There has been some buzz around the Buddho-blogosphere the past few days about the U.S. National Park Service planning to bulldoze a small Tibetan stupa near Albuquerque, NM. It was never clear how much truth there was to this assertion, as there didn’t appear to be any word from the NPS itself. But, no matter, Kyle Lovett of The Reformed Buddhist blog reports today that he spoke with a NPS Ranger from the Petroglyph National Park visitor center who said that the NPS will not be removing the stupa now or any time in the foreseeable future. Thanks for getting to the bottom of this, Kyle! Tricycle reported on this stupa in Anna Rocicot’s “Stupas Along The Rio Grande,” in the Summer 1997 issue.
The National Park Service in 1990 began acquiring the property of Harold Cohen and Arriam Emery as part of Petroglyph National Park, established to preserve the Native American rock art chipped into volcanic stones there. The move came six months after the consecration of the ten-foot-high stupa, which had taken Cohen and Emery eleven years to build on their property. According to Cohen and Emory, they lost their home and their battle to retain the stupa. Money they had saved for a future Padmasambhava Center was spent in litigation. Lama Rinchen Thuntsok of Nepal, who had aided the couple in building the stupa and had consecrated this Nyingmapa bodhisattva-style stupa in 1989, advised them to view the process as a lesson in impermanence and suggested they build a larger stupa. The park service maintains that the stupa has been moved off what is now park land, but Cohen and Emery hope public opinion will influence park service officials to protect and preserve the stupa.