One warm day in June nineteen years ago, Ajahn Amaro and Anagarika Tom (now Ajahn Karunadhammo) established Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery in Redwood Valley, CA. Luang Por Pasanno arrived about six months later. The original infrastructure consisted of a small two bedroom house and a garage, which was converted to the current Dhamma hall. For several years now, it has been apparent that we have outgrown these original structures.
I had the good fortune to join the community early on. My relatively short time as a member of the resident community taught me a great deal about the teachings of the Buddha and myself. I will be forever grateful. This community carries the lamp of the Dhamma and shines its light on the Buddha’s path to the highest human potential. As the daily chanting says, “they give occasion for incomparable goodness to arise in the world.” These past nineteen years have seen Abhayagiri grow into one of the finest training monasteries for Theravada Buddhism in the West. The field of goodness created by Luang Por Pasanno and the community of monastics attracts hundreds, if not thousands, of visitors a year.
As you are probably aware, the Abhayagiri community, supported by the lay stewardship organization Sanghapala Foundation, is in phase two of a three-phase building project to build a facility that will include a spacious meditation hall, a larger and more efficient kitchen, office, library, guest rooms, child care room, lay bathrooms and showers, laundry, a small shrine room/reliquary, plus covered decks and storage rooms. This new facility will provide improved amenities for all of the lay supporters.
As of March 31, 2015, we are about $18,000 short of having the designated donations needed to complete phase two, which will essentially seal the building from the weather. Phase two is planned to be completed this year.
Phase three will allow us to build out the interiors of the building and make it useable. At this time, phase three is estimated to cost $1 million. Ideally, we will have raised the funds by the end of 2015 so that phase three can be completed during 2016. However, we will only be able to complete the building once sufficient funds have been donated.
The lay community has shown a beautiful outpouring of generosity to fund the building project so far. But we are only two-thirds of the way to our new home. I so look forward to the day when there is plenty of space in the Dhamma hall on a Saturday night or on a festival day, as well as having a spacious post-meal clean up in the kitchen. But mostly, I want to support the incomparable goodness that is Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery. Please join with me in supporting phase three.
With gratitude,Mark SponsellerSanghapala Foundation Board President
Reception Hall construction photographs (updated weekly)