Orgyan Dzong’s New Shrines

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 final­ly Greg Gilk­er­son and Tim Dig­nam assem­bled all the pieces, com­plete­ly trans­form­ing the tem­ple.

His Emi­nence Gyangkhang Rin­poche vis­it­ed Orgyan Dzong in August 2016 to con­se­crate and open the eyes of the stat­ues, bless the new shrines and bestow the Three Roots of the Longchen Nyingth­ig.