Dalai Lama Will Visit Shrine in Montana
According to sources in Arlee, Montana, location of the Ewam Montana Garden of 1,000 Buddhas, the spiritual leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, will visit there in the fall of 2011. Having accepted an invi-tation to consecrate the shrine after its completion, the the Dalai Lama’s planned visit is looked upon with great anticipation by Gochen Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche, the Buddhist monk from Tibet responsible for the garden, which so far contains 500 Buddhist statues.
"He's the embodiment of compassion," the monk said through a translator at a mid March press conference in downtown Missoula. "He's the reincarnation of the Buddha of compassion and so his mere presence in Montana at our site we hope will have the capacity to bring about peace and compassion in the region."
Rinpoche is creating the Garden of 1,000 Buddhas as an interna-tional pilgrimage site for Buddhists and those of all faiths and spiritual practices. He said he sees the The Dalai Lama’s visit as helping to make the garden an international destination for spiritual aspirants and visitors.
The Garden of 1,000 Buddhas, located on 60 acres near Arlee, Montana, is not yet completed. Rinpoche’s plan calls for 1,000 concrete cast statues of the Buddha Shakyamuni set along the circumference of a 500 foot wide circular garden appointed with eight paths, like spokes in a wheel, with a 25 foot tall statue of the Great Mother, Yum Chenmo, at the hub.
The total cost of the garden will be about $1 million.
More than 500 statues have been built so far by volunteers at the site in Arlee and at a facility called the Buddha Barn in Missoula.
“Apart from inaugurating the garden, Rinpoche said, “[His Holiness] will give religious teachings, so it will attract a lot of diverse people. Some of his international students from other parts of the world will be here at this time.”