As winter draws to an end, the initial construction at the Study Center comes to completion. In the main part of the farmhouse, dust is being swept up and furniture moved into place. Soon the floor will be laid, and ovens, dishwasher and stainless counters moved into the kitchen. At the other end of the farmhouse, the last shaker shingles are being hammered into place. With the completion of this stage of the building, we will have a fully functioning center with library, meeting room, office, kitchen, dining room and housing for students, staff and teachers.
With the facility nearly complete, we are focusing on developing our program—the library, curriculum and publication projects. Plans are being made for classes, conferences and study retreats. We intend to offer courses exploring the suttas (discourses of the Buddha) in English translation, and instruction in Pali (the ancient language of the Buddha’s teachings). We will have conferences to encourage dialogue with the other schools of Buddhism and various religious traditions, as well as explore the relevance of the teachings to daily life.
In the library, books and journals are being added to our small but growing collection. We now have the entire Pali Canon (published collection of the Buddha’s teachings), in both English and Pali, as well as several hundred volumes on Tibetan and Zen Buddhism.
One of our long-range plans is to sponsor publications and translations. Presently we are exploring the possibility of sponsoring the translation of commentaries of modern Burmese meditation masters. We also intend to issue highlights from our conferences, both on tape and in print.
This spring, March 28–31, we offered our first residential course—a three-day study retreat lead by Vimalo Kulbarz. Periods of meditation were alternated with study and discussion of selected discourses of the Buddha from the Middle Length Sayings.