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Sacred Space

February 26, 2015

Ever had that time in life when you stopped for a second from the rat race and thought, “Is this it….?” Then came this moment when with a deep sigh you let go of the searching…the seeking and in the breath that followed you found respite…rejuvenation…your bliss. It is you can create that Sacred Space with-in where nothing can touch you, not even you!

The environment does make a difference and my visit to Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens took me to my Sacred Space over and over again, like getting reacquainted with our true nature~*~ peaceful, loving, joyous, abundant…

From being a practically bare land to becoming a beautiful 1-kilometre trail through regenerated rainforest, a place where visitors can be at one with nature and enjoy the abundant birdlife, beautiful water-sculpted feature rocks and rare species of wildlife is the best description for the rainforest walk that forms an integral part of The Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens that feel like a faraway magical place but are very much a reality.

Owned by Naren and Sono King, the ‘Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens’ is committed to local involvement that enhances the community and the lives of others. In partnership with Rainforest Rescue, over 5000 trees have been planted since mid 2006.

The 1 kilometre walk has been completely planted by members of the community and is aimed at restoring the indigenous plants and wildlife of this area. Be at one with nature and enjoy abundant birdlife, water sculpted feature rocks and rare species of wildlife. ‘Don’t forget to look up, you may see a koala!’

Not for profit organisation Rainforest Rescue has been protecting and restoring rainforests in Australia and internationally since 1998 by providing opportunities for individuals and businesses to Protect Rainforests Forever.

On the grounds of Crystal Castle, Rainforest Rescue is helping to re-establish The Big Scrub that was once the largest expanse of subtropical rainforest in Australia, extending over 75,000 hectares between Byron Bay, Ballina and Lismore.

The Big Scrub is the most diverse ecosystem in New South Wales supporting 28 threatened species of flora and 22 species of fauna. With only 1% of the Big Scrub remaining, planting rainforest to restore the Big Scrub is vital for their survival.

The Shambhala Gardens open a mystical door into legend, history and spirit with sacred statues and enormous crystals dotted throughout the gardens.

A guided meditation at the Blessing Buddha, the bamboo walk, the beautiful koi pond and the Peace Fountain all add to being one with our true spirit.

Since ancient times crystals have been used in many traditions and cultures not only as beautiful adornments, but also as charms and talismans, in healing, ceremony and divination.

These private botanical gardens filled with extraordinary crystals, sub-tropical plant life and daily experiences for all ages provide the visitors with a uniquely fulfilling experience.

Greeted at the entry with a beautiful endearing welcoming smile from a staff member, the ticket includes:

Rare and amazing, giant crystals & fossils throughout, dating back 500 million years.

The botanical “Shambhala” Gardens and rainforest spread across 5 hectares of lush flora and fauna, including walks, sculptures, deities, contemplation spaces, a sacred labyrinth, and the largest stone Blessing Buddha in Australia.

Wander the ‘Buddha Walk’ for a unique experience. This half kilometre walk offers spectacular views of Byron’s hinterland encompassing monolithic crystal pieces, spectacular gardens, mystic statues, a bamboo walk, and terraced lawns with plenty of shaded spots to sit and reflect.

The amazing statues are hand carved from volcanic rock from Gunung Merapi (mountain of fire). This is the same stone used to carve the famous Buddhist monument Borobudur in Java, Indonesia.

You discover:

Blessing Buddha – sitting on his lotus this amazing statue is almost 4 metres high and weighing 14 tonne.

Buddha’s Lotus Mosaic – by Turiya Bruce

Amethyst Gateway

Castle Sculpture and dragon – by Steve the Sandman

Lakshmi – Goddess of Abundance – 3.5 metres high.

Ganesh – God of new beginnings, More than 2 metres high

Garuda & Vishnu – Garuda who represents honesty and the preserver of truth. On his shoulders rides Vishnu, the God of love and saviour of the world.

Nandi – The Lord of Joy and vehicle of Shiva

Avalokiteshvara – The Buddha of Compassion

In a spontaneous gesture the Crystal Castle visitors have been making coin offerings on the statues. These are collected and sent to a Tibetan Kindergarten in Northern India to help preserve the passing down of Tibetan culture.

