A New Building is Proposed for Cittaviveka
The new building will be situated behind the main cloisters, and will offer a quite, private central area for monks and novices. The building will provide facilities to support monks on retreat in the forest as well as create space for community activities. Work is due to commence in 2019, to celebrate forty years of Chithurst Buddhist Monastery.
The new building will provide:
- Day room for forest dwellers
- Meeting room
- Bowl washing facilities
- Toilets and showers
- Utility area
- Storage space
- Laundry and robe drying facility
The Vihāra will separate functions that are purely monastic from the occasions of interaction with the lay community. The lower floor will be communal, while the upstairs will be reclusive and contemplative. The stone floor, large windows and open space of the downstairs hall resemble a forest floor, while the curved beams and dappled light of the upstairs Refuge represent a tree-top canopy.
During periods of retreat, while living in kutis (meditation huts) in the forest, monks still come to the main site for their daily meal, for showers and laundry. The Refuge provides a private space where they can attend to these duties, keep personal belongings and eat their meal in silence. It can also serve as an overflow dormitory in cases of large sangha gatherings.
Community Washing Facilities
A section of existing cloister adjacent to the proposed Vihāra will be refurbished and glazed to provide a purpose-built area for washing alms bowls after the daily meal as well as for doing laundry by hand.
Sangha Meeting Hall
A large downstairs meeting room will provide space for bhikkhus, samaneras and anagarikas to come together for Vinaya instruction, sangha business and informal meetings. It may also hold some of the semi-annual inter-monastic Elders’ Meetings.
Ablutions and Utilities
The single story, grass-roofed section of the Vihāra will provide toilets, showers and sauna; laundry facilities and a drying room; and storage space.
A green oak frame will be used, in the same
style as the monastery Dhamma Hall, clad with stone reclaimed from the existing building and roofed with red clay tiles in keeping with the surroundings.
Underfloor heating will be provided by a biomass system fuelled by chestnut logs coppiced in the monastery forest. This will be supplemented by solar thermal panels on the cloister roof.
If you would like to offer support either: put a cheque or cash into a yellow ‘Donations’ envelope and mark it ‘For The Vihāra’ or make an Online Donation via