In early 2004, the monastery received a generous donation to be used to address some of the needs of the monastery for expanded housing and facilities for retreats. The Board of Directors used this money to purchase a 28-acre wooded lot just three miles south of the Aurora Street House. Working with a local architect, an engineer, and Namgyal monks, the Board of Directors developed plans for a new monastic complex to be located at this site.
The new monastery was designed according to traditional Tibetan architectural principles. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has reviewed the plans, written a letter of support for the project, and has named the facility, Dü Khor Choe Ling, The Land of Kalachakra Study and Practice. Additionally, the central Namgyal Administrative committee in India has endorsed the project. When complete, the 13,000-square-foot complex will resemble a mandala comprised of five buildings surrounding a central courtyard.
The main shrine room, following the inspiration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Namgyal monks and Jhado Rinpoche, will be constructed as a three dimensional Kalachakra Mandala, a mandala related to ritual discipline important to Namgyal and His Holiness. The Monastery will offer directed study and practice of the Kalachakra system, unique to Namgyal.
Dü Khor Choe Ling will offer various types of student housing, including seasonal retreat cabins, dormitory rooms, and private retreat rooms. Housing for the monks, as well as residences for a senior teacher and for His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be on site. The setting will feature trails through the woods, a large meadow with a recreation area, and a view of the beautiful sunsets over the hills.
- Monks’ quarters, senior & visiting teachers’ residence
- Private residence for His Holiness the Dalai Lama
- 4 private retreat rooms, each with bath and kitchen
- 2 one-bedroom apartments
- 10 semi-private rooms with shared bathing facilities
- 5 seasonal retreat cabins to house 20
- Seasonal bathhouse
- Shrine Room to seat 120
- Dining room and kitchen with seasonal outdoor dining
- Manjushri Wisdom Library
- Conference Room
The Realization of Dü Khor Choe Ling, The Land of Kalachakra, Ithaca, NY
Throughout the summer of 2006, the Development Committee, a group comprised of board members, monks and skilled volunteers, plan to oversee the installation of all major building infrastructures such as the main road, water, gas and electric lines. Over the next two years, the plan is to build continuously with the goal of opening the doors of Dü Khor Choe Ling for the 2008 summer retreats.
With the addition of new housing and teaching space at the South Hill site, the Program Committee at Namgyal is eagerly planning additional week-long retreats, larger and more frequent weekend intensives and, for the first time ever, private directed retreats. The site is ideal for the conferences the Board hopes to host on topics such as interfaith dialogues, Buddhist and Western philosophy, and the convergences of science and Buddhism. Furthermore, Dü Khor Choe Ling will serve as a larger gathering space for local Tibetans and the many Tibetans residing in nearby cities including Toronto and New York. The new site opens its doors to Tibetan cultural conferences, performances and children’s programs.
The Manjushri Wisdom Library, a 600-square-foot space in the community building, will have space for a full set of Buddhists texts in both English and Tibetan as well as a computer system with access to the major digital Buddhist databases.
The Board of Directors intends to retain the Aurora Street House as a downtown satellite of Namgyal. Daily meditations and small evening classes will continue to be offered there during and after the construction of Dü Khor Choe Ling.