Labyrinth: Referred to as A Walk of Spiritual Reflection, the labyrinth can be used simply as a peaceful walk or as an opportunity to quietly reflect and allow the space for an answer to arise. A suggestion is for the walker to hold a question in their mind whilst allowing themselves to be receptive or ‘invite in’ guidance.

In the Middle Ages an eleven-circuit labyrinth design divided into four quadrants became popular. It was often found in Gothic Cathedrals but over time many of these eleven-circuit designs were destroyed or intentionally removed. The most famous labyrinth still in existence today is at Chartres Cathedral near Paris. It’s labyrinth was built around 1200 AD.

Created in 2000, the Crystal Castles labyrinth is based on this same design. The walker meanders through each of the four quadrants several times before reaching the goal. Expectancy is created as to when the center will be reached. At the center is a rosette design that has a rich symbolic value including that of enlightenment.

This amazing place has been the site for wedding ceremonies and solstice rituals with its mystical setting and rose quartz flower of life at the center.

Damanhur Spiral: This spiral of stones and crystals is connected to the stone spirals and labyrinths that live in the Sacred Woods Temple of Damanhur (pictured below) through a small crystal that has been charged with joy and positive thoughts.

The spirals are in turn connected to the Temples of Humankind, dug under the mountain that hosts these stone circuits in the woods. All together, they form an extensive book of knowledge used to reawaken the divine essence present in each individual.

The spiral form invites you, with its pull to always enter deeper into ourselves, to search for the inner room that holds the responses to our most spiritual questions.

Kalachakra Stupa for World Peace. The Dalai Lama blessed this project and it is the only Buddhist Stupa of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. A stupa is a sacred monument built by the Tibetan Buddhists to represent universal divinity. These intricate structures are assembled under the precise guidance of a Tibetan Lama and every part of the design is endowed with special significance. Inside is a treasury filled with sacred objects and at the heart of the structure is the Tree of Life, a wooden pole covered with thousands of mantras written in gold.

Symbolic of community strength and interdependence, Tibetans believe that great benefit can be gained from walking clockwise around a stupa. Indeed, the mere sight of a stupa is said to put one in touch with one’s own innate goodness, inspiring compassion, kindness and thus ultimately good karma.

The stupa at the Crystal Castle is a Kalachakra Stupa, a rare type of stupa with an unusual spherical body that symbolises the energy cycle and the essential structure of the cosmos. It is created to protect against negative energies using symbolism from the Kalachakra Tantra and is known as the World Peace Stupa. It is specifically for restoring balance to the Earth in times of war, conflict and environmental destruction.

Unique in the Southern Hemisphere and only the seventh in the world, this amazing structure has been engineered to last 1000 years. The contents of its treasury, items of value to the giver and symbolic of community wellbeing, will travel into the future like a spiritual time capsule – a potent prayer for peace and prosperity.

This stupa is very important for Byron Bay, the whole of Australia and for world peace,’ said Gen Lama Thupten Phuntsok, Gyuto Monk elder who guided the construction.

According to tradition, Buddha taught the Kalachakra Tantra more than 2800 years ago in present-day Andhra Pradesh, southern India. The king of Shambhala and his entourage of 96 minor rulers were the main audience and preserved these teachings in their country.

The word ‘kalachakra’ means cycles of time, and the Kalachakra system presents three such cycles – external, internal and alternative. The external and internal cycles deal with time as we normally know it, on a macro- and microcosmic level.

Normally the passage of time exercises
a debilitating effect but the teachings of the alternative cycles consist of a graded series of meditative practices that serve as a way to gain liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth.

Four unique and amazing daily experiences take you on a journey of fascination and relaxation:

* The Shambhala Gardens Tour runs for 45 minutes and deepens your enjoyment and appreciation of the spectacular gardens and all of the treasures they have to offer.

The Shambhala Gardens have evolved over the past ten years into a truly exquisite wonder of nature and art, designed and created by a passionate team. Every crystal, statue and landmark has been placed with a specific purpose.

The Shambhala Gardens Tour guides you on a fascinating journey through the gardens, opening a mystical door into legend, history and spirit. Your guide will share detailed information about each of the sacred statues and enormous crystals dotted throughout the gardens.

You learn how to walk the sacred labyrinth and all about the Kalachakra World Peace Stupa, the bamboo walk, the beautiful koi pond and the Peace Fountain.

