The Secret Is Out!

Wednesday 22 June 2016

 "The Enchanted Cave"

has travelled all the way from Uruguay

and has finally landed on Australian soil!

We're expecting its arrival

any day now...

 

 Stay tuned and follow the journey

of the largest Amethyst geode ever discovered

to its new home at

Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens!

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The giant Shiva Lingam

Thursday 16 June 2016

Five years ago the Crystal Castle acquired a giant stone Shiva Lingam from the Narmada River in India, which is one of the seven holy places of pilgrimage in India.

It took two more years to find a matching carved marble yoni base to fit the lingam. Finally, the shiva lingam and its base have been put together by our awesome team with the help of Patrick Regnault from Interactive Landscapes, and it is now standing in the Peace Room on display for you to enjoy.

The Shiva Lingam stones of Narmadeshawara are sacred in both Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. The collection of these stones is passed down from generation to generation, and they are gathered on one sacred day a year from an area near the source of the Narmada River, about 300 miles north of Bombay.

These beautiful stones are polished into this traditional oval shape by the action of the river, then enhanced by hand polishing with a waxy butter, which gives them their unique gleam and texture.

Said to contain one of the highest vibrations of all stones on earth, the Shiva Lingam represents the blending of male and female energy, with the shape of the stone representing the male (knowledge) and the markings representing the female (wisdom). The stone is said to work with the breath and fluids of the body, creating a harmony in the body’s flow.

On a personal note, the two years following the arrival of this enormous Shiva Lingam at the Crystal Castle were memorable, with no less than 8 members of the Crystal Castle team falling pregnant within this time, so in our collective experience, the Shiva Lingam may also be used to enhance fertility!  

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Have you walked the Shambhala Gardens Bamboo path?

Here's some bamboo symbolism and inspiration for you, which next time you visit you can meditate on as you walk…

The Wisdom and Symbolism of Bamboo

Bamboo is the most popular plant in China, and it is said that every village in Southern China is surrounded by bamboo groves. According to some sources, the drooping bamboo leaves cross one another, as if they are composing the Chinese character "An", which means tranquility.

Since ancient times, if a traveler writing letters back home includes a bamboo leaf, they are telling their loved ones, "I am fine, I hope that everyone in the family is enjoying peace."

Bamboo combines strength with flexibility and symbolises the ability to cope with adversity and still stand strong, stable and grounded.

When the storm comes, bamboo bends with the wind. When the storm ceases, it resumes its upright position.

It has the perfect balance of grace and strength, the Yin and the Yang.

Bamboo is used in every phase of Chinese living, yet it needs very little care to grow and flourish, symbolising the beauty of simplicity and of living a simple life.

It also symbolises respect.

The young branches at the top of the bamboo trunk will not grow at the same angle as the older branches below, in order to allow sunlight for their elders. When the young shoots emerge from the roots, they are under the shade of the older bamboo branches. Such a spirit reflects the young respecting the old as well as the old protecting the young. 

 

Click here to read about some of the many things bamboo is used for....

 Image via @worldnomads

  • By Crystal Castle

The Legend of Lakshmi

Tuesday 17 May 2016

During your visit, one of the sacred statues you will visit as you wander through the Shambhala Gardens is the beautiful goddess Lakshmi. 

Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of fortune and prosperity, wisdom and fertility, generosity and courage. She is the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm.

She is always shown with the lotus. Rooted in the mud, but blossoming above the water, completely untainted by the mud, the lotus represents purity and spiritual perfection that rises above worldy contamination.

Lakshmi’s four hands symbolise dharma (the path of right living, the root of which is compassion), karma (desires), artha (wealth) and moksha (liberation from the cycle of birth and death).

Lakshmi is the household goddess of most Hindu families and a favourite of women.
In Hindu tradition, Diwali, the festival of lights, is a particular time to honour Lakshmi.
People will put small oil lamps outside their homes in the hope that Lakshmi will come to bless them.

In Bengal, Lakshmi is worshipped during the brightest night of the year, a night in Autumn when the moon is full. It is believed that she showers wealth on this night.

She descends to earth on her mount, the great white owl, and takes away the darkness of poverty, stagnation, anger and laziness from our lives.

The story of Lakshmi’s birth begins when the minor gods were racing the demons to find the nectar of immortality (amrit). They decided to churn the oceans for the amrit. In the midst of the waves a sublimely beautiful goddess appeared.

Lakshmi emerged standing on a fully blossomed lotus, wearing a lotus garland and holding a lotus in her hand.

She was smiling and all who looked upon her were astounded by her radiance. The sages began reciting hymns in praise of her. The elephants sprinkled sacred holy Ganga water on the goddess and bathed her.

