Our first meditation and retreat shelter is up!
Thanks to the generosity and hard work of our members
We still have a long way to go, please continue to support our projects
ABOUT OUR PROJECT
“In horror of death, I took to the mountains. Meditating again and again on the uncertainty of the hour of death, I captured the fortress of the deathless unending nature of mind. Now all fear of death is done and gone.” –Jetsun Milarepa
“Not all men are called to be hermits, but all men need enough silence and solitude in their lives to enable the deep inner voice of their own true self to be heard at least occasionally. When that inner voice is not heard, when man cannot attain to the spiritual peace that comes from being perfectly at one with his own true self, his life is always miserable and exhausting. For he cannot go on happily for long, unless he is in contact with the springs of spiritual life which are hidden in the depths of his own soul. If man is constantly exiled from his own home, locked out of his own spiritual solitude, he ceases to be a true person.” –Thomas Merton
Aspiring to follow the tradition of the “Practice Lineage” transmitted by Tibet’s most famous yogi, Jetsun Milarepa, as well as seeking to answer the call for sanity and compassion in an increasingly fragmented, frivolous, and turbulent modern world, MOCD aims to provide practitioners with optimal facilities and conditions for individual and group meditation retreats.
Buddhist and other contemplative traditions offer profound paths leading from confusion to knowledge, from alienation and suffering to freedom and creativity; but without applied and sincere practice, the most pointed and timely advice will lead to no result. It is not just the writings and sayings of modern and ancient saints that inspire us, but it is their authenticity and the indisputable qualities that result from commitment to years and decades of diligent, sustained, and transformational practice. As Milarepa sang, “In this sacred ground of solitary retreat, I, Milarepa, keep to my practice.”
In the same way, retreat has been the lifelong dedication of our founder and teacher Lama Norlha Rinpoche. Himself completing more than 10 years of isolated retreat, he established the first traditional three-year retreat in North America, currently in its eighth cycle, and has overseen almost 50 total three-year retreats worldwide, as well as sponsoring many individuals in life-long solitary retreat.
Aspiring to follow this example, Milarepa Dzong has been blessed with land bordering the Smoky Mountain National Park and is an ideal location for hosting retreats for groups and individuals with an interest in the practice of Tibetan Buddhist meditation and yoga. And with our resident Lamas who brings many years of isolated retreat experience, students can expect clear, compassionate, and intimate guidance and instruction, tailored to the western mind and idiom.
MOCD is currently in the planning and fund-raising phase for the construction of retreat cabins. Several designs of varying levels of seclusion and access to amenities are planned, and donors for this project are enthusiastically invited. As Jamgon Kongtrul, 19th century luminary and designer of the Kagyu three-year retreat wrote,
“There is more merit in donating to someone’s retreat than in doing a retreat yourself.”
We aspire to design and construct retreat dwellings that fit with His Holiness the 17th Karmapa’s ecological vision such that each dwelling will feature compostable toilets, environmentally sustainable building materials, and alternative energy sources (solar panels, rainwater collection).
In addition to any monetary support people are inspired to offer towards the building of retreats, we are looking for building expertise, donations of building materials, and participants in the actual construction of the sites. Please keep us in mind and a part of your community.
It is from the open space of generosity that Milarepa Dzong has come into existence and is sustained—the complete gift of a life dedicated to the benefit of others that our founder Lama Norlha Rinpoche continues to give, the open-hearted donation of land and facilities by our founding members, the ongoing sponsorship of room and board for our resident teachers, and all the countless and unnamable acts of generosity by all those in our community.
Please join in sponsoring this opportunity for all those seeking a sacred space to deepen their wisdom and renew their inspiration to be of benefit to others.
Ways to give–
For more information on how to become a Milarepa Dzong retreat cabin benefactor contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Monetary donations may be made in person, through the mail or through our website and PayPal. You will receive an itemized receipt at the end of each year listing all of your donations: http://www.mocd.org/donations-2/
- Word of mouth: spread the word in your community to form connections with those who are interested in participating in any stage of this project or who will one day benefit from using the retreat cabins for their own retreat.
Please join us in this most noble aspiration to construct a stupa and retreat facilities at MOCD dharma center in Happy Valley, Tennessee.
Checks can be made payable to “MOCD.” Attn: "MOCD Cabin" 6231 Paul Boone Road, Tallassee, TN 37878
You can also donate money for the construction of the stupa by PayPal. You will receive an itemized receipt at the end of each year listing all of your donations.