As Tisarana grows, both in terms of monastics and the lay community, the need for a larger Dhamma hall (sala) has become increasingly apparent. The present hall can hold little over 50 people in close quarters. We currently hold our medium and larger sized gatherings, such as Kathina, in the monastery’s tent or in rented spaces.
A New Dhamma Hall for Tisarana is being designed to accomodate its growing monastic and lay community. A Building Committee has been meeting with our architect, Adam Mackenzie-Smith, for the past 2 years to come up with a design.
The new hall would be the heart of the monastery. The monastery’s main space for mediation, dhamma teachings, pujas, blessings, ordinations, Sangha meetings and large gatherings such as Vesākha Pūjā and Kathina. It would also act as the monastery’s sima – a traditional and clearly defined area in which all Sangha Kamma can be performed – such as ordinations and the uposatha.
As planned, it would comfortably hold 150 people, with extra space in a conjoined foyer for larger events such as Kathina – providing space for over 200 people.
The hall’s main interior elements will be Tisarana’s large bronze Buddha image, which was poured in Thailand, and a spacious timber frame interior. Skylights along the roof’s peak will allow ambient daylight to stream in and illuminate the Buddha image and the hall. The hall is also being designed with energy efficiency, environmental considerations, low maintenance and longevity in mind.
Thick masonry walls will keep the hall warm in the colder months and cool in the warmer months, as well as quiet and still even with its central location in the monastery. The floor would be radiantly heated, keeping the warmth at ground level.
Connected with the Dhamma Hall would be an entrance area with space to gather on large events, in cold and wet weather, and provide a space to store boots and coats. Alongside this will be utility spaces, covered walkways and much appreciated new washroom facilities.
With time, landscaped paths, gates, trees and hedges will serve to guide people to the main entrance and walking paths beyond, as well as create spaces for outdoor gatherings.
Displayed here are the current designs for the new hall. Although they will likely undergo some changes, they give a good idea of what it will look like.