While the foundation for the new Reception Hall is being laid at Abhayagiri Monastery, a stone Buddha image is being carved in Thailand for the main Dhamma Hall and an image of Ajahn Chah is being fashioned for the smaller shrine room on the lower level of this building.
During his 2012 visit to Thailand, Ajahn Pasanno searched for a Buddha image that would be suitable for the new building. He was most impressed with the stone image at Anandagiri, Ajahn Achalo’s monastery. As a side note: Ajahn Achalo was a resident at Abhayagiri from 2000 – 2001. Upon Ajahn Pasanno’s return to the United States, he enlisted Ajahn Achalo’s help to commission a similar image from the same sculptor. This image was fully funded by the donations from an offering ceremony at the Thai New Year, this past April. The gallery below shows photos of a similar image at Ajahn Achalo’s monastery and photos of a partially-carved image that the sculptor decided not to use. The sculptor is now looking for a new block of sandstone to begin-again, as he was not satisfied with the shape the first image was taking.
Plern Petkue has commissioned an image of Ajahn Chah for the small shrine room on the lower level of the Reception Hall. The latter images in the gallery show photographs of this image.
May both images inspire faith and goodness in those who visit the completed Reception Hall.