* The Crystal Experience at Crystal Castle gives us an introduction to how crystals form and how and why they work. We learn how to tune into and choose crystals for others and ourselves, how to work consciously with them and set powerful intentions, and how to cleanse them. The Crystal Experience empowers us to start our own journey of exploration into crystals and their many amazing properties.

* The Music of the Plants from Damanhur is a profoundly moving and memorable experience, an expression of the innate intelligence of the plant kingdom. We receive a fascinating introduction to the history and research involved and have an opportunity to sit in relaxation and listen to the plants play their music.

Nothing within us stays the same, from the first moment we hear a plant express its unique vibration through music and connect to the deep beauty of nature in a completely unimagined and often life-changing way.

* The Crystal Castle Peace Experience is a time to be immersed in an enriching sound healing bath, a visualization meditation and sacred ‘Kora Walk’ around The World Peace Stupa. This is a unique Crystal Castle offering that deepens our inner and outer sense of peace. Be brought to a place that invokes our compassionate loving self.

With the ticket you receive you own copy of the Crystal Castle Guidebook. A comprehensive 128 page, beautifully illustrated guide to complement your visit.

The staff at Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens come across as a friendly, helpful, insightful team.

Upon being asked how it felt to work there, Ayla had this to say, “I enjoy working here at the Crystal Castle because of many reasons. I love the environment, the view and the freshness of the place.

I love the huddle in the morning. I believe it is such a great thing to get everyone together in the beginning of the day and touch base, re-connect, it is a chance for each department to see each other.

I love the soulful connection that goes on between all staff here….. The friendship and help and smiles between everyone is beautiful.

I enjoy the peaceful-ness we get in work and the complete and utter business and chaos as well!!!

I love the multi- tasking and the amount of different things we get to do in our workplace”.

John, “I have been here for a very long time and still find it to be a new and a more beautiful place to work in everyday”.

The Sacred space also has a children’s playground.  On the weekends and school holidays, complimentary face painting is offered to the kids. Slumbering contentedly in the playground the children discover Fireheart the dragon!

Enhance your visit by checking out the:

Lotus Café – The Lotus Cafe overlooks the Byron hinterland and beautiful grounds of the Crystal Castle. Including local produce the menu is fresh made daily by renowned local chefs, offering nutritious snacks, meals, desserts, cakes and organic coffee.

As an endeavour to lower the carbon footprint and expand on the castle grown organic café produce, an Organic Food Farm, has been created on the Crystal Castle grounds, which is harvested from on a daily basis.

There are an ever-changing variety of fresh cakes and sweets on offer. From muffins and scones to desserts and cakes all are freshly made: chocolate cheesecake, gluten-free orange and almond cake, citrus tart, pecan pie, blueberry muffins, chocolate hazelnut torte, blueberry and almond pie.

Aura Photos and Tarot Readings: At the Crystal Castle you have can see your colours and explore your aura. The experienced and reputable staff can perform readings and aura photography during your visit.

Be amazed at the colours of your energy field from the aura photography. The trained team gives you a mini reading of the glorious picture of you. The readings provide insight and guidance into your particular situation in life. The Aura Photo package includes your photo, a printout and a tumble stone.

The experienced Crystal Castle Readers offer tarot readings that are often supported with other modalities that include Astrology, Psychic and Palm Readings.

They can offer a visual door into your personal world, highlighting your true potential. Any life issue or question can be illuminated when posed clearly and sincerely as the cards reveal the hidden knowledge of your unconscious mind to the intuition of the reader.

The Tarots basic values are integrity, impartiality and respect. The practitioner’s role is to facilitate the client’s journey in ways that respect the client’s values, personal resources, and capacity for self-determination.

Take an enlightening journey as the cards tell your story through colour, signs and symbols.

The showroom and gallery offer an incredible selection of large and small crystals, crystal singing bowls, exquisite jewellery, books, music, prayer flags, gifts and more.

Here is what a few visitors to the Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens have to share:

Gail, “Crystal Castle is a short drive into the hills outside Mullumbimby, lush gardens, large crystals are everything. I did the spiral meditation walk, taking the time to ask myself a question before entering the path. I needed to touch the large crystals doted around the park. Then the labyrinth, which is bigger and a more complicated layout.

