Gateway Buddha

There is now a beautiful, large stone Buddha rupa at the entrance to Adhisthana.

The community all offered blessings from the individual areas of responsibility represented at Adhisthana: the College of Public Preceptors, the International Council, the International Order Office and those who serve Adhisthana itself. We buried the blessings in the ground all around the perimeter of the site, in the hope that these blessings will seed and bear fruit, supporting the future work of Adhisthana.

This Buddha is at the entrance to Bhante’s final home, where he was happy, and where he is buried. It is the entrance to a spiritual mandala. The entrance, the gateway, holds significance: it marks a crossing over from one place to another, like the beautiful Celtic idea of a ‘thin place’. A thin place is not necessarily a tranquil place, or even a beautiful one (though it may be all of those things). A thin place transforms us, or unmasks us. It is a place of energy, where we become more ourselves. A thin place is where one can walk in two worlds: our everyday world, and a world of myth and values and significance.

Once we have passed through this gateway, we are standing on holy ground, and Bhante says of this: “This holy ground is the human soul, and I’m not using the word ‘soul’ in any strict theological sense. I’m using the word ‘soul’ for that deeper, more essential part of ourselves, that feels and suffers and aspires… Above all, let us remember that Buddhism is not just in books, not just in words. Buddhism is in the life and in the heart.”

We believe the mudra of this gateway Buddha is the mudra of Buddha Kashyapa. Suvajra writes: This is the Buddha-shramana Mudra, or the Mudra of (Great) Renunciation. It is a gentle but very firm recognition of the shortcomings of the world. It is also part and parcel of the meditating figure that is immovable from its determination and which is rooted in higher states of consciousness, even Wisdom. Renunciation of worldly values, renunciation of the worldly winds, is itself a Dharma doorway. The mudra of this Buddha therefore communicates a Dharma doorway in itself, an opportunity for self-awareness and individuality.

We look forward to inviting you back to Adhisthana; to you being able to pass through the gateway, participate with us in the mandala of spiritual practice on this holy ground.

You can watch a video of the placing of the rupa and the ritual the community performed aqui.