Heart of the Mountain Dharma Refuge

The Heart of the Mountain Dharma Refuge and the Liberation Upon Seeing Jonang Stupa are being established to provide a place to uphold the meditation and retreat traditions practiced in all Buddhist lineages. 

The Mountain Dharma contains the quintessential meaning of all the Buddha’s teachings.”
Khenchen Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen  

In September 2017 Ven. Tashi Nyima and members of the Universal Compassion Buddhist Congregation UCBC, made their first pilgrimage North along the Rio Grande to a 2.5-acre site in Crestone/Baca Grande Colorado.  

Here the quiet solitude and boundless views of the San Luis Valley and the Sangre De Cristo Mountain Range make this the perfect place for Mountain Dharma practice.

A view of mountains in Crestone, Colorado

Seeing it, you smile
Karma Chagme’s Mountain Dharma

On September 17, 2017, Ven.Tashi Nyima planted a treasure vase to mark the place for the future Liberation Upon Seeing Jonang Stupa, modeled on the original Jonang Stupa designed and built in Jomonang Tibet by Khenchen Dolpopa in 1333 and restored 260 years later by Jetsun Taranatha.

The Buddhist stupa is a symbol of the Buddha’s enlightened mind and traditionally contains texts, semi-precious stones, clay molded Buddha figures, mantra rolls, and sacred relics called ringsel. Each stupa is unique and represents different aspects and qualities of enlightened mind.

Built within a half wall enclosure designed as a columbarium, the Liberation Upon Seeing Jonang Stupa, will hold all the traditional stupa substances and invite contributions to be placed in the stupa from other Sanghas worldwide.

“All the teachings of the Buddha are of one taste, one way – all leading to truth, all arriving at truth. Although there are different vehicles, they neither contradict each other nor reject the basis of each other.”       Rongzom Chokyi Zangpo

In 2018 the Great Middle Way Buddhist Association, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, accepted the 2.5-acre Crestone/Baca Grande land gift  for the Stupa and Refuge.

“There is nothing that surpasses meditation in mountain solitude, forests and so forth for accomplishing the excellent benefit of yourself and others. All the Buddhas of the three times have perfected the Bodhisattva path in solitary places such as mountain retreats.”  
Kyobpa Jigten Sumgon, The Inexhaustible Source of Nectar / Collected Vital Points of Mountain Dharma   

In August 2018, representatives from the GMWBA (aka Goombas*) met with Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche and received his blessings to build a small non-sectarian lay oriented center near his Vajra Vidya Retreat Center in Crestone Colorado.  *Friends on the path   

“One must see all the teachings as without contradiction and consider all the scriptures as instructions. This will cause the root of sectarianism and prejudice to dry up and give you a firm foundation in the Buddha’s teachings.”
Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye

Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche is seen here in August 2018 at the Vajra Vidya Retreat Center consecrating the Buddha statue to be held at the Heart of the Mountain Dharma Refuge.

A Place to Let Be

“In my isolated mountain retreat of self-luminous detachment,
resting in the practice of luminosity without clinging,
I sustained the fundamental nature of self-emergent simplicity.
Gazing upon my own true face – carefree openness –
I have the teachings on self-liberation of destructive emotions.”
Sera Khandro

The Heart of the Mountain Dharma Refuge has been designed by Michael Bertin of Architectural Harmonics as a 2300 sq. ft. octagonal building which will accommodate up to six overnight guests. With two double bedrooms, 2 single bedrooms and a meditation hall, the Refuge will be available for use by individuals and small groups from established Sanghas.

“Whatever meditation we do, practicing in a secluded natural environment helps cast out distractions and develop single-pointed mindfulness and true interest.”
Dudjom Rinpoche: Advice for Mountain Retreat

GMWBA is currently raising $40,000 for the next phase of development:

Building Plan Approval Process:  $2500
Site Development and Driveway: $7500
Establishing municipal water service:  $10,000
Complete sets of architectural blueprints:  $14,000
GMWBA website and sangha outreach programs: $6,000

Building Completion Phase I: $200,000  December 2023
Building Completion Phase II: 200,000 June 2024

To join in the merit and share in the benefit, please support the Heart of the Mountain Dharma Refuge by contributing a tax-deductible donation through PayPal.

“Mountains and rivers right now are the actualization of the ancient Buddha way.”
Dogen Zenji:
 Mountains and Waters Sutra

Crestone/Baca Grande has been identified as an ideal setting for study and retreat by many great Buddhist masters, including the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, and Gangteng Tulku Rinpoche.

“In joyous places such as these, pleasure groves of isolated mountain solitude, awareness is clear.” Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol

Be a Goomba* and donate to GMWBA.
*A friend on the path

$40,000 raised as of today.