As soon as the gods saw Lakshmi, they fell in love with her beauty and grace.
Lakshmi chose Vishnu as her consort, adorning him with her lotus garland.

Lakshmi embodies all the beautiful and bountiful aspects of nature and serves to remind us of the abundance of life’s blessings.

Take a moment to feel the presence of Lakshmi's qualities and visualise drawing them into yourself and your life. Take them with you as you walk through your day. 

Blessings from the Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens Team. 
 

  • By Crystal Castle

Buddhist monks of Tibet

from the Ganden Jangtse Monastery

are visiting the Crystal Castle

from Wednesday 6th to Sunday 10th January
 

From Wednesday 6th to Sunday 10th of January, we are blessed to have three Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Ganden Jangtse Monastery visiting. They have been brought to Australia by dear friend of the Crystal Castle, Tibetan musician Tenzin Choegyal.

Geshe Jampa, Phintsok and Tsundue will be holding a chanting meditation each morning from 10.30 am - 11 am. Then throughout each day they will create a sacred sand mandala, one of the most beautiful artistic creations you can imagine watching unfold.

Come and be touched by the peaceful presence of the monks!  

  • By Crystal Castle

Special Guest Tenpa Dugdak visits Crystal Castle

on Saturday 12th December 2015

for an intimate chat & presentation of his book

'Dear Dalai Lama: Letters from Australians'

11:30am to 12:30pm

'Dear Dalai Lama: Letters from Australians' is a beautiful book lovingly conceived and compiled by Tenpa Dugdak as a special tribute for His Holiness' 80th birthday this year.

The book was published in association with the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies on the occasion of His Holiness’ 80th birthday (celebrated on 6 July worldwide) and was officially launched at NSW Parliament on 4 August by former Greens leader Dr Bob Brown. Tenpa presented the book to His Holiness and gave a profound and historical speech in Dasa recently.   

Tenpa Dugdak was born in the town of Sok in Kham province, twelve hours north-east of Lhasa. When Tenpa was four his mother decided to flee Tibet to be with his father, who had escaped the year before. It took 30 days to cross the Himalayas and they travelled mostly in the darkness to avoid being seen by the Chinese troops.

At the age of six he was sent to a Tibetan Homes boarding school in Mussoorie, India and was taught the Tibetan language, Buddhism and the history Tibetan culture. His mother died when he was a little boy. Tenpa moved to Australia with his father and his two sisters in 2002. He now lives in Sydney. With his partner, Karen, he started ‘the Tibet effect’ movement, to document and further the positive impact of the Tibet movement on humanity on every level.   

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Day of the Dead 2015

Monday 26 October 2015

 

The 9th annual Day of the Dead celebration

will be held on Sunday 8th November

at Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens

Free entry to the Crystal Castle from 3.30pm on the day


The Natural Death Care Centre is delighted to be holding its annual Day of the Dead event at the Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens again this year. After such an extraordinary day last year, everyone who participated in the organisation from both sides feels it is perfect for this popular and meaningful local community event, now in its ninth year.   

“We offer this event as part of our ongoing cultural change, to bring death, dying and loss back into our own hands and hearts. As individuals and as community we are all touched by loss, and we see the need for people to honour and remember those they have loved who have died, recently or a while ago, without the shock or the rawness of the funeral. We offer this day towards healing and acceptance. Death is the natural and sacred end of our lives, and those we love are always a part of our lives as they live on in our hearts.” 

Click here for full details of the event. 

  • By Crystal Castle

Special Guests for Peace Weekend

Wednesday 16 September 2015

This weekend we'll be honouring International Peace Day at Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens 

with three days of workshops and presentations to inspire and enrich your spirit. 

 

Saturday 19th September to Monday 21st September 

Featuring special guests Ruth Rich & James Aspey, aka Voiceless:365


Saturday 19th September 

 

12.00pm The Magic of NOW

~ for Children 8 - 12 years ~

 

1.30pm Everyday Meditation - The Simple Path to Happiness

~ for adults ~

Facilitated by Ruth Rich

 

3.10pm - Peace Experience featuring Music of the Plants

Facilitated by Matty Rainbow

 


Sunday 20th September

 

1.30pm - "Increase the Peace"

presented by peace activist James Aspey, aka Voiceless:365

 

3.10pm - Peace Experience featuring Music of the Plants

Facilitated by Matty Rainbow

 


Monday 21st September

 

11.00 am Peace Meditation & Collective 'Kora'

at the World Peace Stupa

 

1.30pm - "Increase the Peace"

presented by James Aspey

 

3.10pm - Peace Experience featuring Music of the Plants

Facilitated by Seriya Cutbush

Click here for full workshop and presentation details...

  • By Crystal Castle

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