We are proud to announce the new seat of the Venerable Chhoje Rinpoche in North America — Padmasambhava Meditation Center of the Rockies located in Denver, Colorado, near Denver University. We celebrated our grand opening recently on March 16, 2014. The building, formerly a church, has been transformed it into a magnificent dharma center. Nestled in a quiet neighborhood, it is a place where Rinpoche is set to give teachings and where he will invite other Lamas and Khenpos to give workshops on special topics.
As a blessed space, it is a conducive environment for the sangha to gather and practice meditation. Group sitting meditation practices take place every Thursday evening from 7-9 pm. The center will also be open at various times (to be determined based on community interest) for people to drop by and meditate as they like. We will request the Lama to teach as often as possible. There will be evening and weekend meditation classes, and at least one an annual week long retreat. We hope to webcast teachings as things progress.
The main shrine room now features three exquisite Buddha statues – Buddha Shakyamuni, Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) and Mother Tara, as well as magnificent thanka paintings.
There are essentially 2 floors to the building – an upper floor (about 5,500 square feet) featuring a large and spacious shrine room (very open and peaceful space, with plenty of windows and amazing light), and a reception area – and a lower floor (approximately 4,000 square feet) that will contain offices, a commercial kitchen, a large dining area, restrooms, additional meeting rooms, and a library. There is also a large (and quite beautiful) entrance area, a large parking lot in front of the building, and one small room at the top of the building, which will be used for Lama/student interviews. Eventually near the reception area, a Dharma shop will sell photos, recordings, and all manner of items to support study and practice.
For seating in the main shrine room, there are gomdens, zabutons, a few zafus and many chairs available. (You may wish to bring your own cushion.) The reception area contains a space for the removal and storage of shoes and coats, jackets, etc. (Bring warm socks!)Make a donation
Chhoje Rinpoche gives a personal tour of the new dharma center!
We recorded this video of Chhoje Rinpoche walking through the new Denver Center when it was still in shell form. It is wonderful to hear his vision for the space!
To see photos of the center-in-progress, please click on Photo Gallery.
February 2014 Update -
The three amazing Buddha statues have just been painted and are looking magnificent. Preparations are underway for the grand opening, with supplies of many kinds arriving on a daily basis.
The completion of the center has progressed in stages, based on the availability of adequate funding. Here is a bit of history:
December 2013 - Completing Phase One
It took 3 weeks to prepare the many sacred substances and roll the mantras for special inclusion in the statues. Once the substances were properly prepared according to tradition, the statues were filled and then carefully lifted and placed upon their platforms. Everyone worked long hours under the direction of Lama John Ross. Yongdzin Rinpoche blessed the zung (the filling) and performed a second consecration ceremony once the statues were filled and in place.
A huge heartfelt thank you to all the volunteers who worked so hard to make this possible!
October 2013 – Working on Phase One
Work on phase one of the construction continued, including work on the entryway, shrine room, elevator, book store, kitchenette, Lama waiting room, hallways and restrooms. The building’s exterior was finished with new stucco, roof and solar lighting tubes.
The three statues, imported from Asia, were in need of repair when they arrived. This meant that a variety of finishing touches were added to the metalwork on the faces and forms. The process of acquiring and preparing the many materials necessary for the consecration of the statues began. This included ordering the mantras from India to go inside the statues, and the printing whatever additional we could do ourselves. The process took 3 months to complete, and involved many different experts.
Phase Two of construction will occur when we have raised the necessary funds, which amount to around $250,000. This includes a library, dining room, commercial kitchen, offices, and a private interview room for meetings with the Lama. We will be able to host teachings whether or not Phase 2 is completed, but it would be ideal to have construction complete before opening.
We would like to raise money for the completion of the kitchen, hallway, and offices downstairs.
We took out a loan for $150,000 to get us to help us with phase one of the project, so any help to pay off this loan would be greatly appreciated.
One of the best ways to do this is to become a member.
Although funds are extremely important right now, we also need volunteers to assist in landscaping and cleaning the center to prepare for its opening, as well as ongoing maintenance. Stay tuned for more information on upcoming volunteer dates as well as for the opening date of the center.
June 2013 Update on Phase One
- $2,500 for meditation cushions
- $1,500 for chairs
- $3,000 for statue consecration supplies
- $5000 for kitchen supplies
May 2013 Progress Report
Great progress was made inside the main level of the center during the month of May. All heating/cooling, electrical, audio/visual, insulation and plumbing were completed for the main level. Dry walling was set for completion by the beginning of June as well as plans to install the flooring.
Everyone was very excited that the three statues that Rinpoche ordered arrived safely: the Buddha, Tara, and Guru Rinpoche. Additionally, the roof of the building was replaced and work on the exterior of the building was set to begin at the beginning of June. The exterior will be redone in stucco with “traditional” Tibetan window treatments.
- Constructing the throne for the statues and consecrating them
- Construction of shelving for texts in the shrine area
- Finish work, including the windows, doors, trim work, shelving units
- Exterior stucco
At that point the goal was to have the Phase One construction completed by mid-August.
Help Bring Rinpoche’s Vision to Fruition
We received several very generous donations to begin the construction, but we still need financial help to finish this project. In the interest of opening the center in a timely manner and being able to fulfill Rinpoche’s vision, we decided to take out a loan for $150,000 to complete Phase One construction. We are now in need of consistent funds to pay off this loan as well as $75,000 to finish Phase One and get the center ready for teachings. Here is the breakdown of where the money has been spent or will need to be spent going forward:
- $200,000 for the general construction including plumbing, electrical, and heating/cooling;
- $15,000 for the altar construction, and the finishing & shipping of sacred statues (and purchase of blessed mantras “zoong”)
- $145,000 for the finishing work including dry wall, flooring, painting, and fixtures
- $80,000 for high end audio/visual equipment
- $2,500 for meditation cushions – gomdens, zambutans, and zafus
- $10,000 for new windows for the meditation hall
- $5000 for tables, chairs, supplies for hosting teachings
During Phase Two we focus on the downstairs section of the structure, with the goal of building a library, a commercial kitchen, various offices (including one for Rinpoche), a dining hall, and a caretaker’s residential suite. We need to raise approximately $250,000 to complete all of these rooms.
On-going operating expenses
In addition to construction costs, the Center has a variety of operating expenses. Additional donations will go to the following expense categories:
- Rinpoche’s health insurance
- Lama travel expenses
- Office supplies and postage
- Website maintenance
- Professional services
May All Beings Benefit!