The U.S. Jokhang Temple
A Treasure Being Created in the Boston MA Area
Venerable Lama Konchok Sonam is the Spiritual Director of the Drikung Meditation Center in Arlington, MA. A highly trained monk of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, Ven. Konchok Sonam is expert in both the theoretical and practical aspects of training the mind through meditation and Vajrayana methods for awakening.
Ven. Lama Konchok Sonam endured oppressive political and religious persecution, imprisonment, and a harrowing escape across the Himalayas, leaving his beloved Tibet and everything he knew and loved behind in order to achieve religious freedom. He realized his dream in 2001, when he arrived in the U.S.A.
In 2003 he was appointed Spiritual Director of the Drikung Meditation Center in MA.
In the fall of 2005, Ven. Konchok Sonam received the vision to create a replica of the sacred Jowo Rinpoche Statue to benefit his new country and the Tibetan community in exile.
He envisioned not only creation of a replica of the sacred Jowo Rinpoche statue, but also creation of a pilgrimage site – a U.S. Jokhang Temple – thus bringing the blessings of the Buddha Shakyamuni and countless other enlightened masters from the India, Nepal, and Tibet, to the United States.
In May of 2008, the Jowo Rinpoche replica arrived – the centerpiece of his vision of a U.S. Jokhang Temple pilgrimage site. It is magnificent, a blessing whose face brings great benefit to all who look upon him.
After acquiring the replica Jowo Rinpoche statue, Venerable Konchok Sonam procured a full set of the Tibetan canon of sacred texts, called the Kangyur (scriptures) and the Tengyur (commentaries) - the texts span over three hundred large volumes. A full set is required to establish any Tibetan Buddhist temple or monastery. He then commissioned traditional Tibetan craftsmen from the local community to craft beautiful, traditionally constructed cabinets to house and display them in Drikung Meditation Center. These sacred texts, and their beautiful cabinets, will become part of the U.S. Jokhang Temple.
Ven. Lama Konchok Sonam's self-sacrifice and dedication to this vision are truly remarkable. As his first fundraising campaign for the creation of the US statue of the holy Jowo Rinpoche, Ven. Lama Konchok Sonam recited a very precious Buddhist text over 100 times. Amazingly, each recitation takes 11 hours to complete. Lama thus chanted well over 1,100 hours of recitation! Every penny raised was put toward creating this precious Jowo Rinpoche statue (crafted in Nepal) and bringing it to the U.S. Ven. Lama Konchok Sonam was supported by the Tibetan Community and his dedicated western students in this herculean endeavor.