The Stupa: Sacred Symbol of Enlightenment is an illustrated account of the forms and symbolism of the Buddhist stupa as it has appeared in all Buddhist lands. It was researched and published to heighten appreciation for a symbol universal in Buddhist cultures and encourage practitioners to consider more deeply how mind and symbol interact to transform our way of seeing and understanding.
The text traces the development of the stupa from the time of the Buddha to the present in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Central Asia, China, Korea, Japan, and Tibet, with a section on the Odiyan stupa in California. It points out that the Stupa, empowered with relics of the Buddha and the enlightened lineage, embodies symbols that communicate directly with subtle levels of consciousness to activate the power of compassion and evoke the thought of enlightenment. The text is illustrated with two hundred photographs of historically important stupas. It includes an overview of the eight great caityas, the parts of the caitya as they relate to the 37 Wings of Enlightenment, and a traditional account of the "self-arisen" Svayambhu Stupa of Nepal.