Chenrezig Art Projects – Garden of Enlightenment

Ordering a Stupa

During Chenrezig Institutes 20th Anniversary in 1994 Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the spiritual director of the FPMT, initiated the idea of a garden of stupas. Stupas are structures that represent Buddha’s enlightened mind, and each part of the Stupa shows the path to Enlightenment. Stupas are filled with prayers, holy objects and ashes or relics of the deceased. It is said that building a Stupa is a very powerful way to purify negative karma and obscurations, and to accumulate extensive merit. The Garden of Enlightenment at Chenrezig Institute was envisaged as a place where people can sponsor stupas for themselves or for those who have passed away.

The project commenced in 1996 and took 14 years of dedicated work by hundreds ofGoE_Prayer Wheel 1 volunteers, including builders, landscapers, sculptors and artists. The Garden was completed in June 2011 – just in time for it to be blessed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who visited the Institute and gave teachings to 4000 people assembled on the lawns above the Garden.

The main building has 13 separate shrine rooms containing stupas, paintings, a mandala and hundreds of sponsored gold tiles. On the roof of this building are the Eight Great Stupas commemorating the deeds of the Buddha. These stupas are dedicated to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and the many kind residents and teachers who have helped Chenrezig Institute become the vibrant centre it is today.

Around the main building is a veranda for circumambulation and many prayer wheels. The building inside and out is decorated in traditional Tibetan style. Surrounding the main building are beautiful flower gardens with several water features and shaded seating. Within these gardens are many smaller memorial stupas. The surrounding area is natural bushland with many native birds and animals.

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Chenrezig Art Projects – Enlightenment Projectwp_20160611_002

Chenrezig Arts brings together the painters, builders and architects behind the Garden of Enlightenment stupas, and the many traditional Tibetan Buddhist artworks that beautify our centre. The recently completed Arts Studio is the hub of Chenrezig Arts and provides a variety of services and important functions for the centre.

The mezzanine level serves as a work area for artists to create Thangkas, Tibetan decorations and to carve new images suitable for mould-making. Workshops and courses are also held in this well- lit, ambient space. The large downstairs indoor and outdoor work areas are used for pouring moulds, casting and assembling holy objects, and assembling stupas for the Garden of Enlightenment (GoE). A room at the front of the building has been allocated for an office and shop, where – once completed – visitors will be able to view samples of the artists’ works and make purchases.

Plans are in place to expand the car-parking, install water features, improve the landscaping, and put a veranda and signage at the front of the building to attract visitors on their way to and from the centre.

We hope to continue supplying local outlets, expand our range of products and continue to offer holy objects to all of the regional centers and students, including those in Asia.

The Studio was built on the advice of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and was made possible through funding from the International Merit Box project, donations and interest-free loans. Our deepest thanks go to all of those people who helped in so many ways!

The Enlightenment Project for Purification and Merit is now located in the Chenrezig Institute art studio and is producing a large range of holy objects, including tsatsas, statues,  stupas,  thangkas, and various other related merchandise.  For those who are not able to visit the site in person, an online store has been established to make this merchandise available over the Internet.

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What’s on in the Art Studio
Second Sunday of each month at 10.00 am – 3.00 pm in the Art Centre at Chenrezig Institute

Mantras, meaning “mind protection”, are Sanskrit syllables, usually recited in conjunction with the practice of a particular meditational deity, and embody the qualities of the deity with which they are associated. They bring benefit to all who see, touch, hear or speak them.
Further, when you recite mantras with the correct motivation (the wish to benefit others), your speech becomes holy speech, capable of offering blessings to others.
Join us in the Art Studio for the relaxed and calm experience of Mantra rolling. No experience necessary.

Our Chenrezig Arts community will lead you through this inspiring practice.
Chenrezig Arts brings together the painters, builders and architects behind the Garden of Enlightenment stupas, and the many traditional Tibetan Buddhist artworks that beautify our centre. The recently completed Arts Studio is the hub of Chenrezig Arts and provides a variety of services and important functions for the centre.

For extensive advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche about the benefits of reading, writing or reciting particular mantras, or how to engage with mantras to eliminate or reduce potential or ongoing obstacles, please visit the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive for Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Online Advice Book and fpmt.org for advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

Tsa Tsa Painting
Artists young and old art invited to join us in the Art Studio from 1.30 pm – 4.00 pm. Bring your calm creativity and we’ll provide all other materials. By donation. tsatsa

Tsa-tsas are a form of Buddhist art that has flourished for centuries in the Himalayas, most notably Tibet. Like many Tibetan sacred objects,
they are iconographic forms of various buddhas. Often, students are given a commitment to make 100,000 tsa-tsas of a particular buddha or meditational deity during their lifetime.
In the Art Studio we’ll be enjoying painting these beautiful holy objects. And so that no one misses out we’ve also created a space for our younger artists to get involved too.