Or images of the Tathágata.
At the place of the image or stupa,
One who anoints that spot of ground
With various incenses and flowers Scattering them over its surface
Uses pure, beautifully scented water
To pour onto the body of this image,
Offers it various flavorful drinks and foods,
Fully maintaining it with oblations,
Eulogizes the virtue of the Tathágata,
Which is endlessly difficult to conceive;
Through the wisdom of skillful means and the supernatural power of the Buddha
Such a one will quickly reach the other shore of Nirvana.
He will obtain the diamond body
Complete with the thirty-two marks of a great person
And the eighty minor signs of excellence.

Video:

Artist: Caitlin – Laxmi’s Dream
Song: Om Mani Padme Hum (track 5)

Video Produced with CyberLink PowerDirector 13:

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Filed under Masters, Tibetan Buddhism

The meaning of 108


I always smile when MH, the Barefoot Herbalist, keeps asking others, “What is the meaning of the number 108?”  Mysteriously it keeps being revealed to him in various ways in his daily life.  He believes no one will ever know the answer.  However, with a little help the meaning can be known.

In the mystical world, especially to Buddhists, the number 108 is a metaphor for the number of steps required in order to completely “graduate” from this earth plane.  The mind’s labyrinth is deep and complex.  To accomplish this path, first one must discern the 8 consciousnesses and the 10 bhumis.  Putting them together equals 108.

The aspirant is required to develop the mind by sharpening the practice of concentration (shamatha) and insight (vipashana) meditation.

Along with learning, reflecting and meditating one is able to progress through all of these stages of practice.  This is the real meaning of Ascension.

According to the Hinayana path, the Arhat (hearer) and Pratyekabuddha (solitary realizer) have four stages of enlightenment:

  1. stream-enterer
  2. once-returner
  3. non-returner
  4. fruition (arhant)

However, according to the Mahayana path, the Bodhisattva (enlightening being or hero) ascends through the grounds (bhumis) to achieve the goal of complete enlightenment with the compassionate intention to reduce the suffering of all sentient beings.

The structure of the stupa represents the enlightened mind of the Buddha.  The one above is exactly 108 feet tall.  It is an architectural representation of the entire Buddhist path.  Click the image to learn more about the symbolism of the stupa.  The body, speech, and mind of enlightenment is contained therein.

The Avatamsaka Sutra explains the first part of the number 108 in relation to each of the ten bhūmis:

TEN BHUMIS

  1. The first bhumi – the Very Joyous. In which one rejoices at realizing a partial aspect of the truth
  2. The second bhumi – the Stainless. In which one is free from all defilement
  3. The third bhumi – the Luminous. In which one radiates the light of wisdom
  4. The fourth bhumi – the Radiant. In which the radiant flame of wisdom burns away earthly desires
  5. The fifth bhumi – the Difficult to Cultivate. In which one surmounts the illusions of darkness, or ignorance as the Middle Way
  6. The sixth bhumi – the Manifest. In which supreme wisdom begins to manifest
  7. The seventh bhumi – the Gone Afar. In which one rises above the states of the Two vehicles
  8. The eighth bhumi – the Immovable. In which one dwells firmly in the truth of the Middle Way and cannot be perturbed by anything
  9. The ninth bhumi – the Good Intelligence. In which one preaches the Law freely and without restriction
  10. The tenth bhumi – the Cloud of Doctrine. In which one benefits all sentient beings with the Law (Dharma), just as a cloud sends down rain impartially on all things

The second part of the mystical number 108 explains the following eight consciousnesses  in depth:

EIGHT CONSCIOUSNESSES

  1. First consciousness: “Eye-consciousness”; seeing apprehended by the visual sense organs
  2. Second consciousness: “Ear-consciousness”; hearing apprehended by the auditory sense organs
  3. Third consciousness: “Nose-consciousness”; smelling apprehended through the olfactory organs
  4. Fourth consciousness: “Tongue-consciousness”; tasting perceived through the gustatory organs
  5. Fifth consciousness: “Body-consciousness”; tactile feeling apprehended through skin contact, touch
  6. Sixth consciousness: “Ideation-consciousness”; mano vijnana, the aspect of mind known in Sanskrit as the “mind monkey”; the consciousness of ideation
  7. Seventh consciousness: “Obscuration-consciousness”; manas vijnana, “obscuration”, “poison”, “enemy”, “ideation”, “moving mind”, “monkey mind” (volition); a consciousness which through apprehension, gathers the hindrances, the poisons, the karmic formations
  8. Eighth consciousness: “store-house consciousness”; alaya vijnana, also seed consciousness (bija vijnana); “the consciousness which is the basis of the other seven”. The seven prior consciousnesses are based and founded upon the eighth. It is the aggregate which administers and yields rebirth; this idea may in some respects be compared to the usage of the word “citta” in the agamas. In the early texts the sankhara-khandha plays some of the roles ascribed to the store-house consciousness by later Yogacara thinkers.

While practicing serious meditation and then going through all the dhyanas, samapattis, and samadhis one slowly purifies all their negative karmas, afflictive emotions, and cognitive obscurations which enable one to rises through the 10 levels.  At the 11th Bhumi one becomes a super-man, a fully realized being called a Buddha – the fully Awakened One.

Good Luck!
Neo

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Filed under Buddhist sutras, Spiritual Healing, Tibetan Buddhism