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One of the important community assets of beautiful Sedona, Arizona, and a draw for many tourists from around the world, is the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park in the West Sedona area. It sits on a 14 acre plot directly beneath Thunder Mountain and Chimney Rock. The land lies adjacent to the Coconino National Forest. It was envisioned by Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo, the first Western woman recognized as a reincarnate master in the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition, as a place of peace, healing and refuge.
But the future of the Amitabha Stupa is uncertain. This small community that has built and maintained the Stupa for the benefit of all is faced with a huge balloon payment in June of 2012 on their loan for the land. As a consequence, they have launched a global awareness campaign to seek benefactors and angel investors who understand the importance of safeguarding such sacred places of pilgrimage in the world now and for future generations.
Stupas are considered the physical embodiment of the mind of enlightenment and as such are used in the practice of Buddhism to assist a spiritual seeker’s personal quest and path towards their own spiritual deepening and realization. Buddhist scholars note two distinct reasons for their construction: 1) to commemorate the great deeds accomplished during the lifetime of the Buddha; and 2) to enshrine relics after he passed away. It would be equivalent to a reliquary within the Christian religious lexicon.
According scholars of historical Buddhist architecture, Stupas are classified based on form and function. The Stupa in Sedona is one of the eight different kinds of Stupas represented in Tibetan Buddhism: an Enlightenment Stupa. The Amitabha Stupa is filled with many sacred mandalas as well as uncountable mantras and offerings to create to harmony, peace and wellbeing in the immediate environment and throughout the world.
Another interesting aspect of the Stupa in Sedona is that the image facing to the East, toward the morning sun, is that of Amitahba, an important celestial Buddha described in the scriptures of the Mahayana school of Buddhism. Amitabha is the principal Buddha in the Pure Land sect, a branch of Buddhism with origins in East Asia.
According to ancient Buddhist scriptures Amitabha is the Buddha of Infinite Light. In some traditions he was a monk, in some, an ancient king, but in all he was a highly evolved being whose profound aspirations and wishing prayers to benefit all suffering beings was the origin of a Buddha-field where all beings who called out to him at the time of their death could be reborn in his pure realm and achieve realization.
The construction of the Stupa was a great accomplishment for the Sedona community and it has, indeed become a destination for thousands of visitors every year. The KPC Buddhist community has sponsored and funded the construction of the Stupa and maintenance of the land since 2004. However, the future of this beautiful community asset is at risk if the land upon which the Stupa sits cannot be paid off by June of 2012.
The caretakers of the Stupa need to raise $684,000 by June of 2012 in order to secure the land. These fund-raising events are ways that people can get involved directly in making sure that the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park survives for all those who seek a profound place of spiritual refuge and peace in the world. If you are interested in donating, visit their site.
To advance their goals of saving the land and the stupa, the KPC community has decided to apportion a 4.5 acre section of the most desirable land to help them meet their financial goals. They are being represented by two agents at the Coldwell Banker, First Affiliate team in Sedona: Karen Dunlap [1 (928) 300-1757] and Rick Wesselhoff [1 (928) 301-2622].
This film shows some features of the stupa and provides information on the availability of the property.