Lumbini’s World Center for Peace Hailed as an Eco-Monastery

Lumbini, Nepal — On April 4, 2011 The Lumbini Udyama Mahachaitya, World Center for Peace and Unity opened in a grand ceremony attended by people from across Nepal and around the world. Ambassadors and high lamas joined local government officials and disciples to celebrate the achievement. Teh largest temple in Lumbini, the Center is unique in being open to masters of all Buddhist traditions and their students. It is also unique in its ‘green’ design. This eco-design caught the attention of publications around the world. Here are three of the most interesting articles.

“Eco-monastery” to open in the Buddha’s birthplace | Tricycle

‘Eco-monastery’ opening at Siddhartha’s birthplace – CNET

Green Buddhist Monastery Rises in Nepal | EarthTechling

Construction of the World Center began in 2006 and was completed in 2011. Throughout the construction period, Rinpoche himself paid close attention to every detail, instituting some novel structural features.

  • A skylight is the major light source for the main hall.
  • Solar panels on the roof provide the electricity for daily use.
  • For the outer walls, a double-layer system was adopted to suit the local weather conditions and to save costs; this was the first time such a structure was built in the area.
  • As a precaution against earthquakes, Rinpoche required the structural strength of the building be increased.
  • The structural beams are concealed within the floor system, helping to reduce heat in Nepal’s summer season, as well as to provide a better view of the inner portion of the dome.

 

Asked why he chose to highlight ecology at the World Center, Rinpoche responded, “This idea came to me when I thought about the Buddha; all the important events of his life story have something to do with a tree. At his birth it is said his mother rested her hand on a branch, so there must have been a tree. At his enlightenment, he was under the Bodhi tree. He gave teachings in the forest of Varanasi. He passed away between two big trees. So there is a clear connection between Buddhism and the environment. Then, the more you know about global warming, the more you understand how important it is for monasteries to set an example by doing green projects.”

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Meaning of Abbreviations

* The following day is a missing or a double date accroding to Tibetan calendar.
BA Amitabha Buddha Day
BD Baden: unfavourable for putting up flags
BM Medicine Buddha Day
BS Shakyamuni Buddha Day
DP Dharmapala Day
LD Ludok: unfavourable for Naga Offering
LT Luthep: favourable for Naga Offering
ME Moon Eclipse: great day for accumulation of merit
NG Ngenpa Guzom: unfavourable for new project, e.g. gathering, inauguration
NN Nyinag: unfavourable for new project, e.g. marriage, inauguration
SE Sun Eclipse: a greater day for accumulation of merit
SN Shakngen: unfavourable for new project, e.g. marriage, inauguration
TN Tashi Nyima: auspicious day in a general sense
YK Yenkong: unfavourable for new project, e.g. marriage, inauguration
ZC Zangpo Chuzom: auspicious day, good for gathering

Duchen great anniversaries, special days of Buddha Shakyamuni, etc., good for accumulating merits.
Tsezang good days for accumulating merits
Naga Powerful long-lived serpent-like beings who inhabit in water, guard great treasure. Some great protectors of the Dharma are nagas such as Eight Major Nagas.