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Stupa visit well worth trip despite obstructing view

I will never forget the first time I laid eyes on Mark Zuckerberg and his family’s land on Kauai, but more noticeable on the first encounter was the infamous wall that surrounds it and the brown, visible structure that looks like a doomsday complex to me (why else that color?). The wall simply blocks any view of the ocean whatsoever, in my opinion, unless you are driving a vehicle with a hefty lift.

It was by total accident and by no means did I really want to see the property and the little blue signs that warn people not to trespass that look eerily similar to those Facebook icons. The wall was what tipped me off to the fact that it was indeed Zuck’s, and I got this sudden feeling that Facebook will be feeling the pressure after the possibility of a looming $5 billion fine was announced Saturday.

What even lead me to see the Zuckerberg property in the first place was my journey to experience the first Tibetan stupa to be built on Kauai that was originally consecrated with the gathering of four Tibetan lamas from the four main Hawaiian islands on Feb. 19, 2009.

A stupa is a Buddhist monument representing the enlightened mind of wisdom and compassion. This particular one was the first stupa to be built on-island, and certainly does not disappoint.

I am not a practicing Buddhist and, being originally from Colorado, I do not have any particular connection to the religion except for reverence and respect for the beauty of the temples and the religion itself at this point in my life. On Kauai, I have been exposed to many Buddhist sanctuaries and temples in my short time as a visitor here, opening my eyes to some of the culture and beauty I was never previously exposed to.

I was tipped off about the 17-foot-high marble stupa and had only seen pictures and read articles about the place. When I got there, the first thing I noticed was a pair of slippas left at the parking lot 10 yards from the stupa that is hidden behind a circular, thick row of bushes.

It’s said that an act of great merit is accomplished by those who spin the prayer wheel while thinking of the welfare of others, and I tried that feat, thinking of those around me in my life who could use some good welfare.

So after spending a little time to revel in the beauty of the place that is dedicated to the man who is credited with being most responsible for the spread of Tibetian Buddha Dharma throughout the Hawaiian islands starting in the 1970s, Kalu Rinpoche, I went about the labors of my day a little more at peace and comfort.

The fragrance of plumeria was prevalent and the prayer flags waved in the gentle breeze, feeding me with the wisdom and simple beauty essential to the essence of the stupa that is located in a peace park at 6780 Koolau Road in Moloaa. When you are leaving the place, you will get a better appreciation of the area, even if you happen to catch a glimpse of Mr. Zuckerberg’s ghastly wall and the brown structure.

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Ryan Collins, county reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or rcollins@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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