All of our aspirations depend on acquiring the land for the Stupa of the Great Awakening and we are closer than ever to reaching our funding goal. Your gift today will help us get there!
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“In the future actors will become …governmental leaders…styles will change weekly and people will have burning sticks hanging out of their mouths. …the five poisons of mind (ignorance, anger, grasping, pride and jealousy) will run wild and noble qualities such as patience, generosity, and self-discipline will wane. At these times it is essential to erect supports for the Enlightened Body, Speech and Mind of all the Awakened Ones…to prevent calamities and to push back the times of … plagues, famine and warfare.”
- Padmasambhava, the 8th century Buddhist Master, known as the second Buddha
What is Bodhivastu?
Bodhivastu is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, dedicated to catalyzing a global awakening by practice, place, and design. To accomplish this important mission, Lama Rangbar and many like-minded individuals founded the Bodhivastu Foundation for Enlightened Activity as a 501(c)(3) to promote Bodhi - enlightened or awakened mind - inspired by Vastu - the auspicious design of structures and environments that give rise to enduring peace, compassion, and well-being. Building a sacred structure and intergenerational community supported by sustainable enterprises is an inspiring model of our interdependence with each other and the earth. It addresses the challenges of a changing climate and the hunger for peace and is in direct alignment with Pope Francis’s call for us to “engage in a new conversation as one human family with the earth as our only home.”
The mission and leadership of Bodhivastu are guided by Lama Rangbar Nyima Ozer and his wife and spiritual partner, Sapana Sakya. Everyone who participates in the various events and activities hosted by Lama and Sapana experiences the warmth and hospitality they embody, adding a sense of family to the abiding wisdom they offer.
These times call for an enlightened society that supports our individual and collective awakening. This awakening fosters a clearer alignment with our true nature; creating a centered inner state and a healthy and peaceful relationship with the human and natural world.
What is the Stupa of the Great Awakening?
The Stupa of the Great Awakening will form the spiritual centerpiece for practical enterprises and altruistic services, as well as the vortex of a community that honors the entire heritage of human wisdom. Aside from the central feature of the Stupa itself, the project facilities will include places for youth mentoring, and senior contemplative living, cooperatively organized profitable enterprises including a regenerative agricultural center; an indigenous practices healing center; awareness sciences academy; and an "International House of Teas" from around the world.
Throughout history, saints and sages created symbols to inspire and guide us. Labyrinths, mandalas, cathedrals, and temples inspire us and call us to respond with skill and care to the challenges of the time. The Great Stupa of Boudhanath in Kathmandu serves this purpose in Nepal. We should seriously consider the positive energy a facility, such as the Stupa of the Great Awakening, can manifest at the quantum boundary between energy and matter.
Few wisdom teachings come closer to the quantum curtain between energy and matter than Vajrayana Buddhism. This is witnessed by the examples of highly practiced Lamas who exhibit unusual capacities such as communicating with animals or whose bodies remain supple for an extended time even after death. It may well be true that a contemporary sacred structure here in the West, the Stupa of the Great Awakening, can inspire the shift in global consciousness the world calls out for today.
The Bodhivastu Foundation is very close to purchasing the land for the Great Stupa and the related facilities. Once the land is in hand, there is little doubt that the project will accelerate rapidly. Given the many events underway on Earth, including the Paris Climate Summit and the growing grass roots movement calling for action to create a healthy planet for future generations, the time for the Stupa is ripe. If you are moved by this message please help Lama Rangbar and the Bodhivastu community to build the Stupa, the organic farm, the indigenous practices healing center and other facilities. The time for a Great Awakening could not be more appropriate.
Who is Lama Rangbar?
Lama Rangbar Nyima Ozer, (Flaming Rays of the Sun), born in New York as Adam Friedensohn, is an interesting and inspiring man. Lama, and his wife Sapana Shakya, returned to the United States seven years ago, after residing in Nepal for 20 years where he was known as the “Solar Avatari Lama”. While in Nepal, he served as both a social entrepreneur and later, a Buddhist teacher (undergoing extensive training and accomplishing several retreats). He brought solar power and clean water to remote villages and schools throughout Nepal and several countries in the South Asia region such as Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and India. He used both for profit and not-for-profit enterprises to provide valuable, planet friendly services that improved the lives of literally hundreds of thousands of remote villagers. In addition to all this, he is an accomplished artist with a compelling vision.
