Kagyu Shenpen Kunchab (KSK) — The Kagyu Center for the All-pervading Benefit of Beings — was founded in 1975 by His Eminence Kalu Rinpoche to bring the profound teachings of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism to New Mexico. The small group of students received a resident teacher (lama) in 1981. The Venerable Lama Karma Dorje brought with him from Sikkim a precious text on the proportions of the stupa. He was accompanied by Sarah Harding, who had just finished a three-year retreat and served as a translator. In 1982 His Eminence Kalu Rinpoche returned to Santa Fe, inspiring his students to begin construction of the KSK Stupa under the direction of Lama Dorje and Jeremy Morrell.
Beginning with a mere $2,000, the project quickly gathered momentum. The Ven. Deshung Rinpoche consecrated the jewel vases, which were then buried under the foundation. Contributions were given by many people who donated time, money, and materials during the next three years of construction and created a wonderful group spirit.
Ven. Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche visited to sculpt the central Buddha statue. Various artists, under the direction of Sanje Elliot and Cynthia Moku, painted the murals depicting the lineages, deities and thousand Buddhas of the eon. In 1986 His Eminence Kalu Rinpoche returned, bringing with him a pearl-like crystal which had been recovered from the cremation of Buddha Shakyamuni. This crystal was placed at the tip of the blessing post within the spire. The consecration was completed on November 14, 1986 by His Eminence Kalu Rinpoche on his last visit to New Mexico. The center has flourished by hosting teachers of all the major lineages of Tibetan Buddhism.