CRAGSMOOR, N.Y—On a glorious summer day, an enthusiastic crowd gathered atop a hill to break ground for Dharmakaya’s new Milarepa Center, a place to learn well-being through the skills of awareness.
The ceremony began with a Tibetan prayer by Trungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche, Spiritual Director of Dharmakaya, and Khenchen Rinpoche, Resident Teacher at the Dharmakaya Retreat Center and a chief lineage holder of the Kagyu school. Its message: to ensure that everything about the Center will be favorable to create health and harmony for individuals, families and society at large. Further, they prayed that the well-being and peace that the Center helps create will have a ripple effect, expanding outwards to the world.
Following the prayer, the official contracts approving the design and hiring the contractor were signed by Brian Schug, Chairman of the Town Planning Board; John Henderson, Vice-President of Dharmakaya; and the Osterhoudt family, contractors. Then Bart Mendel, Project Manager, Brian Schug, and Scott Carlsen, Town Supervisor, regaled the crowd with stories of the nine-year odyssey leading to this moment—and some poignant lessons learned along the way.
Finally, the group of luminaries, including Guo Ping, the major contributor to the Center, donned Dharmakaya hats designed by Rinpoche, hoisted their spades, and officially broke ground for the Center. They were followed immediately by an excavator, signifying the work had begun.
As the official ceremony concluded, Master of Ceremonies Gary Wheaton, a volunteer with the Dharmakaya Retreat Center, invited everyone to partake in a lovely lunch, in celebration of this auspicious day.
A six-minute video captures the essence of the magical morning in Cragsmoor, New York.
Click here to read the Mid Hudson News account of the day.