937-244-1961 | 2871 Heinz Road, Suite A | Iowa City, 52240 | sangha@milarepaiowa.org

Raising a Statue of the Buddha at Milarepa Buddhist Center


For the last month we have been working with Khenpo Choephel to find a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha for our Dharma Center. Khenpo visited Milarepa Buddhist Center several times in 2017 and 2018.   In February, 2019 Khenpo was enthroned as the abbot of Drikung Kagyu Rinchen Ling Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal. Khenpo has been very kind in visiting many Buddhist statue shops in Nepal on our behalf. He has sent photographs and provided guidance as to the best statue. We now have a statue picked out for the center. It is 32 inches tall.  Khenpo says that it is very beautiful in person. The statue will cost approximately $4200.  $2833 has already been raised for this purchase.  We want to give everyone the opportunity to participate in the purchase of a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha for the Milarepa Buddhist Center in Iowa City.  Please consider making a donation towards the purchase of this statue.  It will bring many blessings to our sangha, Iowa City our entire region. 

~a teaching by His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche

In whichever country one raises a statue or representative of the Buddha, it becomes just like a fertile field. Whatever seed you plant on this soil will bear fruit. It plants the seed of two-fold bodhichitta for all people in the country. By creating such a shrine and statue we accumulate the cause -merit, which will lead to the result of wisdom. Although our center is small the merit will pervade the entire world. Thus it is very precious. We are unable to directly see the buddhas. Therefore we are raising a statue as a support. Then we think that this statue is the real buddha and as soon as we think that, the real buddha is there. From the dharmakaya emerges the samboghakaya. When we meditate on a deity we receive the blessings of the samboghakaya. For those who are unaware of the dharmakaya and samboghakaya, the nirmanakaya appears. There is not the slightest difference between the nirmanakaya and the buddha. Whoever sees, hears or thinks of this statue will plant the seed for liberation and thus slowly in the future the wisdom eye will open. The wisdom that is able to find it’s own path will arise. This is the result. So through hearing, seeing and thinking of the statue, throughout future lifetimes, we will find our own inner lama, and wisdom will increase. ~His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche, January, 2009 


Since the time of the Buddha, it is entirely through the generosity of lay people that the sangha has been able to develop and flourish. Donations are a manifestation of the ancient practice of dana, or selfless giving, and are a vital part of making our work possible. We deeply appreciate everyone’s participation in this effort.  We do not consider any donation too small.  What matters is that the community is able to come together to put our collective motivation towards this purchase.