The Kalachakra Stupa for world peace is surrounded by pray wheels, I circled it three times for good luck. Beyond this is another large crystal set into the ground surrounded by smaller stones set into the concrete in a reflexology path. Off go the shoes and a painful and exhilarating walk over the stones energizing all the meridians of the feet.

Multi-coloured umbrellas are provided to use for the sun or the rain. The shop has lots of crystals and jewellery in many styles for sale.

The Buddha garden is the best garden to see, giant status of deities, Ganesh, etc where you can leave offerings or gaze at them, wander among the plants. The bamboo garden is very beautiful and a definite hi-light, the large Buddha statue had a once in its lifetime flowering lotus in the pond. The views from the top of the hill are breath taking”.

Jeffery, “It is my wife who was a catalyst to bringing me here today and Diana, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for it”.

Tina, “It has been an amazing journey through the different spaces here…almost like a deep look into my very own soul”.

Many a spirited souls decide to tie the knot at Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens.

Here is what a few of them have to share…

“We had a lot of interstate people who had never been to my hometown of Mullumbimby and our wedding really showcased the area and how beautiful and sacred this place really is. I have grown up with the Crystal Castle and over the years it has really turned into a fantastic and magical destination. Our wedding was the most amazing day! and we owe a lot of that specialness to the Crystal Castle.

Having our ceremony in front of the Buddha and photos in the garden afterwards gave our wedding a difference to the norms of traditional weddings. The statues, the plants and the sun going down over the valley made for great wedding photos. The experience was quite simply “truly amazing”, Melissa and Gabor Szolomajer

~*~

“We had a truly wonderful experience having our wedding ceremony at the Crystal Castle. We had been there for the first time two years earlier, and had decided then and there that when we got married, this was exactly where we wanted to have our legal ceremony.

We have both lived in India for many years, studying Indian and Hindu Spirituality, so the ambience and atmosphere at the Crystal Castle was exactly what we needed to feel at home. It was also very meaningful for us to be able to offer a prayer to Ganesh before the ceremony.

The peaceful and meditative atmosphere at the Crystal Castle was the perfect accompaniment to our ceremony and vows, which we experienced as being sacred and full of truth. To say ‘I do’ in front of such awe inspiring Buddha raising his hands in blessing was truly a real blessing and start to our life together!

I found the communication and arrangements with the Crystal Castle very friendly, easy and efficient. We were very happy that they could arrange a tab at the Cafe for our wedding guests to have drinks afterwards.

We thank you so much for providing us with such an amazing place in which we could conduct such an important moment in our lives.”, Prana and Hamsa Arnold

~*~

“Daniel and I had our wedding ceremony at The Crystal Castle on the 14th May 2010. We chose The Crystal Castle because is really was a beautiful sacred space to be in. We also wanted a private and intimate ceremony, and the Buddha gardens allowed for that.

Our son is two now, and he often looks at photos or the DVD of the day and says “Buddha Buddha”. Even being so young, I am sure he will remember that element, if nothing else.

The older kids loved the gardens and especially being able to escape to the park. It was a great interaction with nature for everyone. After the ceremony the guests were able to walk through the gardens and see some of the wonderful statues.

It was such a perfect day (weather wise) we were very lucky. I will always look back on our day with fond memories, and we both really appreciated being able to use your space on such a special day.

Many Thanks. Best Wishes”,

Katy and Daniel Andrews – Myocum, NSW

Besides supporting the local community, the Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens have been supporting the international community. International Community

Tso Pema Kids Garden Nursery School (Kindergarten)

Near Dharmsala in Northern India, where thousands of Tibetan Buddhist refugees live, a small kindergarten has been growing with the support of money raised by visitors to the Crystal Castle.

In June 2007, people started making offerings of coins to the statues on the Buddha Walk. Starting with Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion, and spreading to all the statues, over $6,000 has since been raised. This has allowed for the continuing growth of the kindergarten, now with 37 children, the employment of 2 teachers, and a local woman to cook all the kids a healthy meal every day.

More endeavours on this link: https://www.crystalcastle.com.au/about/international-community/

All set to visit the Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens and experience the beautiful space for yourself? Here is the website for you to plan your memorable trip there: https://www.crystalcastle.com.au

Compiled by Guneeta Kaur

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Guneeta-Kaur/172731216143088

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