Some images of “my” artwork at the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya

Back in 2003, I worked as a decorative painter at the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya at Shambhala Mountain Center–a Tibetan Buddhist retreat center near Boulder, Colorado. This was before the time of Facebook or blogs–and even digital cameras seemed to be a novelty. Thus, I was never able to really record the kind of work that I did there. Plus, I was in rather a haze, from having recently left my marriage and having dove into Buddhist practice and meditation full-time. So I just did my work, painting tiny decorative molds of auspicious Buddhist symbols and images.  Painting those molds felt very rewarding–plain and simple and pure. Which was just what I needed at the time. We were always in the moment, because at that center we were taught to see every action as a practice. Thus, we never felt the need to record our actions anyway.

I haven’t seen the Great Stupa since 2003, nor did I ever get to see my “artwork” installed on the columns and walls, but recently I decided to troll for some images on the web. Thus–to my delight–I found this picture of Sakyong Rinpoche and the Dalai Lama standing near one of the columns.

Joshua Mulder, the master sculptor and art director at the Stupa, used to tell me that working on the Stupa would accumulate great merit and help purify my karma for many lifetimes, and I often forget that fact. It’s so easy to get caught up in the obstacles of daily life and forget how one is truly blessed.

So I am so tickled to see these images. Even though I played only a small part in this magnificent endeavor, I feel thrilled and honored.



A close-up shot of some of the molds, can be found at

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