VAStupaKyabje Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche traveled to the West for the first time to benefit beings by teaching the Dharma. During several visits over the next two decades, he taught extensively in Europe and North America where he founded many Dharma centers—including several with facilities for the traditional three-year retreat—and erected a number of stupas. Having taught the Dharma universally, he lived even longer than many great Lamas had prophesied. His loving-kindness and limitless compassion were apparent to all those who met him.

Lama Norlha Rinpoche and Kagyu Thubten Chöling Monastery invite you to join us in sponsoring the building of stupas commemorating the kindness of His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa and Kyabje Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche, and dedicated to the flourishing of the Kagyu Lineage and the enlightenment of all sentient beings. To date, seven stupas in eastern Tibet have been completed. A stupa (pictured on right) at Kagyu Samchen Chöling in Charlottesville, VA has been completed, the structure is finished and Lama Chopal, a master of traditional Buddhist art, has painted murals on its interior walls.

As the symbol of the Buddha's enlightened mind, the stupa is a field of enormous merit which benefits all beings by preventing disease and obstacles, and by promoting harmony and prosperity. Making any connection with the stupa is a particular blessing for those who are sick, dying, or experiencing obstacles. The virtue accumulated by contributing even a small amount to this project is inconceivable – like a drop of water becoming inseparable from a great ocean of merit.

KTC Enlightenment Stupa

His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa inside the Elightenment Stupa at KTC on May 19, 2008. Stupa open by appointment only.
Please call 845-297-3843 to schedule an appointment.

In 1989, just before his parinirvana, Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche asked Lama Norlha Rinpoche to build a stupa on our monastery’s land overlooking the Hudson River. After years of preparation and work in a persistent effort to realize Rinpoche’s vision, the Enlightenment Stupa is now complete.

Designed in accordance with traditional shapes and proportions, the stupa is visible from the distant mountains and reflected in the Hudson River, blessing its waters on their way New York City and the sea.

The ornamentation of the stupa was created by Lama Chopal and Youngdrung, both gifted craftmen trained in traditional Tibetan art.

There are many stupa photos on view in the Online Photo Galleries.  You can also watch slideshows of the Stupa Construction, Decorating the Stupa, and Stupa Interior.


Other Stupas Built by Lama Norlha Rinpoche

Samchen Chöling Retreat Center, Charlottesville, VA
A 35-foot-high stupa has been erected on the site of a new retreat center founded by Lama Norlha Rinpoche. The base of the stupa houses a traditionally designed shrine room containing a statue of the Buddha Shakyamuni. Lama Chöpal, a master of traditional Buddhist art, has finished painting a mural of the 35 Buddhas on the shrine room walls.

Bodhgaya, India
The first stupa built by Lama Norlha Rinpoche stands in the sacred land of Bodhgaya, where it is prophesied that all the 1000 Buddhas of the three times will attain enlightenment. Completed in 1986, it is one of a very few examples of a Kalachakra Stupa, which provides special blessings of freedom and peace.

View photo of this project

Kala Rongo Convent, Nangchen, Eastern Tibet
The sacred land of Kala Rongo, the site of a Guru Rinpoche meditation cave, has become home to one of the finest convents and retreat centers in Tibet. A 60-foot Guru Rinpoche stupa has been built there along with a more recently built Enlightenment stupa.

Read more about this Stupa in The NYEMA Sun, Spring 2002

Korche Monastery, Nangchen, Eastern Tibet
The monastery where Lama Norlha Rinpoche received his training is the residence of 180 monks and includes two three-year retreat facilities and a monastic college. A 60-foot high Guru Rinpoche stupa has been built on the monastery grounds.

Read more about this Stupa in The NYEMA Sun, Spring 2002

Qinghai Province, Eastern Tibet
In Amdo region, located in northeastern Qinghai Province, three stupas have been built. One of them was completed on the special occasion of Sakadawa. Auspicious signs, such as a rainbow, appeared during the consecration ceremony.

Read more about this Stupa in The NYEMA Sun, Spring 2002

Sonada, India
Construction of the Tashi Gomang Stupa -- Stupa of Many Auspicious Doors -- is underway in Sonada, India.  Dedicated to the memory of the kindness of both His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje and of Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche, the Tashi Gomang Stupa is located on property adjacent to Samdrup Tarjay Choling, Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche's monastery in Sonada.  The property is also intended as the future site of Samdrup Tarjay Choling's monastic college ("shedra")

Village Stupa, Nangchen, Eastern Tibet
A privately sponsored 45-foot stupa, containing a prayer wheel filled with Dorje Sempa mantras, has been constructed in a village in Nangchen, eastern Tibet, at the request of the local residents there.

Read more about this stupa in The NYEMA Sun, Fall 2002

Contribute to Stupa Project

If you are interested in contributing to this project, use our online donation form or print out a copy of the  Stupa Offering Form and send it with your check (or credit card number) to Kagyu Thubten Chöling, Attention: Treasurer. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent of the law.  Your support is appreciated.

To raise funds for this project, beautiful reproductions of calligraphy by Chamgon Tai Situ Rinpoche are available from Kagyu Thubten Chöling. All proceeds will be used to pay for the construction of the stupas.