Together we’ll build the Buddha Hall
A spiritual home for all beings.
$250,000 jumpstart challenge now to July 14
What is the Buddha Hall?
The Buddha Hall is the long-awaited temple space, the crown jewel of buildings at Sravasti Abbey.
No monastery is complete without its Buddha Hall. And while our beautiful log cabin Meditation Hall has served its purpose well for 17 years, it was always a temporary solution.
Now, with a resident community of 17 monastics and pre-Covid attendance at Abbey programs regularly surpassing 50 people, the Meditation Hall is just too small to contain all the Abbey’s Dharma activities.
When the Abbey opens up again, we expect an even greater surge of people seeking methods to cultivate peace.
The Buddha has been waiting for us, and now it’s clear: the time is coming to build the Buddha Hall
What’s the plan?
The Buddha Hall will be a two-story, 17,000-square-foot temple and library—a spiritual home for all beings.
It will support Sravasti Abbey’s daily meditation practices, regular sangha and chanting rituals, teachings, retreats, pujas, memorials, and special Dharma events.
The Buddha Hall will also contain a library, classrooms, and media room.
The Buddha Hall welcomes the sangha of the ten directions, and will be built to last for thousands of years.
February 2021 Update
What's Happening Now? - May 2021
The Buddha Hall committee completed the architectural and engineering plans and have met with our contractor, John Young, and architect, Tim Wilson, to go over them in detail. Now John will put together a final estimate and we’ll apply for building permits.
If all goes well, we will break ground in June of 2021!
The Buddha Hall Jumpstart Challenge is well underway. Read Ken’s letter for details. In a nutshell, three donors challenge the rest of us to double their $250,000 gift to get Buddha Hall construction in motion this summer. And Abbey friends are responding generously. Join them here.
Our contractor, John Young Construction, has all the detailed design documents and is in the process of getting costs from all the many sub-contractors and vendors he’ll be working with. And the sculptors, Peter and Denise Griffen, are working on two of the statues for the main altar: Ven. Mahaprajapati Gotami (the fist nun), who will be on the Buddha’s right, and Ven. Ananda (the Buddha’s attendant) who will stand on his left. They’ll start the central figure, a 10 foot Shakyamuni Buddha statue, after the first two are well along. We hope to have photos and maybe video for you soon.
The Buddha Hall is definitely going forward! And three generous donors have challenged us to jumpstart the project with their $250,000 challenge gift. While the Abbey’s commercial contractor finalizes his estimates, these donors want to launch the project with $500,000. Their gift takes us halfway there. Now they invite more Abbey friends to join them by matching that gift and doubling its impact. This will ensure that construction can begin this summer.
Deadline to match the challenge is July 14, Wheel Turning Day, which commemorates the Buddha’s first teaching. See the Buddha Hall donate page to help meet the jumpstart challenge.
In addition, Abbey friends are making merit (good karma) for the project by practicing the Shakyamuni Buddha meditation and accumulating recitations of Buddha’s mantra. We’ve surpassed the 5 million mark and are going for 7 million recitations. Learn more here.
Our building teams have continued to meet throughout 2020—architect, engineers, contractors, designers, acousticians, and others—to finalize construction details. As of February 2021, plans are nearly complete. We just have to finish the building-wide lighting design and finalize some things with the acousticians. The next step is for John Young, our contractor, to send the plans out for bid.
Conditions seem to be coming together for a 2021 start. See the update video (above) for info, check out the updated altar design (below on this page), and keep checking here for updates.
Hopefully . . . we’ll be taking the next big steps soon. Stay tuned!
Although the pandemic and related concerns have slowed the project down, the Abbey is still envisioning a new Buddha Hall in the not-too-distant future.
Vens. Chodron, Semkye and Samten met to decide the wall hangings, paintings, and so forth to put on the walls of the main hall, the Posadha Room, and the Tara Room of the Buddha Hall. With this information, the acousticians can design the acoustic panels to put in these rooms that will enable the teachings and chanting to be easily heard.
Vens. Tarpa, Semkye, and Samten are also working together with a lighting company to design the lights for the entire building. The team will continue planning and creating the causes for the Buddha Hall and we’ll keep you posted on our progress.
The Abbey’s Buddha Hall team—Vens. Chodron, Tarpa, Semkye, Samten, and Damcho—are still working steadily.
The commercial contractor we chose needs every decision made before he bids the job out to his sub-contractors, so our team is going through the details of selecting lighting fixtures, carpeting, and sound diffusers, conduit, and so forth.
Meanwhile, the artists who will make the three statues for the main hall altar are continuing their work in France where they live. They may begin to make the two side statues in their workshop this summer. The central statue of the Buddha is so large that the artists may come to construct it on site at the Abbey.
The contractor will give us an accurate cost projection by the end of the year. He’s prepared to build any time with just a few months notice. Timing, of course, will depend on many things, including the situation of the pandemic and the Abbey having sufficient funds.
We will build as soon as the conditions are right, although we can’t predict when that will be. We are certain, however, that this project will be even more vital when the “Covid time” is behind us.
Thank you so much for your enthusiasm for building the Buddha Hall. Your gifts are welcomed—both your offerings of mantra recitation to sustain the project and financial offerings to build when it’s time.
Thanks for creating peace in a chaotic world!
Meet the Building Team
Tim Wilson, of Momentum Architecture designed the Buddha Hall. Tim designed two previous buildings for us—Gotami House and Chenrezig Hall—and has created a beautiful, spacious Pacific Northwest design with Tibetan touches.
Young Construction Group, local commercial builders with over 25 years experience, will build the Buddha Hall. They’ve constructed many wonderful projects in North Idaho and Eastern Washington, including several churches. We’re happy to have them guide us through the next phase of the project.
Scott Pfeiffer at Threshold Acoustics will ensure that you can hear every word of Dharma spoken in the main hall. Threshold is also designing the audio-visual systems for streaming, Zoom-ing, or recording teachings and discussions from the Buddha Hall’s main hall and side rooms, including assistive listening systems for the hard of hearing.
Peter and Denise Griffin of Griffin Studios have started on the custom Buddha statues for the main hall altar—a 10 foot Shakyamuni Buddha flanked by his attendant, Venerable Ananda, and the first nun, Venerable Mahaprajapati Gotami, who was also the Buddha’s step-mother. Photos and video of their progress will be available soon.
The Sravasti Abbey Team includes abbess Ven. Thubten Chodron and Ven. Thubten Tarpa, who has overseen construction on most Abbey building projects, including Gotami House and Chenrezig Hall. Ven. Samten, who guided the building of Prajna Cottage, is especially concerned with acoustics in the main hall. Ven. Damcho is working on the altar design, and Ven. Semkye is involved with aesthetic decisions like choosing the lighting fixtures. They are supported by everyone in the resident community.
Check back to follow project updates.
By your effort, may the Buddha Hall become the spiritual home of all sentient beings
and a refuge of love, compassion, and wisdom
to create peace in a chaotic world.
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