He's coming around fall 2011, or once the remaining 570 Buddha statues are finished at the Ewam Garden of 1,000 Buddhas in Arlee. That's according to Georgia Milan, coordinator for the Dalai Lama’s pending Montana appearance.
Milan also recounts how the planned visit came about:
In fall 2009, Gochen Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche joined a delegation before the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled political and spiritual leader, in Washington, D.C. The Dalai Lama, having heard of Rinpoche’s efforts to establish a Buddhist garden north of Arlee, called Rinpoche forward and asked when he would be invited to Montana for the consecration.
“Rinpoche, in his infinite wisdom, said, ‘When it’s done,’” says Milan. “His Holiness told him, ‘Let me know.’”
Other details, courtesy of Alex Sakariassen's reporting today:
- Raquel Castellanos with Ewam International says she hopes to finalize fundraising plans for the garden by April to keep the project on track for next year.
- With the Dalai Lama’s blessing, the garden will become an international peace center.
- Simone Ellis, a member of Rinpoche’s sangha, or local community of practicing Buddhists, says logistics will be challenging. "One of the last times I covered him was in Idaho,” says Ellis, who also works as a journalist. “Boy, those 10,000 tickets for his public talk went literally overnight. We really need a big space for him to do a public talk so everybody can go, and it’s customary to have the tickets be free. He doesn’t like to make profit off his appearance.”
Look for more in Thursday's Indy.