Friday, December 15, 2006

Bodhi is online!

Bodhi: Land of Buddhadharma

Bodhi is a vitural island in the online world of Second Life dedicated to the teachings of Buddha. Bodhi is a public commons dedicated to Dharma and for the benefit of all. Although Bodhi is under construction, you are welcome to explore the sites, structures and texts found on the island.

In Second Life, Bodhi is here:
  • In Second Life, Bodhi is here

  • Bodhi can found on the web at:
  • The Bodhi Sim Blog

  • And the Bodhi discussion forum

  • The island takes its name from the ancient word for "awakening," for it was under the Bodhi tree where Gautama Buddha achieved enlightenment, an awareness of the true nature of life and the world around him.

    We ask that visitors to Bodhi treat each other and their surroundings with respect. Our project is an ongoing process so please feel free to come visit periodically. Metta

    Monday, September 25, 2006

    About the Milarepa Land Trust

    The Milarepa Land Trust is a non-profit group dedicated to the development of Buddhist sites and Himalayan content in the virtual game-world of Second Life. With homage to all Indo-Tibetan traditions -- including vajrayna lineages from Central Asia to Mongolia, China & Japan -- we build and manage temples, hermitages and other forms of rich content that are intended to engage Second Lifers with an expansive virtual experience, based on real-life sites and teachings.

    [above: Drak Yerpa virtual landscape]

    We exist for Buddhism's three jewels: Buddha (enlightened one, and everyone's Buddhanature); dharma (teachings/education); and sangha (community). All content is free, everything is open to all. We welcome volunteer labour, tier contributions, cash donations, moral support and feedback. Our members are buddhists, non-buddhists, explorers, yogis, artists and donors. We span several RL countries -- France, Isreal, Canada, UK, USA -- and our members generally love wide-open spaces and immersive builds.

    Current Milarepa locations include:

  • Drak Yerpa Tibetan Hermitage, Zoe
  • A mountain retreat for Tibet's greatest masters just outside of Lhasa. Humbly rendered in SL as part nature preserve, part spiritual refuge. Includes yoga ashram, assorted meditation sites, Maitreya temple, and the ever-popular Tibetan Buddhist Base Jumping Association.

  • SL Yoga Ashram, Zoe
  • Resplendent in the skies over Zoe is a three-dimensional mandala. We've launched an innovative yoga studio in partnership with SL's Real Yoga group (, dedicated to the enjoyment of all forms of yoga. Animations, video and other rich content to come. Uni Waves is resident yogi at the ashram and officer of both Real Yoga and the Milarepa Land Trust.

    [above: the Maitreya temple at Milarepa HQ]

  • Milarepa Land Trust HQ, Zoe
  • Freebies and headquarters for the land trust, located at the north end of Drak Yerpa, beneath the Maitrea temple. Check the protector chapels in the basement for RL temple vibe.

  • Tibetan Buddhist Base Jumping Association, Zoe
  • Come jump off stuff from the 700m high pagoda. Meditate on the temporaility of all things with a parachute or just jump and go splat. Free Terra E-Chute available on site. All Welcome!

    [above, Drolma Lhakhang in SL]

  • Drolma Lhakhang, Wakeley
  • A Green Tara Temple from the 11th century, uniquely well-preserved in RL and offering Green Tara's compassion and healing in SL. Our largest build in SL, graciously hosted by Free Tibet.

  • Chagpori Lhakgang / Medicine Buddha Stupa, Support for Healing
  • In partnership with Support For Healing island, this Medicine Buddha temple promotes meditation, healing and holistic medicine in Second Life. Free Medicine Buddha kit available here.

  • the Great Stupa @ Silk Waters Mountain, Livigno
  • Come visit this grand Buddhist stupa at the northern edge of Silk Waters Mountain. A fine rendering by Milarepa Land Trust member Simon Nolan.

    [above: Kang Rinpoche stupa on the crest of SL's Ice Dome mountain]

  • Kang Rinpoche, Seefeld
  • A SL temple devoted to Tibet's Mount Kailash (Tibetan: Kang Rinpoche), known to many as Mount Meru, a pilgrimage site and mountain refuge for all. Located at the edge of SL's largest protected mountain range.

