A sign that says to be careful not to step on ants, a temple in the mountains, a feeling of great peace. This could have been in Nepal or India, but it was in Brazil, more precisely in the Three Crowns, Rio Grande do Sul. A city that is 40 minutes of lawn. The Buddhist Temple of Three Crowns, or Chagdud Gonpa Khadro Ling, follows the Tibetan Buddhist traditions and was founded in 1995 by Tulku Rinpoche Chagdud.
Khadro Ling, the temple name means something like “Abode of the sky dancers”. And Chagdud Gonpa is the name of an international network of centers Tibetans whose origin is a monastery in Tibet, founded in the 15th century already Riponche means precious and is the title given to special teachers who have high spiritual attainment. S.Ema. Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche lived 1930-2002, was born in Tibet, passed the process of the Chinese invasion and escape to India.
In the 80s he moved to the United States, where he began to spread Buddhist teachings throughout the American continent and, finally, in the 90 years, settled in time in Brazil, where he founded the Khadro Ling. Today, his widow, Chagdud Khadro is the spiritual director of the temple and has the help of Lama Sherab Drolma, who was a translator and personal assistant Riponche.
The whole area of the temple and monuments are open to visitors, regardless of religious beliefs or traditions. It is a mountainous area and is only accessible by car or on foot (but it takes a reasonable fitness). Once there, the first instruction is to watch a video that explains more about the place and the history of Rinpoche:
It is a relatively large area. The first view is the Great Red Temple, la kang, which was built in the Tibetan Buddhist traditional style, with murals with images of deities and excerpts from the story of the Buddha. Inside the temple there is space for meditation. You need to turn off the phone, remove shoes and hat to enter the temple.
A little away, is the Pure Land of Guru Rinpoche, a beautiful and peaceful location. Open to visitors only on weekends, which are statues of the various manifestations of Guru Rinpoche (who was the Indian master who brought Vajrayana Buddhism to Tibet and paintings on the walls with the life history of other important masters). It is also there, a stupa, which are the ashes of the founder of Khadro Ling.
On the outside are eight stupas and two large statues, personally created by S. Ema. Rinpoche: the Buddha Akshobhya, intended to purify the anger and other misdeeds; and another statue of Guru Rinpoche.
Still, the Garden of the 21 Taras, 21 stone statues representing the female manifestation of enlightened mind, Arya Tara.
As in any Tibetan Buddhist temple, also there are large prayer wheels, which continuously rotate and full of prayers on paper rolls inside. It is believed that spreading blessings: the correct way to turn the wheel or go around it is clockwise.
Already the prayer flags are pieces of tissue where mantras and prayers are printed: are willing to see, to spread the blessings.
And finally, the House of Lamps, where both practitioners as visitors make offerings in search of blessing. You may not enter the house, to avoid the risk of accidents.
Admission is free and is allowed to take pictures of the external area – never inside the temples. There are also spaces that are not allowed visitors because they are the sites dedicated to people living there.
Visits can be made from Wednesday to Friday, from 9.30am to 11.30am and from 14h to 17h. On Saturdays and Sundays, from 9:00 to 16:30. On Sunday there is a meditation for Red Tara open to the public from 9 am to 10 am, to participate just get 10 minutes in advance, but you need to check the official website for possible changes in schedules because of spiritual retreats and other events held in the temple.
In my experience, it was a Sunday in January, month of vacation, it is recommended to arrive early, so the temple opens. We arrived at 8.50 and I managed to make the visit very calm, staying nearly 20 minutes meditating alone and then take pictures. But there to 11am, the place is already quite full, not all people are respectful as they should, which can disrupt a little experience.
Withdrawals not Buddhist Temple
When I was there the temple was closed for a retreat of one month between the most advanced practitioners. It was also why had not public meditation. According to informed me responsible, there are several types of retreats, from those aimed at people without any knowledge to those who require specific practices and initiations.
Those interested can register e-mail to receive information about upcoming retreats
Other temples and Buddhist centers in Brazil
There are several Buddhist centers throughout the Brazilian states, but not all follow the Tibetan tradition (there is also the Chinese Buddhism and Japanese). You can check which are the centers Chagdud Gonpa in Brazil that list. As for a list of all the centers in Brazil click here.