A series of synchronicities led him back to America with an extraordinary mission – to encourage peace in all of its forms starting with peace with ourselves, peace with the earth, and peace on the earth. A mission in complete harmony with the message at the heart of every great spiritual tradition – to give gratitude for the gift of life and to live in peace and harmony with each other and our environment.
Lama Rangbar's vision to build a unique and sacred structure, a Stupa of the Great Awakening has been reinforced by many wise teachers, practical leaders, and ancient oracles. The purpose of sacred structures – cathedrals, shrines, stupas and mandalas – has always been to bring us together and to inspire us to reach for our better nature. Such inspiration is more necessary today than ever.
In so many ways Lama Rangbar’s message and mission are an inspiring response to the call of our times. To build a sacred structure and an intergenerational community supported by sustainable enterprises is a model of how we need to work with each other and to live on the earth in order to address the challenges of a changing climate and the hunger for peace on Earth.
Creating Bodhivastu Healing and Retreat Sanctuary at Big Indian, NY
A crucial part of Lama Rangbar Nyima Ozer's mission of catalyzing Global Awakening is the fostering of inter-religious harmony. By revealing the common source and meaning of all religions and through valid practice, harmony can be shared between diverse groups and expanded throughout all kinds of communities and participants. Bringing communities with diverse beliefs together in the shared vision and actions of creating an awakened society is what the Big Indian Meditation Retreat and Healing Sanctuary is all about.
A spiritual community with roots in Siddha Yoga, the Rudi community, donated land at Big Indian in New York’s Catskill Mountains to the Bodhivastu Foundation. At the same time, Sai Maa, a Hindu guru with a deep background in Western psychology, donated a beautiful statue of the Divine Feminine, Mariamma Tara Ritro Lomma Gyonma, to Lama Rangbar and Bodhivastu. What is notable is how these three diverse spiritual communities are working together to create a center devoted to the Great Mother who transcends all forms and who is expressed in a variety of garbs by every great tradition.
Over the last two years, this extraordinary level of collaboration has been nurtured by Lama Rangbar. In addition to many joint ceremonies and events, always punctuated by delicious food, the communities brought members and guests together to create a beautiful mix of improvements to honor the Divine Feminine and complement the beauty of the natural landscape.
During 2015 the joint community efforts bore great fruit:
- A beautiful patio, community gathering space and fire pit was built
- An enclosure for the Mariamma statue (which stands as both a sacred architype and beautiful art) was erected
- Landscaping and plantings improved the land
- Additional sacred art was donated and placed on the land
- The various components of a Mariamma Temple came close to completion
- Two retreat cabins were constructed
- Inspiring and elegant prayer flags created a holding space for the entire area.
Through all of this the three communities have forged deeper bonds of friendship, recognition and dedication to each other, to the land and to the ineffable presence that holds us all. A presence we experience as the Divine Feminine. A beautiful ceremony marked this joining as Lama Dawa a renowned Tibetan Lama and his American wife and spiritual partner Khandro Kunzang traveled from the headwaters of the Mississippi to officiate with Lama Rangbar and Sapana. The community event and fire offering ceremony honored the spirit of the land and recognized the elemental importance of attending to the energy of Mother Earth, who holds all life in her tender embrace. The deep affinity between the Vedic expression of the Divine Mother as Mariamma the sacred expression of the Divine Feminine as Tara was celebrated and brought together with sound, offerings and fellowship.
Bringing these three communities together in genuine friendship and joyful reverence to honor the feminine principle points to the purpose of the Bodhivastu Foundation and the Stupa of the Great Awakening: peace with ourselves; peace with the earth; and peace on the earth.
