Bodhinyanarama has been in development for over 30 years and the physical infrastructure is well established. This page hopes to keep you informed on ideas that are being considered by the Sangha and the committee as regards ongoing projects. The main focus is supporting the spiritual health of the community, both monastic and lay and enhancing, and in some places extending, the existing beautiful and meditative environment which will broaden the opportunities for community participation on all levels — cultural, personal and transcendental.
We will try and keep this page updated but the best way to know what's happening is to come and see! The Dhamma is "ehipassiko" – encouraging of investigation.
This project began with a few thoughts to tidy up the rather messy front area. The road is very rough and uneven and passes right in front of the entrance. Well then... tidy it up. And, while we (you) are at it why not move the road, extend the space and... add a forecourt and... etc. The stupa is much loved and thoughts to improve the situation overall have been enthusiastically forthcoming. The work will take a while so we thought to give the project its own page
We will try to keep this updated as work progresses.
The Raja kuti is the center of three kutis where women often prefer to stay. Its aging state was brought into contrast when we were preparing it for Luang Por Sumedho's visit back in March. The bathroom particularly needs attention and will be a part of the initial plan, along with an upgrade and general reconfiguration of the layout. There are also thoughts to add extra toilet-shower facilities - possibly where Architect kuti is now. This would create the need for one or more extra kutis. The split floor of Garden kuti has never been ideal and this could be revised - possibly in conjunction with the location of new kutis.
There has been a trend over the last year+ of more women coming to stay at the monastery and the overall thought is to create a well serviced and distincly seperate area as women's accommodation. Changes to Raja are fairly easy to plan but the overal project is very much at the concept stage. Your input is welcome.
The space under the workshop has always been underutilised. The plan (as at August 2015) is that it be used,a the very least, for storage and, more likely, dormitory accommodation, especially for retreats and events. The blue line is the existing road to the workshop. The red line is an approximation of a pedestrian, quad-width track. The green rectangle a courtyard out front.
We had a lot of guests (April-May) and it was an easy matter to clear out all the 'junk'. A digger cleared the walking track, leveled the ground under the building and and contractors laid a concrete slab. Bruce has been busy building and the space is almost complete. The space is water-tight and internal wall linings up and nearly ready for paint. The courtyard is gravelled but still needs a retaining wall and general landscaping. In conjunction with the basement work the area behind (where the old compost was) is being rationalised for general materials storage (a better class of junk :)
plan at right...
The Hermitage at the top end of the Monks' zone.
The quad-accessible track is now complete (to the orange square). The existing kuti (blue dot) is being well used and the sangha take turns in doing self-retreats there. This is mostly during vassa but with more monks coming the plan is that this opportunity will be made use of throughout the year.
The orange square is a relatively flat area which will be the central hub for future kuits in terms of firewood store, material deliveries, simple laundry/bathing facilities, etc.
The monk's meeting area will either be the existing kuti or a simple construction in the central hub. The actual site for kuti(s) has yet to be set but will be explored through the end of 2016 beginning of '17. The existing kuti was helicoptered in and, if we opt for this, it will add considerably to standard kuti cost (about $15k). With this in mind construction won't be started until it is clear that there is a steady monastic population to warrant the cost.
THE MAP - click 'Read More' below - gives you an idea of the property overall. The contour lines show the steepness of the land.
Yellow = lay zone; East of the stream (boundary not yet finalised)
Hermitage: see plan above
Green = boundary
Blue = streams
Just inside the entrance gate of the monastery.
There has been an ongoing thought to make a stronger 'monastery statement' at the entrance. The current thought is: a large, standing Buddha image with the abhaya (fearless-metta) mudra. This overall concept has been under consideration for over a year. It is still possible but... it will only happen once, if at all, and it needs to be 'perfect.' This concept is still lingering in the background and there is the possibility of getting a Thai artist-monk to visit to advise.
> A recent suggestion has been to alter the fence line at the entrance itself. Shift it back somewhat into the carpark and create a generous space for a Buddha image... or a large dhamma wheel... or... something.
In the meantime... "A rupa on a Rock." This image has yet to be cast and can be added, and/or removed, quite easily as other plans develop. A Buddha image is inspiring of goodness and uplifting for the heart and it is hoped that the addition of several new images (Chao Khun, Dana sala & this one) will be a blessing for all who visit the monastery – especially those not so familiar with Buddhism.
The underlying thought as regards the entrance is "go slowly, get it right." More to come on this.
A rough outline of the planned memorial grove.
The area between the car park and the stupa will be a grove where a tree can be planted in memory of deceased friends and relatives. The concept and layout plan will develop over several months, a year, or more. A place of peace and beauty with the stupa as the highest memorial. The general plan is to set a grid of small access tracks with other landscaping elements emerging over time. The plan is not to establish a formal garden and ongoing maintenance will mostly be left to visitors and those who have planted trees. Rewarewa has been chosen for several reasons. It is hardy and grows well in the area. It has a slender crown so requires a relatively small footprint. Its attractive flowers are a great source for honey and bird food. It is a native evergreen.
As a part of this project the plan is to start a small nursery. As seedlings grow you could "adopt a tree" and nurture your own memorial tree.