  • Pemako Retreat, Rlyeh
  • Pemako is both a RL place and a sublime hidden land -- a "beyul" -- that reveals itself fully only to those with correct view. The extreme landscape and other-worldliness of this pilgrimage destination on the lush, remote south-eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau is the stuff of legend. This Second Life site, generously hosted by the Technopagan group, humbly invokes Pemako and its incredible history.

    tmp STUPA project
    There are a number of of sattelite stupas and small temples across the Second Life universe that are temporary installations. Usually 7-8 are scattered across SL, thanks to Uni Waves.

    Again, everyone is always welcome, all sites are public.
    Tashi Delek!


    More about the Milarepa Land Trust
    As in real-life (RL), fidelity and respect to dharma (Buddhist teachings) and yoga teachings is paramount. We do not role-play as geshes (learned monks with degrees from established tantric colleges ), rinpoches or proffer teachings beyond what we're individually able to provide in good conscience in RL. We're not here to evangelize or cloister true-believers. Besides, that's boring!

    Instead, the starting point is this: Everyone, yes everyone, has the grain of perfection -- the great perfection -- a fully-realized, enlightened buddha within everyone, and our development of Second Life content reflects the essential optimism of core dharma teachings. So weather we attempt to re-build of an 8th century temple or launch a few monks sky-diving, the focus ultimately remains on this expansive vision, one that regards human potential with near-limitless possibility. (Heck, one can fly in SL, survive hunger, cold, fire, rez objects at will -- the abilities of an arhat or highly-realized yogi or yogini...)

    Get involved! You can help!
    There are a number of ways you can help, donate or become more involved in this not-for-profit experiment in virtual dharma and rich content. You can become a patron, a donor, a volunteer, a bystander -- whatever suits you best!

    If you would like to host a stupa or monastery on your own land, for example, we can deliver and build from RL specs. Our focus is Indo-Tibetan Buddhism and Himalayan culture in general, but we look forward to collaborating on Chinese and Mongolian projects -- the sacred Chinese Island of Puto Shan, Mongolia's remote monastery of Baldan Baraivan, obscure but important cave sites across the Himalayas.

    We accept, money, land and tier (land rent) donations. In fact, if you are a monthly paid member and either do not own land or have spare tier capacity to lend, we would most welcome any contributions! (Tier cost is a major concern of non-profit groups in Second Life, partially because grassroots groups can't compete with casinos and strip clubs for SL's traffic-based developer incentives, so make sure any extra land tier goes to a good cause of you choosing.)

    You can also volunteer. Are you a skilled builder with Buddhist sympathies? Are you a bad-ass scripter or animator who can't resist a good thangka? Come work with us to create what hasn't been done before -- visualizations, ambient sound sculptures, experiments with all the building tools SL has to offer. Again, contact Tenzin Tuque in-world about collaborations and commissions.

    Finally, please join the Buddhists of SL group for future updates and event notices. Or, for non-joiners of all persuasions, there is the Flying Monks blog:
    as well as the Buddhists of SL forums page:

    Finally, there is the Bodhi Island working group, a collaborative effort to launch a complete Buddhist sim in Second Life:


    Who is Milarepa Anyway?

    "Milarepa (1052 - 1135) is one of the most famous figures in Tibetan history. In his youth, he had been a magician, but having seen the futility of that pursuit, he became a yogi under the strict guidance of the translator, Marpa of Lhobrag (1012-97.) He left to live as a cave-dwelling hermit, and became known as a singer of many dohas, or songs of devotion and wisdom. Also an accomplished teacher, he attracted students who later went on also to found important lineages.

    His biography, in which he overcomes the adversity of pride and self-concern (which led to vengeful destructive acts of magic) to finally achieve enlightenment, has been told many times. [...] After years of self-imposed isolation to atone for the murder and mayhem committed to avenge wrongs done his mother and sister, he persevered in the practice of Mahamudra and the Six Yogas of Naropa which culminated in his achieving profound realization. He expressed that attainment in thousands of poems and songs he composed many of which Tibetans know by heart. They are found in The 100,000 Songs of Milarepa."