Ven. Chonyi and Ven. Chodron chant that all merit from building the Buddha Hall be dedicated “to dispel the misery of the world.”

Breaking Ground for the Buddha Hall

On Sunday, July 17, Sravasti Abbey’s Ground-breaking Ceremony officially launched the next phase of our project to build the Buddha Hall. Combined with our July Sharing the Dharma Day, the event brought old friends, new guests, and the resident community together to envision the beautiful temple and library space.

Starting out in the Chenrezig Hall dining room, several key participants in the Buddha Hall project shared their perspectives on purpose, design, and special features of the Buddha Hall.

Ven. Chodron highlighted the importance of a Buddha Hall as the spiritual center of a monastic community. Ven. Samten spoke about the special features of the building, including its construction from Faswall, a fire-resistant green product that is highly thermal efficient.

Ven. Sangye Khadro talked about the parallel project to construct a small teacher’s residence, Metta Cabin, where she will live. Geshe Dadul Namgyal addressed the universal need the buddha Hall will fill.  In these challenging times, he noted, the people need places where they can study and practice the ways to develop wise and compassionate hearts.

Ven. Damcho described some of the traditional ornaments that will adorn the Buddha Hall, and introduced sculptor Peter Griffin, who is visiting from France. Peter shared highlights of creating the beautiful Buddha statues for the main altar and how their presence “comes alive” as the work progresses.

After unveiling the exquisite Manjushri painting commissioned for the main altar, we re-gathered outdoors at the building site for rituals to bless the land and make it safe for the beings who will be displaced by construction. Then, chanting Buddha’s mantra, we entered the future doorway and processed to the future main altar, where everyone joyfully took a turn with a golden shovel to break a little ground.

Close to forty people took a turn with the shovel, but the real ground-breaking comes when the giant earth-movers arrive in the next weeks.

Watch a video of Ground Breaking Ceremony highlights.

Stay tuned for project updates! 

“My teacher, lama Zopa Rinpoche, once said that you can tell the karma of a project as to how well the statue projects go, or the art projects in general. And sometimes there are lots and lots of obstacles. Anything that can go wrong does go wrong. But with this one there’s not been a single obstacle so far.”

– Peter Griffin