Nepal's New Eco-World Center For Peace and Unity Opens

On April 4, 2011, Trungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche, Buddhist Master and Harvard Ph.D., will preside over the grand opening of Lumbini Udyana Mahachaitya -- World Center for Peace and Unity, built as part of the international Lumbini Development Project in Nepal.

The Lumbini Development Project is a large-scale multinational construction project under the auspices and protection of the United Nations, with support of the Nepalese government, located at the United Nations' World Heritage Site at Lumbini, Nepal, birthplace of Buddha Shakyamuni.

The 48,600-square-foot 'green' structure, Mahachaitya, is the latest and largest addition to a master-planned community that envisions more than 40 Buddhist temples in different national styles. It was built by the United Trungram Buddhist Fellowship, a nonprofit organization Gyaltrul Rinpoche formed as a young man to further activities for the public benefit. Neighboring the monasteries of France, Vietnam, Germany, India, and the People's Republic of China, the World Center for Peace and Unity will represent friends and devotees of Buddhism whose communities or countries are not represented on the land by any particular monastery.

The universal and ecological design of the structure, combined with more than 1000 custom-made copper statues depicting the Buddha, his close disciples, and various figures in the style of the 7th to 13th centuries, considered the height of Buddhist classical art, lends itself to an atmosphere of serenity and simplicity, conducive to reflection and meditation.

Dharmakaya, Gyaltrul Rinpoche's U.S.-based organization dedicated to teaching the skills of mental and spiritual awareness, is offering a free 5-day trip to the April 4 inauguration that includes attractions in Kathmandu and Chitwan National Park. The winner will be a special guest at the opening ceremony of the Lumbini World Center for Peace and Unity. Registration entries for the free Nepal trip must be received by March 19.

Rinpoche's efforts to promote serenity and peace through meditation also extends to the United States where he currently oversees development of the Mahamudra Hermitage in the Hudson Valley of New York State. The Hermitage will be nestled on 90 acres near the village of Cragsmoor, in Ulster County. The Hermitage will offer facilities for both short and long-term retreats. It will also feature a teaching center for daily classes on Buddhist philosophy.