Chintamani serving the Dharma

The word chintamani comes from the Buddhist tradition and means ‘wish-fulfilling jewel’. A popular representation of the chintamani is as a brilliant jewel carefully protected between the hands of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, who holds it to his heart. The Bodhisattva Avalokitesara is the embodiment of compassion and the chintamani symbolizes the bodhicitta, the will to Enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. We chose this name for our retreat centre because we want to create a space in which the bodhicitta may arise.

Chintamani may also be thought of as a mandala, a sacred spot. We cannot enter a mandala without being transformed by it. A mandala is ‘a symbol of the harmony and integration of the different levels or aspects of our being’. Building a mandala is ‘taking any aspect of reality and surrounding it with beauty, it is an harmonic arrangement around a central point’. We conceive this central point as the Three Jewels (The Buddha: the ideal of Enlightenment; the Dharma: the teachings of the Buddha; and the Sangha: the community of human beings that follow the path to Enlightenment).

We would like Chintamani to be an open forum for interaction and dialogue between the diverse communities of the Buddhist world; thus we welcome members and teachers from all Buddhist groups.

Quotes taken from: Vessantara (1993) Meeting the Buddhas: Windhorse Publications.