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News for August 2014



Community News
Ajahn Chandapalo, Ajahn Jutindharo and Anagarika Maurizio were recently at Amaravati monastery in the UK, to pay respects to Luang Por Sumedho on his 80th birthday. LP Sumedho is in good form and gave inspiring Dhamma talks most days. These should soon be available as audio files on the Amaravati website: www.amaravati.org, where you can also find talks by Ajahn Amaro and other senior monks and nuns.

Samanera Nandasilo, our Spanish novice, is still content to be staying at Amaravati for the time being, as is Anagarika Diego who became Samanera Mahabodhi on 6th July. A couple of photos of our new Italian novice can be viewed by clicking here. On the same page there is also a recent group photo of most of Santacittarama's resident community.

Temple Project
The working drawings have now reached a sufficiently detailed stage to allow the realization of a virtual model of the project. Realistic views of the future building from various perspectives, including of the inside of the large meeting hall on the upper floor, have been extrapolated from this and many of them can be viewed by clicking here.

There continue to be promising signs that the bureaucratic process is moving forward, although we are still awaiting definite news. Around mid-September the health authority is expected to confirm that the building meets the required standards. By this time the working drawings and building plans should be reaching completion, and the process of tendering for bids can begin. We should soon be able to give much more information regarding the choice of styles and materials. The plan is to use a combination of geothermal and solar power to meet energy needs, while a tank on the lower floor will collect rain water from the roof for use in the bathrooms.

Adjoining property for sale
In the meantime our neighbour has informed us that he wishes to sell his property, a 2-story building with 12,000 sq.m. of land, that borders with the monastery at the gate and along the entrance drive. We are in consultation with our lay committee with a view to the association acquiring it, if an agreement can eventually be reached on the price.

We feel that this presents a unique opportunity that is unlikely to happen again. It would certainly be a very useful addition to the monastery. The problem of insufficient parking space would be resolved and the building could provide further accommodation, a need that is becoming increasingly necessary with the growth of the resident community and the number of people wishing to stay as guests.

In the long term it could be used, for example, as a residence for monks that are elderly and needing some degree of care. We are all getting older and there will come a point for some of us when staying in a little hut in the woods is no longer an option. How to look after our elderly monks is an issue that the European monasteries have been discussing for some time, and the feeling is that each monastery should work towards developing such a facility. It was something that we were in any case intending to think about once the temple was completed.

We hope not to have to delay the temple project, having already waited many years for it, with the authorisation to proceed being expected quite soon, and the need for a large meeting hall ever more keenly felt. Unless there is a sudden dramatic increase in donations, it might be necessary to take out a loan in order to both acquire the adjoining property and to bring to completion the temple building. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.

The upper floor of the house is 120 sq.m. and has a living room, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a kitchen. The lower floor is larger but unfinished, basically it's a garage and storage space. Some maps, plans and photos of the property can be viewed by clicking here.




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