Buddha Statue Brought to the US, Welcomed by Dozens in Arlington

June 29, 2008

Author: Ryan Kost

Source: The Boston Globe


Outside the Drikung Meditation Center, strings of brightly colored prayer flags rode each breath of wind, while inside, voices were raised in prayer to Buddha.

For Lama Konchok Sonam and the more than 100 people gathered at the Tibetan Buddhist meditation center, yesterday was a day of celebration. After 2 1/2 years of fund-raising, Sonam succeeded in bringing one of Tibet's most honored statues to the Boston area, and they had gathered to welcome it.

The 600-pound life-size statue of Buddha called Jowo Rinpoche is a replica of a statue that sits in a temple in Lhasa, Tibet's capital city. The statue, made in Nepal, may be the only one like it in the United States.

Sonam said he hopes to create a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists who are unable to make the journey to Tibet for financial, political, or other reasons. He plans to move the statue to a new home when money has been raised to construct a building to house the Jokhang Institute, an organization Sonam founded recently that aims to preserve Tibetan culture and tradition.