Photo by Rick Dondro

                                                                                                                    Photo by Rick Dondro

Buddha, Home Sweet Home

The shiny brass Buddha that now occupies a prominent stone pedestal in the back yard of the Nevada City Insight Center was a generous gift from our Founding teacher John Travis. John acquired the statue from a foundry in Thailand in the Spring of 2016. The Buddha statue left Bangkok packed in a sturdy handmade wooden crate and began its 3 month ocean voyage, touching US soil once reaching the international port of Los Angeles. Another couple weeks to get through processing and customs before heading up coast to San Francisco. Finally, an overland truck brought Buddha safely home to Mountain Stream’s parking lot, completing this 4 month trip.

Our next task was to move the 500 lb statue to its final destination…across a large grassy yard to his/her resting place on west side of the Mountain Stream labyrinth. It took an engineer to figure all that out! Rick and Ann Dondro managed the feat by rolling the Buddha on a series of logs, and then orchestrating the last part of Buddha’s journey by slowly and ever so carefully using pullies and wood to inch Buddha into place. What an extraordinary feat of mindful engineering.

After this Amitabha Buddha (considered a Buddha of the West) arrived and had a chance to settle in, the next phase was clear…our new shiny statue needed a sacred structure to keep him/her safe and provide access for people to circumambulate in prayer and contemplation. In the Fall of 2017, a local dharma practitioner and patron of Mountain Stream, Charlotte Xu Dewar, said “I feel we need a structure to protect the Buddha in this beautiful garden just like we are nurturing our own Buddhahood within.” Charlotte asked her dear friend and artist/contractor David Montignago…to design and build the temple. Within a few short weeks and with the help of willing volunteers (Rick Dondro, Tosho Henninger & Gabrielle Boulard), David finished this unique Craftsman-esque structure: our Buddha Temple!  

Now, there is one last finishing touch to be done. John gave Mountain Stream another Asian treasure he found in Nepal many years ago: a copper stupa. This will be installed on the roof top of the Buddha’s Temple this Fall. That will be the crowning jewel completing the temple project.

Our sincere thanks to the many hands that have cared for and welcomed Amitabha Buddha on its journey home.

We invite you to visit our backyard garden with labyrinth and Buddha Temple. You are welcome to come and enjoy this refuge with us!

May all beings benefit from the Buddha’s wisdom and heart.