Reflections on Volunteer Activity “Building the Great Stupa”

30 November – 2 December 2012, Khadiravana Center (Kundrol Ling)


Day 0 (29 Nov 12)

Writing to my teacher (Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche) tonight, I told him no matter how much rain or how hot it is, we will do the work for the Stupa. And from tomorrow onwards, we will build the Stupa. It’s such a wonderful feeling to be able to do this. The time has come for me to use my physical strength, not to do prostrations on the road or to circumambulate the sacred mountain, but to do labor work for the Stupa.

 Day 1 (30 Nov)

382135_378528142230986_822236514_nThe day was special with neither rain nor sun in the morning. At certain point, dark clouds were approaching, but they finally passed by and we could do the work. My teacher called at the exact time we were about to start the ceremony. It’s truly a joy to have his blessings. I looked at how dedicated the volunteers were. They taught me how much beauty we have inside our mind. I rejoice in everyone’s merit, which is such an important part of the Stupa’s history.

kris and others

 Day 2 (1 Dec)

We had more people joining us today. Almost all of us are not labor workers, but we put all our efforts in digging earth at the Stupa.



The Hua-Hin artists came to join us too. In their group is a former professor from Oxford. And there’s an American volunteer from Hua-Hin, who does his career related to computer. A 5-year old boy and an 11-year old girl from Kanchanaburi are very active in helping us, and they become stars in the event. The Stupa has united our hearts together. Friends from far and near came to help out and we did the work with joy & happiness.

 Day 3 (2 Dec)

studentsThis morning we had a lovely surprise: 70 students of Silpakorn University (Petchburi campus) boarded a truck to serve as our volunteers. They brought joy and laughters amidst strong sun. There’s no more worry about rain. It seems we finally came at the end of rainy season.

I prayed and made offerings to the Dharma protectors and land guardians in four directions. At the end of the day, we have dug all the nine holes which will serve as the nine foundations of the Stupa.


After three days of work by more than 150 volunteers, including expatriates from so many places, we have accomplished this much. What happened these few days is truly a miracle. Thanks and congratulations to all who join me in this very special journey with the road and goal combined into one.

students giftsDay 3 – last day of volunteer activity. I’m grateful to the teachers & students from Silpakorn University. You are like sunshine this morning full of warmth, enthusiasm and friendship.

Updates after the volunteer activity:

Day 4 (3 Dec)

533544_379778172105983_1730696480_nWe hired a machine to help with the remaining work of the digging.  The plan is to dig 1.7 meters. It’s not an easy work, even with the machine. Today we are thankful to Khun Siraphon (Too) for sending a survey team to the Stupa site without charging us.

Day 5 (4 Dec)

More digging work using the machine

Day 6 (5 Dec)

Holiday for the Stupa work. We celebrated the birthday anniversary of His Majesty the King. He turned 85 this year.

Day 7 (6 Dec)

More digging work. The work turned out to be difficult and complicated because the back-ho couldn’t remove all the earth. We had a new driver for the back-ho today. He’s more efficient and patient with work.

Day 8 – 10 (7-9 Dec)


Three more days for digging till the work by the machine was done. Khadiravana had a Tara retreat going on at the same time.

Day 11 (10 Dec)


We made preparations for a new set of workers to come and level the ground before we do lean concrete foundation.

Day 12 (11 Dec)


Yonten did measurements for all the 144 pilings at the heart of the Stupa.

Day 13 (12 Dec)


The workers came today and did a beautiful job of leveling the group. The work is expected to continue for two more days.


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