The Spring of Awakening or Enlightenment is a very special pilgrimage place. It is a fixture for most spiritual travelers from the high Himalayas when journeying to the vast open planes of Northern India. Almost everyone, who has the chance will stop there, drink the water, join their palms and with open eyes wish for the best possible outcome for their lives. The important Indian master Padmasambhava describes the Spring of Enlightenment as a place where flowers bloom even in the midst of winter, hinting that our inner source of awakening can unfold the beauty of kindness and insight, even in the midst of confusion. In this way visiting a sacred place forms the auspicious circumstance for awakening our inner timeless qualities.
LEVEKUNST art of life received a letter from the Norwegian Dorje Phuntsok, which we are happy to share, because of the importance of the Spring of Awakening, known among the Tibetan people as Chumig Changchub.
In Karma Phuntsok’s words: I have just started a project to restore the small temple at Chumig Changchub and was hoping you could share these news. The temple was flattened in the recent earthquake and needs to be restored in order to protect the site long term. It will not be a big fancy golden temple, but something made from local materials, using local labour and quake durable.
The supreme place of blessing, the Spring of Awakening, Chumig Changchub, is located half way between Kathmandu and Pokhara in the Mahabharata range, overlooking Daman in the Noble Land of Nepal. The importance of the site cannot be overstated. Padmasambhava, the second Buddha meditated there on the way to Tibet. One can still see a Kilaya mark in stones in the spring which gives the site it’s name, believed to have been left there by Padmasambhava himself, when he was binding protectors under oath. Whilst staying there, he blessed the site for future practitioners, and the blessing is felt there, strongly, by those with faith in Padmasambhava.
The site is not only sacred to the followers of Padmasambhava. Newari yogis from Nepal have been going there for hundreds of years due to the site being associated with the tantric buddha Vajrakilaya.
The massive earth earthquake which devastated Nepal, April the 25th 2015, destroyed the small temple on the site.
The temple itself had been build by Lama Rigzin Rinpoche, who has stayed there in retreat for over thirty years. He has completed many types of meditation practices, which is reflected in the non-sectarian nature of his teachings. A very humble lama, he welcomes every visitor and teaches according to their ability and level. His son Lama Wangchuk, in his fifties, has spent over half of his life in retreat at Chumig Changchub.
Also Choekyi Wangmo, a wonderful yogini, has been in retreat there for around ten years.
Whilst not being a practitioner, I have spent some time at Chumig Changchub and can say that it is indeed a place where the mountain becomes fragrant with blessings, and even for worldly-minded people, the possibility of renunciation, love, compassion and contentment become more than abstract nice ideas.
As we are now possibly seeing the end of the Buddha’s teachings, power spots like Chumig Changchub, are places for spiritual renewal. I find it is vital to keep the flame of Dharma alive in a world which seems to be plunging into further darkness.
With the permission from Lama Rigzin Rinpoche and Jampel Wangpo Rinpoche of Mindrolling, I have undertaken the responsibility of rebuilding the main temple. This we will do with funding from anyone who wants to contribute. The online donation link is here.
We will rebuild using local materials while sensitive to both the local environment and earthquake threats. I myself have been looking at different building methods that are relatively quake resistant. We will commence the work after the monsoon. It is too difficult, and dangerous due to landslides, to start anything before that. So for now we are concentrating on fundraising. Recently we visited the site and took the pictures you see.
It is my sincere wish that anyone, who wants to visit Chumig Changchub, can stay there and it is to this ends that I have undertaken this project. I feel great gratitude to anyone who helps this project in whatever way, be it by donating funds, sharing information about the site, or praying for the success of the project.
This was written by Karma Phuntsok, someone with some faith in Padmasambhava. May awakened mind flourish in all beings!
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