Wednesday, August 6, 2014

America's Buddhist burial mound at Sedona

Crystal Quintero, Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly; photographers Pete/Karevil, Glen Carlin
Vajrayana Buddhist prayer flags flying over Boudhanath, Nepal (Pete/Karnevil/flickr)
Wisdom and Compassion
The dome at the base of Boudhanath Stupa ("Enlightenment Reliquary," a UNESCO World Heritage Site) outside Kathmandu, Nepal represents the entire world. When a person awakens (represented by the opening of the eyes of wisdom and compassion) from the illusory bonds of the world, that person has reached the state of enlightenment. Complete liberation (nirvana) awaits and is already visible when this is accomplished.

America needs a great Buddhist stupa!
Xochitl, Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly
Sedona's Buddhist Stupa, Sedona, Arizona (Glen_Carlin/
Flags over Sedona Stupa (Glen Carlin)
We have one! We have other smaller ones, too. Every Buddhist temple in America wants its own old-world reliquary, a white mound to entomb spiritual treasures.

Pagodas, dagabas, chortans, mandala-mounds, and so on all house priceless reliquary objects -- either minute amounts of the historical Buddha's funerary ashes or relics (strange physical byproducts of enlightenment manifesting as beautiful glass-like beads and other formations that survive or are produced during cremation) or the remains of arhats, honored teachers, and world rulers (chakravartins).

Then there's the great Tibetan stupa at SMC in Colorado, too (
  • Small side-chortan in Sedona
    Wait a minute. How in the world could there be so many of the Buddha's cremation ashes to supply all the world's stupas? It's ludicrous; it's like all that wood the Medieval Christians sold as authentic bits of Christ's own Roman cross. The answer is very simple. If we begin with one cup of actual cremation remains, then we can divide that, but as with any precious powder, it is watered down with a neutral substance: one part relic ashes with one million parts neutral ashes = 1,000,001 parts authentic Buddha ashes. Stranger still, "relics" multiply, so they are not limited to what was available the first day. Moreover, not only the Buddha's remains are used but those of many arhats. There are still arhats, still funeral pyres, cremation remains, and so long as the Dharma is practiced even by one person, there is a chance for more.
Amazing Anasazi (Hopi) ruins at Tuzigoot, Clarkdale, Arizona (
Wooden Buddha (Glen Carlin)
City councils are very reluctant to approve of such building requests. There is a campaign to bring one to Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Buddhist Vihara.
But one already exists, built by Tibetan Buddhists in northern California. Across the USA there are small ones and plans, or at least dreams, for more.

Buddha profile (Glen Carlin)
However, there is at least one great one already: It is in our spiritual center where Native Americans recognized vortices of power and energy, Sedona, Arizona.

Wisdom Quarterly visited with Xochitl and Dr. Rei Rei to visit the Anasazi sites and this amazing hidden gem hidden on the west side of the American Southwest's most beautiful town.

To visit, choose the cooler months. Sedona is amazing year round, with winter snows the blanket the red rocks. It is one of the most picturesque landscapes in the world, a lower extension of the once Buddhist Grand Canyon. (How could the Grand Canyon ever have been Buddhist? It was).
Hovering above the massive stupa is a gorgeous wooden Buddha carving surrounded by many American offerings: trinkets, flowers, incense, glass beads, Native American jewelry, coins, notes, flags...adding to the splendor of the U.S. Southwest (Glen_Carlin/
Sedona, Arizona is "the most beautiful place on earth" (

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