IT HAS BEEN ANOTHER extraordinary year of blessings for the Crystal Castle and now there is even more to do, to see and to experience when you visit. Byron’s magnifi cent World Peace Stupa is half built, an extraordinary construction both architecturally and energetically. A unique spiritual monument, the very first of its kind in the southern hemisphere, the stupa has progressed from a dream to a design, to an awe-inspiring physical structure that is now emerging from the red earth in the Castle grounds. It is a Kalachakra Stupa, a rare type of stupa with an unusual spherical body that is specifi cally for restoring balance to
the Earth in times of war, confl ict and environmental destruction.
Engineered to last 1000 years, the base of this 8-metre monument is now filled with sacred objects, scriptures and relics, items of value to the giver and symbolic of community wellbeing. These items, along with the wishes with which they were offered, will travel into the future like a spiritual time capsule, a potent prayer for the future peace and prosperity of humanity.
Over the first weekend in December more than 800 people gathered at the Crystal Castle to participate in two of the most signifi cant rituals of the stupa construction. The myriad items to be placed in its treasury were blessed and empowered in an elaborate tantric ceremony conducted by the Gyuto Monks of Tibet. Grandparents and children, priests and surfers, Buddhists and Hindus all brought offerings from their home country, their particular spiritual path and their hearts.
Hundreds of obsidian arrowheads representing disarmament and huge numbers of rose quartz crystals spoke of our heartfelt longing for a loving and compassionate humanity. The day was deliciously warm and the amphitheatre ablaze with colour. Trestle tables piled high with offerings were physically connected via a rainbow cord — strands of coloured wool stretched over 200 metres — to the Tree of Life at the centre of the stupa itself. At various times during the three hours of the extraordinary ceremony, as the rich overtone harmonics of the monks’ mantras resonated through the terraces of the amphitheatre, Gen Lama the senior monk placed the ball of rainbowwool at the end of the cord under his robes, next to his heart. The following day another huge crowd gathered to help create the fi rst tangible layer of the monument. Items were passed along a spiral human chain — 108 people chanting ‘Om mani padme hum’ – to the stupa and then placed in the base. These objects are now sealed inside, carrying the intentions of those who offered them on their journey into the future.
A karmic contribution
Tibetans believe that contributing to the building of a stupa is one of the most auspicious things one can do in a lifetime.
The project has only been made possible through the generosity of visitors and members of our community. In addition to
the excellent karma involved you can see the range of benefi ts that sponsors of the project are offered on the Castle website at www.crystalcastle.com.au/peaceproject.
There have been exciting new additions to the Castle’s Shambhala Gardens. Inspired by a visit from Uncle Bob Randall, Aboriginal elder and traditional owner of Uluru, a Bushtucker Track has been created to honour the Indigenous culture of this land. Species along the track include
both food and healing plants from many of the nineteen groups that make up the local Bundjalung nation. Aboriginal artist Jeremy ‘Mudjai’ Devitt
has created a stunning mural for the track, depicting a powerful creation ancestor traditionally associated with the
Wollumbin area. The Rainbow Serpent brings positive energy and creativity as well as helping us access ancient knowledge. The handprints around the serpent
represent family and the concentric circles of white dots symbolise the meeting place. The Rainbow Serpent is bringing power and respect to the Crystal Castle where the people are gathering for the benefit of nature and all living things. Arising out of that meeting, multi-coloured leaves represent new growth, the ‘good medicine’ being shared and spread as visitors continue on their way.
Discover the Discovery Room
With a fabulous holiday program of informative presentations, inspiring DVDs and experiential mini-workshops, the Discovery Room is a place to expand your horizons and deepen your experience. Participate in a memorable crystal singing bowl meditation, or listen as the shamanic storyteller weaves wonderful interactive tales for young and old alike. Watch as artists create beautiful work before your very eyes or join in a group making an exquisite mandala using objects gathered from the Earth. Discover the mysteries of the Labyrinth and create your own three-circuit version to take home. Join a class in Ganesh Yoga, get inspired by colour in the Kaleidoscope program, or discover how to connect with and care for your crystals. And don’t forget the fabulous face painters who will turn your gorgeous children into ever more exotic elves, faeries, pirates and princesses. There’s something for everyone on offer at the Crystal Castle every day these holidays. For full details of the program please visit www.crystalcastle. com.au/experiences/whats-on/.
Book ahead for a personal reading
Over the holiday season professional readers will be available for Tarot sessions, supported with other modalities such as
astrology, psychic and palm readings. Please call and book ahead to avoid disappointment as these sessions are extremely popular.
Whether you are looking for a great cup of coffee, a tasty morsel or a fabulous feast, the Lotus Cafe will have something to tickle your taste buds. The panoramic outlook from the cafe’s terrace offers one of the Shire’s most breathtaking views and its handy location just above the Castle playground allows parents to enjoy a relaxed meal whilst keeping an eye on their children’s adventures. The food is all made on site, with daily specials, a delicious range of cakes and scones and a menu especially for the kids. Gluten-free and vegetarian dishes are always available.