Tibetan Gyuto Monks pictured at the Crystal Castle in 2011 for a consecration ceremony of one of the stages of the world Peace Stupa.
Tibetan Gyuto Monks pictured at the Crystal Castle in 2011 for a consecration ceremony of one of the stages of the world Peace Stupa. Cathy Adams

Capsule built to last

IT IS an 8m tall time capsule, one of only seven in the world combining millennia-old design principles with cutting-edge building technology and is built to last a thousand years.

Six Tibetan monks will conduct ceremonies at Mullumbimby's Crystal Castle this weekend, overseeing the placement of symbolic objects brought by members of the public in the capsule, known as a Kalachakra Stupa.

Crystal Castle co-owner Sono King is inviting all interested members of the community to bring along "something precious to them or something that represents a prosperous society" for the ritual designed to "bring balance to the earth and everybody on it".

"One of the main sources of power of the stupa is the coming together of the community and that the community feels connected with the stupa," she said.

"So on the weekend we're having a big ceremony with the monks and we're putting out the word to the community to bring things like pots and pans and hoes and agricultural implements - something that means something to you so you are always connected to the stupa."

Building designer and project manager Alok Eggeuberger is overseeing the operation and explains the technique employing high-tech glass-reinforced concrete.

"The proportion, every detail, down to the last millimetre is translated from the books - that why we have Tashi, he is a Tibetan architect and he corrected my plans to a few millimetres," he said.

"He said, 'this is not quite the auspicious number to certain scripted proportions'."

Tibetan translator Sonam Rinzin is travelling with the monks and says they have no problem reconciling tradition with technology.

"Buddhism has no fear of technology, in fact we think it is still quite primitive; as long as you have to press a button it is manual," he said.

"As so we're trying to get to the automatic mind - manual means it will disintegrate, automatic means developing mind and this is what we are saying."

He's a Tibetan born in exile in India, though he jokes his "dashing good looks" often find him mistaken for Imran Khan, and therefore considered Pakistani.

"But on a serious note, I am Tibetan and I interpret for the monks."

He says the stupa is a symbolic ceremony geared to restoring community and reversing the world's violence and anger.

"The bottom level of the stupa is first to make peace, so what we'd like is things like old guns, knives and swords - symbols of disarmament," he said.

"And then also bring things like agriculture implements, and pots and pans, gold and silver and grains because this is what you need to grow."

For more details about the event, go to www.crystalcastle.com.au.



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