Olmo Ling Temple Capital Campaign

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Message from Tempa Dukte Lama

Dear friend,

I invite you to join us in creating a permanent temple space in Pittsburgh that will serve as a sacred refuge – a refuge where everyone can participate in meditation and teachings to strengthen their spiritual practice and cultivate love and compassion for oneself and others.

My deep wish and aspiration has always been that Olmo Ling can be a safe place of refuge and harmony for the local community and the extended world-wide Bon community. My sincere wish is that here the community will have access to well-learned Bon masters and teachers from Nepal, India, and Tibet and learned Western masters. My wish is that Olmo Ling may serve as a place where we can translate ancient Bon texts into English – and hopefully other Western languages – so that these translations can serve as a resource for study and practice for all those who want to learn and deepen their practice. And the single most important aspiration is that Olmo Ling Institute can support Western students who want to train and become responsible Bon teachers and Lamas so that Bon can truly grow roots in the West.

Our current temple space has received profound blessings. His Holiness the late 33rd Menri Trizin, the crown jewel of Bon, has visited and blessed this space twice. He gave an empowerment and taught in our temple in 2011 and 2013. His throne – the golden throne of the Menri Trizin – is here and has been preserved. In 2019, we additionally hosted His Holiness the 34th Menri Trizin Dawa Dhargye Rinpoche and he also gave empowerments and offered blessings and teachings. I have taught at Olmo Ling every Tuesday evening for 13 years and have offered many weekend retreats. Many great Bon masters have visited: H.E. Ponlop Trinley Nyima Rinpoche, Geshe Nyima Dhondup Rinpoche, Chongtul Rinpoche, 7th Kundol Rinpoche, Geshe Yangton Lama Tashi, Geshe Nyima Kunkyap Rinpoche, Latri Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche, Khenpo Ratsa Tenzin Dargye, Geshe Tenzin Drukdak, Geshe Chembel Gurung, Geshe Chaphur, Geshe Lodoe Choglek, and Geshe Lama Rinchen Gyaltsen. We have also hosted Western teachers like Roshi Joan Halifax and Lama Surya Das.

We have a tremendous opportunity to buy the building we are renting and generate a lasting investment for Olmo Ling. This is the time when we really need your help. We have previously raised funds for a number of charitable projects – to build a public restroom at Menri Monastery, India, to support villagers affected by the earthquake in Nepal near Kathmandu in 2015, and to support the Humli community in my home valley through healthcare and education. But we have never run a campaign for Olmo Ling itself. This time we are deeply in need of your help, support and love for the future wellbeing of the Olmo Ling community.

If you share our feeling that having and preserving a traditional Bon temple space will be of benefit for future generations, for students who are practicing on a daily basis, and for future Western Bon lamas and teachers, please reflect what contribution you may be able to offer.

With my gratitude and prayers,
Tempa Dukte Lama

A Permanent Temple Space for Olmo Ling

The Olmo Ling temple space in Pittsburgh is the cornerstone of all our work for helping Bon flourish in the West and for our charitable projects in the Himalayan nations of Nepal, India, and Tibet.

Our current space at 1101 Greenfield Ave serves our needs very well. The main sanctuary can accommodate 40-60 people. This is complemented by an office space, kitchen, bathroom, pantry and porch. The location is easy to access and is close to the highway entrance. There is a parking lot and free street parking around.

Olmo Ling temple houses Bon statues, scriptures, and stupas to represent the Buddha’s enlightened body, speech and mind. This includes the complete Bon canon (Kangyur) of 179 volumes and over 300 volumes of commentary (Tengyur). We are honored to have thangkas of Sherab Jamma, Shenlha Odkar, Yeshe Walmo, Sangpo Bumtri and Tapihritsa painted by Tempa Lama that carry deep blessings and other Thangkas that we commissioned, including the large Bon Refuge Tree, the Medicine Buddha, Dakini of the Five Elements, and Du Tri Su. Olmo Ling houses traditional statues together with two large statues of the Loving Mother and Tonpa Shenrab made by local sculpturist, Susan Wagner.

