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I am Andrew Fitts, gendok, founder and builder of the temple and now the primary caretaker.  Lama Rinchen told me that once I built a stupa I had a responsibility for life and couldn't walk away from it.

So here I am, looking after this website as well.  From time to time I have some inspiring thoughts.  I will share them with you on this site's blog.

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    My Story


    My desire to build a Tibetan chorten or stupa has been with me since I first encountered Tibetan Buddhism in my early 20’s.  I am 69 years old now in 2023, born in 1954. 


    During my first trip to Nepal in 1976 I received teachings from a number of Tibetan lamas and experienced first hand the rhythms of Tibetan life in the refugee community of Kathmandu. I felt a great kinship with these people and their Buddhist lifestyle.  I experienced joy in similarly visiting temples, observing ceremonies, meditating in monasteries, circumambulating stupas and spinning prayer wheels.


    Over the years I returned to Nepal many times. I established a clothing business with my wife, in part with woolen sweaters from Kathmandhu, becoming the largest US importer until the time I sold the business in 2000 to move to Kauai.  


    I took two pilgrimages to Tibet, one of the trips visiting Lhasa and walking around the holy Mt. Kailash.  The other trip I went to Eastern Tibet to Kham, to visit a number of monasteries as well as my teacher’s home in Gyarong.


    I also initiated and took part in a Tibetan resettlement program in Boulder, Colorado, helping 20 Tibetans settle in my home town and finding them jobs.  I have been intimately involved with Tibetan people and Tibetan teachers all my adult life.  I graduated from Chogyam Trungpa’s Naropa University in Boulder in 1982 with a masters degree in “Buddhist and Western Psychology.” 


    I watched others build stupas in Colorado and New Mexico and thought why not me? They represented to me the penultimate devotional Buddhist activity. I was going through a mid-life crisis and needed to do something more meaningful than being a businessman running a wholesale clothing company. I had lots of Buddhist connections, including Tibetan and Newari manufacturers in Kathmandu. 


    I ordered 108 copper alloy prayer wheels in two sizes.  Inside were rolls of paper with mantra written on them. The Swayambhunath temple in Kathmandu was getting a refurbishment and enlargement and I piggybacked my order on theirs via a Newari friend.  A Tibetan friend coordinated the rolls of paper with ink stamped mantra done by a Tibetan monastery.  Later I purchased three medium size granite stupas and two granite statues from a Newari manufacturer.  Lastly, I found a large size copper alloy statue of Tara to be the centerpiece in a shrine of her own.


    I shipped the prayer wheels to Boulder and tried to make something happen there, but nothing came of it.  My life was falling apart.  My marriage was crumbling and Kauai was calling, especially after I purchased some property there, a place where I could likely fulfill my dreams.


    I then pulled the plug on my old life and after two years broke completely free and landed on Kauai with property and money from selling the business to my ex-wife. I got the golden parachute and a one way ticket to spending the big bucks on a 30 acre property development with a stupa miracle in the middle of it.


    Over the years I became close to Lama Karma Rinchen, a Shangpa Kagyu lama headquartered in Honolulu at the Kagyu Thegchen Ling dharma center.  We became best of friends, traveling to India together.


    In order to fulfill the vision of manifesting a stupa and honoring Lama Rinchen’s lineage led by Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche, I set out to develop the 30 acres in Moloa'a. 

    The land allowed for 10 residential properties, a community I called ‘Moloaa Valley Gardens.’  At the center of it I built a Buddhist temple, created a botanical garden, formed a 501c3 non-profit foundation and got the County of Kauai to legally recognize it.


    My dream came true on Kauai, a deep satisfaction for me. To this day the temple attracts daily visitors and has been a welcome sanctuary for many.  To read the guestbook and see how people have been moved by their experience at the temple is gratifying.


    This web site exists mostly to encourage people to visit, and as a way to document the history of the temple, and the unique fabrication of the marble stupa. 


    I am encouraged by the vision of the stupa existing for future generations, imagining that it will give meaning and solace to many people yet to be born.  Who knows what will happen to the place when I pass.  Holy places ebb and flow over time, one era it may be forgotten and another a big upswing in activity.  The massive stone stupa will always be a reminder that something happened there, despite the physical condition of the temple.  There will always be a calling for those who wish to invigorate the place.


    Lama Rinchen, Jeremy and I in New Mexico harvesting juniper trees for making into tsokshing


    Lama Tashi and I after the second crane lift


    Lama Rinchen and I planting a bodhi tree


    My wife Prairie and I


    The camera man at the final consecration


    My Kauai family

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