Padmasambhava Stupa

First Stupa in Colorado

The Padmasambhava Stupa was the first stupa built in Colorado. Padmasambhava, an extraordinarily powerful Indian Pandita, came to Tibet in 7BC to pacify Tibet and establish Buddhism on the roof of the world. He was uniquely skilled in transforming the chaos, on the physical and spiritual plane, and laid the foundation for a peaceful Tibetan society.

Jim George

In 1982, Jim George put the full force of his diplomatic skills to use and gathered skilled people and funds to start the foundation of an eleven foot Tibetan style stupa. Paul Kloppenburg provided the diagram that laid out the exact proportions for the structure. Two prominent builder/artists, Bobbie Troutman and Michael Barron, were then building the dome at Lindensfarne Center (later to become the Zen Center) and generously took on the challenge. They poured most of it in concrete. The thirteen ring spire top was made on a potter’s wheel by Bertha Gotterup.

Lifeforce Pole and Relics

As with all stupas, an obelisk shaped post made out of juniper was placed in the center. Elaborate mandalas and offerings were placed in the four directions. Precious relics from India and Tibet, as well as 10,000 clay tsa tsa’s (miniature stupa’s) were handmade with brass molds then sun-dried, painted and placed inside. Boulder resident and Tibetan, Ugyen Shenpen, arranged all the sacred interior elements. Thus the stupa was empowered.

Thirty-eight years later, a small group of people have taken on the task of making structural repairs, redoing the exterior stucco layer and rearranging the surrounding rock garden into a more mandalic configuration with proper path ways. A statue of Padmasambhava holding the world was added to a gold leafed niche and the stupa was transformed from the “little stupa” to the Padmasambhava Stupa.

It is certainly a labor of love and offering for the rest of the world to enjoy.

Based on and excerpted from “Crestone – a Sacred Earth Journal” 4th Edition published by Cindy Pearson Garcia, 2020.

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