Solitary Retreat in a Community Setting
We are deeply moved and delighted that construction of the Tara Dzong Temple and Retreat Building will reach completion in the Winter/Spring of 2020-21.
Deep retreat lies at the very heart of the Longchen Nyingtik path. Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche has steadfastly upheld this tradition within Mangala Shri Bhuti, ensuring that the practices and vision of the Lineage’s masters continue to pervade and transform the lives of his students here in the West. Truly, without the ability to engage in meditation in extended retreat, it is difficult for the full impact of the teachings to reach deeply into our being. Samten Ling has had students in retreat continuously since its founding in 1993.
This Tara Dzong sits about 50 yards south-west of the Temple, in a sloping, shallow meadow that provides both privacy and protection as well as clear views of the San Luis Valley and sky. The structure includes a large shrine room dedicated to Arya Tara, a smaller shrine dedicated to Vajrasattva, a teacher’s suite, retreat rooms, communal cooking and gathering spaces. The 8 apartment-like retreat rooms have private entrances and decks, keeping a solitary quality to retreat while in a communal setting. Solar panels are built into the roof line, minimizing impact on the land, providing green power and heat to the building. The Tara Dzong’s close proximity to the Temple will allow retreatants to support the daily routines at the Temple, including caring for the shrines, cleaning, and light maintenance, as well as group prayers.
For the retreat land and the MSB community, the Tara Dzong offers a boon in retreat space. Approximately 40-80 people will be able to undertake retreat each year. Currently, most of Samten Ling’s cabins are occupied by retreatants in either life retreat or retreats of multiple years. This poses a challenge to the vision of Mangala Shri Bhuti, as the importance of retreat sits at the core of the vision and cannot be emphasized enough. As well, Rinpoche has committed to only offer the Dzogchen teachings in the context of retreat, and for them to be carried out only in retreat.
Arya Tara appears in the sky in front;
the unchanging bright purple
light of dawn
Radiates out from the utpala flower she holds.
As it falls upon master and students simultaneously
All our wishes are swiftly accomplished and
We attain the immortal vajra life force.
May we perpetually uphold and propagate the Buddhadharma,
Spreading benefit and happiness to all sentient beings.
OM TARÉ TUTTARÉ TURÉ SARWA ARTHA SIDDHI SIDDHI
On the second floor of the Tara Dzong, the roughly 500 square foot temple dedicated to Arya Tara is one of the last areas still under construction. Arya Tara is the female buddha who acts to support those who, motivated by compassion, work to bring others ahead on the path of enlightenment through their practice, projects, prayers and aspirations. Known as she who liberates, it is said Tara arose from one of Avalokiteshvara’s tears. Kongtrul Rinpoche has had a life-long appreciation of Tara, and the Tara Dzong fulfillis his aspiration to invoke her presence palpably as part of the Sangdo Palri Temple project. By combining the Tara Temple with the retreat building, the development team has been able to economically realize two aspirations at once.
With a total budget of $2 million we estimate the project now requires only $100,000 in completion funds.
Every dollar you contribute will be used entirely for the construction of the Tara Dzong. For years innumerable, your donation will be a beneficial condition in the awakening of those fortunate to practice in the Retreatplex’s rooms. It is traditionally said that sponsors of retreatants accrue merit equal to that of the retreatants themselves, so please consider how enriching it will be to offer support of any size or kind.