His Holiness the Dalai Lama has accepted an invitation to visit western Montana in late 2011, where he will consecrate Ewam Sang-Ngag Ling’s Garden of 1000 Buddhas.
Located within the Confederated Tribes of the Salish and Kootenai reservation, north of the small town of Arlee, the Garden of 1000 Buddhas began as the vision of Gochen Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche, spiritual director of Ewam Sang-ngag Ling.
Designed to reflect the circular shape and eight-fold spokes of a Dharma Wheel, the garden features a 25’ central statue of Yum Chenmo (Prajnaparamita), Great Mother of perfect wisdom, surrounded by a circle of 1000 cast concrete Buddhas. Another 1000 stupas bearing images of the female Buddha Tara will form an outer circle around these.
The casting is done by hand on site and, more recently, at Ewam Montana’s “Buddha Barn” in Missoula. More than half the Buddha statues have been completed but the rest, plus the stupas, the lighting and electrical work, and the landscaping are still in the works. Much of the work is done by volunteers and efforts to raise approximately $1 million to complete the project are ongoing.
When completed, the Garden of 1000 Buddhas will be a major international pilgrimage site. According to Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche, the purpose of the garden is “to bring about positive transformation within those who visit, in response to the negativity that abounds in the world today.”
Contributor: Julie Welch.
Photo: Courtesy of Ewam Sang-Ngag Ling.