It is with incredible gratitude and happiness that we are able to announce that the new shrines are now complete. It has been a long process, from Lama Jigme’s original sketch of the design in the 90’s to its realization today, but thanks to the hard work, kindness and generosity of many people, they have become a reality – and we can honestly say it was worth the wait.
When we purchased the property in 1984, what was to become the temple was a large bare room with a stone fireplace in the west end, which was repurposed as a makeshift altar. Prior to His Holiness Penor Rinpoche’s visit in 1988 to bestow the Longchen Nyingthig, Norm Braden built the basic shrines that are the basis of the current ones. Over the years, decorative trim was added, eight auspicious symbol medallions were made by Grant Vernon, and Scott Rankine sponsored the cabinets for the Buddhist Canon (the Kangyur and Tangyur) that Penor Rinpoche gave Peling Rinpoche. Norm and Scott built a raised floor for the shrine area and the log walls and fireplace were drywalled over. In 2011 Lama Jigme commissioned the highly skilled Bhutanese artist Tshewang Dorji to create a seven-foot Buddha statue, and in anticipation of its arrival, the fireplace and chimney were demolished and a niche was constructed to enshrine it.
Over the past year, Brian Lumley took the rough drawing and perfectly created it in three dimensions. Olesya Pavlopoulos and Naomi Wall spent many, many hours carefully painting all the components Brian had made, and this past weekend Greg Gilkerson and Tim Dignam assembled all the pieces, completely transforming the temple. When the final touch ups are complete and the temple has been thoroughly cleaned of dust, we will begin to gold leaf the Buddha statue, and if there is time, the smaller statues as well, and finally raise the Buddha onto his lion throne base.
His Eminence Gyangkhang Rinpoche will visit Orgyan Dzong from August 19 to 21 to consecrate and open the eyes of the statues, bless the new shrines and bestow the Three Roots of the Longchen Nyingthig.