Bodhivastu Community Efforts Support Nepal Relief
Lama Rangbar and members of the Bodhivastu Community were preparing to go to Nepal when the earthquake hit on April 24th. Immediately Lama Rangbar, Sapana, and a team of Bodhivastu community members went into action. Because of their years of work across Nepal, Lama and Sapana were able to organize emergency relief efforts rapidly through their local network, providing food, water, medicine and shelter to people in need.
Fundraising efforts were ramped up in order to respond to the great need created by the earthquake and Bodhivastu community members got to see the “Solar Lama” at work. This was a rare opportunity for students of a great spiritual teacher to work with him in a different capacity. Lama’s ability to marshal resources, communicate through newspaper and television interviews, and to inspire selfless service and camaraderie were witnessed daily, to the delight of everyone involved.
All those involved felt that their spiritual practice deepened as they experienced the joy of selfless service under the Lama and Sapana’s leadership. A significant amount of money was raised and put to good use in remote sections of Nepal not easily reached by larger agencies. In addition, Bodhivastu raised significant funds to repair the damage to the Great Stupa at Boudhanath, a vital component of Nepal’s culture and economy, through its Heritage Renewal Initiative, HRI.
Those participating in the relief effort found their sense of connection and their commitment to each other, and the vision they share with the Lama for an enlightened society, deepened significantly. They experienced a deep sense of joy and personal satisfaction that words cannot adequately describe.
Lama and Sapana’s open hearted embrace of new arrivals; and their capacity to nurture a healthy sense of family at the same time they build the capacity for skillful service has been nurtured by a long mix of spiritual practice and practical enterprise. The harmony of these two complementary, but often disparate capacities, is highlighted by both the Nepal Relief Effort and the impressive progress on the land at Big Indian. By honoring the Divine Feminine, Bodhivastu’s leadership modeled the power of the dynamic interplay of the feminine and masculine energies. This unusual mix of skills give us a preview of the good work to come once the land for the Stupa of the Great Awakening is secured in 2016.
In addition to the initiatives described above a series of other activities filled out the year, including:
Regular monthly practice sessions coordinated with the lunar cycle (traditionally referred to as Tsoks - purification rituals that burn away obscuration to our true nature and that accumulate merit and wisdom
- Development of artful prayer books and practice aids
Interviews and articles on the purpose and activities of the Bodhivastu Foundation
- Regular radio broadcasts of the Voice for the Miracle on the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism
- The donation of the Saraswati statue (Goddess of Learning, Arts and Music) by Dean Gitter and Cheryl Lynn of the Rudi community
- Hosting a series of high Lama’s and renowned teachers
- The installation and raising of the Peace Prayer Flags at Big Indian
- Ongoing efforts to strengthen the community, develop additional materials and improve our technology and administrative capacity
Events & Activities anticipated in 2016:
Purchasing the land and beginning development of the Stupa of the Great Awakening and surrounding facilities
Continued deepening of the teachings and core practices of Vajrayana Buddhism
Salons and Practice Sessions that draw on the deep wisdom of the Tibetan teachings and offer them in a contemporary form that brings western psychological and scientific knowledge to bear
Continued improvements to our website, social networking and other online activities
Periodic Live Stream and Podcasts of various teachings and interviews
An expanded series of Blog Posts
Lama Rangbar initiating teaching the body practices that come out of “Tibetan Yoga” to accelerate an embodied awakening process
Bodhivastu's Needs in 2016:
Funds for Land in Dutchess County
Planning and construction funds for the Stupa and related projects
- Improved Technology to support our ongoing efforts
- Ongoing support for all administrative areas
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Recurring Monthly Donation
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Bodhivastu consists entirely of volunteers ranging all age groups and skill levels. Let us know how you want to join in and help! Please use the following form to contact us regarding volunteer opportunities.
For donations over $1,000 please contact us at 845-226-6664 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Checks may be written out to Bodhivastu and mailed to:
119 Roosevelt Dr.
Poughquag, NY 12570
Join us to build the Stupa of the Great Awakening, to generate positive benefits across the planet and to usher in an enlightened society.
We hope you can join us for one of our New Year’s gatherings. It will include an opportunity for practice, connection and celebration. We will communicate the exact details very soon. Look for announcements about this exciting opportunity.
The Bodhivastu Team