Ten from Shambhala community dig in, protect stupa from High Park fire

Ten from Shambhala community dig in, protect stupa from High Park fire
Denver Post • Jessica Fender • July 28, 2011 3:24 PM

RED FEATHER LAKES — Austin Hennigan hadn’t planned to come back to the Buddhist community at the Shambhala Mountain Center this season, but after months of “just floating” from place to place, he returned just in time to protect his home.

“It just happened I was here with the skills needed,” said Henningan, who was born into the group that’s nestled into the Roosevelt National Forest.

Several years ago, Hennigan became a volunteer fire fighter in Crestone. On Thursday, the growing High Park fire northwest of Fort Collins jumped the natural barrier of the Cache la Poudre River, southeast of the Shambhala Center.

On Friday, it doubled in size to 200 acres.

While the blaze is at least 6 miles away from center — a busy meditative retreat site and home to the the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya, the largest Buddhist temple in North America — the community has drawn on its own resources to protect itself.