PSL Stupa Garden Project

MAY 4, 2010

Painting of the Stupas.

NOVEMBER 16, 2009

Altogether, the large and small stupas weigh over 55 tons of solid volcanic rock and are said to last for over 1,000 years in the outdoors! And now the stupa have been installed!

On November 16, 2009, the anniversary of the day when Guru Padmasambhava first went to Tibet and was received with a grand reception by King Trisong Deutsen, the Eight Great Stupas were installed in the Padma Samye Ling Stupa Garden.

View the installation videos at YouTube:
Installing the Lotus Thrones, part 1
Installing the Lotus Thrones, part 2

In preparation for the arrival of the Eight Great Stupas at Padma Samye Ling, on the morning of September 24, 2009, the Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches blessed the eight locations around the gonpa where the stupas will soon stand. That same day, four of the Lotus Thrones were installed.

On September 25, 2009, the final four Lotus Thrones were installed around the main temple of Padma Samye Ling. This is a synopsis of the day's events from sunrise to sunset.

Harmonizing Lotus Throne

If you would like to contribute to the accommodation of the stupas at Padma Samye Ling, we have initiated a fund called "Harmonizing the Lotus Throne" which will enable the journey from Java, Indonesia and the installation of the eight great stupas at PSL.

Your donation will directly support the installation of the stupas onto strong, concrete foundations that will glorify the mandala of Padma Samye Ling. Each hand-carved stupa weighs at least 6 tons and the volcanic rock is said to last for almost one thousand years. Not only does your contribution make this special project possible, but it also enables upcoming generations of people to receive the blessings of the stupa garden at PSL.

Donations of $525 USD or more receive a complimentary woven Tibetan Rug imported from Nepal. Each rug is approximately 6 feet x 3 feet, with very high quality sewing of traditional Tibetan patterns. Please include your mailing address with your donation, and indicate which design you would like. There is a limited number of carpets available - please contact us for more details.

If you would like to support the transportation and installation of the stupas at PSL, or make a general donation of any amount to this meritorious stupa garden, please click here

For more details, please contact Laia or Pema Dragpa at (607) 865-8068 or

The Meaning of the Stupa

The reliquary stupa represents the mind (dharmakaya) of the Buddha. Symbolically the stupa embodies a complex range of iconographic meanings, with each of its components representing a specific aspect of the path to enlightenment. The base of the stupa is fashioned in the form of a many-stepped square throne or plinth, known as a "lion throne". Above this ascend the stupa's hemispherical dome; a square reliquary chamber or harmika; an upper spire composed of up to 13 umbrella wheels, and a crowning finial of a lotus umbrella, crescent moon, sun disc and dissolving flame.

As is true for much of Buddhist art, the symbolism of this architectural image operates on several different levels simultaneously. A stupa incorporates five basic geometric shapes corresponding to the five elements - earth, water, fire, air and space - out of which the world and all the atoms within it are composed. Furthermore, the overall shape of a stupa bears a close resemblance to the image of a seated Buddha. Merely by viewing such harmoniously balanced images we receive subtle benefit, experienced as a feeling of peace, well-being and wholeness. Finally, it should be noted that the various levels of the stupa correspond to the various levels of the spiritual path culminating in full enlightenment.

To learn more about the Reliquary Stupa that is already installed in the Dharmakaya shrineroom of the Padma Samye Ling gonpa, or about stupas in general, please follow the below link to the Pema Mandala magazine Fall/Winter 2006 edition to read the article "New Home for Ancient Treasures" beginning on page 4.

Stupa Appeal Flyer
8 Tibetan Stupa Types