Who knew that a Buddhist community would be in Montana? But then why wouldn’t an international dignitary want to come to visit the
mountains, streams and especially the people of Western Montana? For those of us who live here, this is as close to Heaven as we may ever get. Montana has often been called “The Last Best Place” because of it’s natural wonder and the people who are drawn here to share their lives and talents.
American Heritage Magazine was one who remarked on the diversity of Missoula when an article declared: “Nourished by by powerful rivers and an equally powerful sense of its past, a town of cowhands and poets and bikers and professors distills the whole history of the American West–its hope and rapacity, its calamities and triumphs.”
The area around Arlee, Montana is especially beautiful as it is the gateway to the Mission Mountains and beautiful Flathead valley. In 2000 a student of Tulku Sang-ngang Rinpoche, a respected spiritual leader among followers of Tibetan Buddhism, purchased 60 acres of land north of Arlee and donated it to Ewam Montana.
Garden of 1000 Buddhas
The decision was made to build a garden on this site featuring 1,000 cast concrete statues, which will be placed in a 500 foot round garden connected by eight spoke-like paths to a 25 foot statue of Yum Chenmo, or great mother, at it’s center. This image has great meaning not only for those of this small community, but for visitors nationally and internationally who will come to find peace and solace in this garden of 1000 Buddhas. Even those of us who are not Buddhist appreciate the serenity and beauty of the garden.
Dalai Lama Will Visit Garden
The Dalai Lama is one of the world’s most recognized religious leaders and spiritual guides. His wisdom is sought and appreciated not only by those who practice the Buddhist traditions, but by millions of people world wide. He won the Nobel Peace Prize and has authored many books, articles and quotes on peace and serenity in life. His teachings of non violence have influenced many shifts in thinking towards peaceful solutions.
Questions For You To Think About
- What do you know about Buddhism? How did you learn?
- Would you travel long distances to see a spiritual leader that you admired? Why or why not?
- Did the description of the Garden with 1000 Buddhas sound peaceful and serene to you?
- Have you ever wanted to visit the American West and Montana in particular?
- Why do you think Montana is called the “Last Best Place”
You are invited to visit our beautiful state and experience the community of people who have respect for all.
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