The 16th Gyalwa Karmapa's Visit to Crestone in 1979


In 1980 the 16th Gyalwa Karmpa, Rigpe Dorje (Vajra Vidya in Tibetan) visited Crestone. Visiting with His Holiness at that time were His Eminence Jamgon Kongtrul and His Eminence Tai Situpa.

Rinpoche and students circumambulating the Tashi Gomang Stupa on the day of the consecration.
Overlooking the San Lois Valley.

Their party explored, sometimes on horseback, the mountains around Crestone. His Holiness while traveling with Hanne Strong stopped at where the stupa now stands and pointed out the auspicious signs. He pointed out mountain shapes that looked like elephants lying down and other symbolic forms. These, he explained, were signs of the propitiousness of this particular location. It has been reported that he said that in the future the practitioners who came here to practice would attain realization. Different people who were with this party tell of different predictions that His Holiness made at that time. The Karmapa also foresaw that this special location would provide safe haven for the teachings and for the Tibetan people. After the passing of the 16th Karmapa his Eminence Jamgon Kontrul initiated the building of the Tashi Gomang Stupa with many auspicious doors which represent the 84,000 paths of the Buddha. He gave very specific instructions on how the Stupa was to be done. Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche and Bardo Tulku along with a small but highly dedicated number of students spent the next decade completing what now stands as a significant expression of the connection with the blessings of the Kagyu Lineage. It was consecrated in July of 1996. His Holiness suggested that great benefit would come if the following were built in Crestone: a monastery, a retreat center, a library to house the sacred teachings of ancient Buddhist wisdom, a Tibetan medical institute, and a lay community for Tibetans.

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