If we buy our current building, the two additional floors would allow us to rent out space for income generation or to extend Olmo Ling’s vision and activities by offering e.g.
  • Space for personal retreat
  • Accommodation during teachings
  • An apartment for a visiting lama or visiting nun
  • Three third floor rooms to be rented out to healing arts practitioners.

We feel that it is important to do our due diligence and explore different options. Therefore, we are working with a realtor to also consider different properties in Pittsburgh in addition to our current building.

Special Teachings to Benefit the Temple Capital Campaign

We are humbled and grateful to have received the support of His Holiness 34th Menri Trizin Lungtok Dawa Dargye Rinpoche, His Eminence Menri Ponlop Trinley Nyima Rinpoche, and Menri Shedrup Khenpo Geshe Nyima Dhondup Rinpoche, who will all offering special teachings in support of the Temple Capital Campaign.

Read more about the teaching with His Holiness and the teaching with Menri Shedrup Khenpo Rinpoche.

Temple Capital Campaign Budget

A building inspection and structural engineering assessment conducted in July found that some building repairs will be needed. In addition, anticipated renovations include installing a kitchen on the second floor, updating the second floor bathroom, adding a bathroom on the third floor, and refinishing the wood floors on the upper floors.

Budget Phase I: $175,000

This covers the anticipated down payment, closing costs, and some building repairs.

Budget Update will be posted once the loan is approved.

Budget Phase II: $75,000

Phase II will tackle renovations, including some brick repointing, installing a kitchen and bathroom renovation on the second floor, installing a bathroom on the third floor, painting, and wood floor refinishing. When we first moved into our space in 2009, we relied exclusively on volunteer help for painting and interior renovations. Skilled volunteer help could help reduce the costs of renovations in phase II.

Olmo Ling is a United States 501( c )( 3 ) tax-exempt non-profit religious organization

All donations are tax-deductible

Levels of Giving for Benefactors

The goal of the capital campaign is to raise funds for a down payment and necessary building renovations either for our current building on Greenfield Ave in Pittsburgh or for another suitable building in Pittsburgh.

Gifts of $20,000: Circle of Sherab Jamma – Loving Mother of Wisdom.
   Name installed on a large plaque at temple entrance
Gifts of $10,000: Circle of Tonpa Shenrab – Founding Buddha of Bon.
   Name installed on plaque at temple entrance
    Linda Wellner, MD (matching gift); In Memory of Michael J. Smith; In Memory of Christopher Ingham Weiss; and four anonymous donors
Gifts of $5,000: Circle of Shenlha Odkar – Buddha of Compassion.
   Name installed on plaque at temple entrance
   Andrew Kaiser; Alma Largey and Sheila Goloborotko; Moira Notargiacomo; and seven anonymous donors
Gifts of $1,000: Circle of Sidpa Gyalmo – Chief Protector of Bon.
   Name installed on group plaque at temple entrance
   Lisa & Fred Berry; Debbie & Mike Conway; Mark & Phi-Anh Coors; Jim DelBianco; Thien & Dr. Silva Doan; Vicki Jenkins; Eileen Nadzam; Stephen and Mary Seymour; Tova Tarr; Alysia Tromblay & the Bon Future Fund; Bernadette Clevenger; Joe Zilincar; and nine anonymous donors

Raised to date: $169,318

We are in the process of loan approval for making an offer on the property. Please help us reach this critical goal while the building is still on the market!

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Donations by Check and Other Donations

Checks, cashiers checks and annuities can be made out to and mailed to Olmo Ling, 1101 Greenfield Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15217 (please include a note or write “capital campaign” into the memo).

To donate stocks, please contact Joanna at joanna@olmoling.org

If you would like more information, including financial records, please contact Joanna.