Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Peace garden is a world gathering

Ketchum benefit to promote Montana project

Express Staff Writer

The central figure in the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas is Yum Chenmo, the mother of all Buddhas. Courtesy photo

     Although the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas is located in Arlee, Mont., a day’s drive from Ketchum, its energy and support is felt in the WoodRiverValley. A benefit at the SawtoothBotanical Garden, south of Ketchum, will take place on Saturday, June 25, from 6-9 p.m. with proceeds going to the completion of the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas, an international peace garden.

     The fundraiser will feature a live and silent auction with auctioneer Mike Murphy. WoodRiverValley caterers will provide food and drink and Tibetan singer, Tsering Wangmo, will perform. Wangmo has produced numerous CDs and she will be accompanied by the Joan Zen duo. Tickets are $40 per couple and $20 per person for advance purchase. Tickets are $30 per person at the door. Advance tickets are for sale at Chapter One Bookstore and Bellissimo in Ketchum.

     “It’s a garden for future generations,” said Mary Ann Chubb, benefit organizer. “This event is an opportunity to learn more about the garden and see its progress.”

     The garden was the vision of Gochen Tulku sang-ngag Rinpoche, who is the founder and spiritual director of Ewan Centers around the world. The mission of the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas is to provide people of all faiths with an opportunity to generate profound merit, to reduce global negativities and to bring about peace.

     “The garden resides on sacred Indian land,” she said. “It’s important because it’s for all people and it’s a global project—a sacred site for future generations.”

     Chubb said the garden’s energy is incredible. Upon completion, the garden will have 1,000 Buddhas, 1,000 of the Buddhist shrines known as stupas, 1,000 trees, a lavender garden, a pond and prayer wheels at the four directions of the compass.

     Live auction items at the benefit will include two Buddha statues, an opportunity to go to the consecration ceremony at the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas and offer a prayer scarf to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and a seven-day trip to Bali for 10 people in a private home overlooking the surf. The home includes a cook and maid service. Other auction items will include a seven-night vacation in Akumal, Mexico for eight people and a five-night vacation in Todo Santos, Mexico.

     “The purpose of the fundraiser is to help finish building the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas in Arlee, Montana,” she said. “His Holiness the Dalai Lama will come to consecrate the garden in 2014.”

     In addition, on Sunday, June 26, Lama Tsomo will give a talk, “Happiness Is All In Your Mind” at the SawtoothBotanical Garden from 2-4 p.m. In her talk, Lama Tsomo will explore the relationship between the brain and Buddhism. All donations from the talk will go to support the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas. The talk is $15 at the door, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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