About 100 people gathered at the Stupa on May 2, 2010 for its Dedication Ceremony. Just to the left of the Stupa is Reverend Master Haryo Young, Head of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, giving an explanation on the meaning of the Stupa. In the background is Pine Mountain, 7,500'.
Reverend Masters Phoebe and Seikai began to envision the stupa in about 2005, two or three years after the parcel of land was purchased and incorporated into the temple grounds. In 2006, while visiting another Buddhist monastery in West Virginia, Rev. Seikai was shown photos of a similar Stupa that had been built in England at a Theravada Buddhist temple, Amaravati. The monks contacted the stone carvers, who are located in Indonesia, and that set the stage for having the stone cut and shipped across the Pacific Ocean to the Port of Los Angeles, and from there to Pine Mountain Temple.
Our stupa is a duplicate of those built around 600 AD in the Borobodur, Indonesia Stupa Complex, which was unearthed by British archaeologists in the 19th Century. The surround is in the shape of a traditional Southeast Asian Mandala, i.e. roughly square in shape, but with each side having a stepped-out feature, which includes an entrance into the surround. Thus, there are four entrances and four corners, each corner containing a Buddha statue.
The stupa itself contains a statue of Vairocana Buddha and together with the four corner Buddhas-Amogasiddhi, Ratnasambhava, Akshobhya and Amitabha-represent the Five Dhyani Buddhas. In traditional Buddhist iconography the Five Dhyani Buddhas all have their own unique qualities, attributes, and cardinal direction. Amogasiddhi sits to the north, his right hand raised in the fearlessness mudra; Ratnasambhava sits to the south, the right hand with palm upwards in the gesture of offering; Akshobhya sits to the east, right hand touching the earth, the earth-witnessing mudra; Amitabha sits to the west, his hands in the meditation mudra. These four, of the Five Dhyani Buddhas, have their left hand in the mudra of meditation; Vairocana, the Cosmic Buddha, has his hands in a teaching mudra.
The construction of a Stupa sanctifies the land on which it is built. Our location in the Ozena Valley of Ventura County has a definite benign energy, and was regarded as a sacred area by the Chumash tribe, which once occupied the area. Blessings from the Stupa radiate outwards to all living beings in the valley.