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Have you heard the news? A private tour of the South Lotus Hall, for the monastics?

The South Lotus Hall is the very first building to have been completed on GWBI’s future monastery land. Part of a ten-year construction plan, it consists of dormitories, study rooms, classrooms, a dining hall, and a prayer hall. Strictly off-limits even for us prior to its completion, we can only learn of its progress through periodicals posted by the construction team in the Prayer Hall. So imagine our excitement at the news of its full completion.

“What does it look like?” “It must be beautiful!” “I can hardly wait to see it!”

With the day finally upon us, over 400 monastics gathered anxiously in the parking lot. There was much liveliness in the air. We couldn’t wait to share our joy with the world. Through the long corridor on the first floor, we entered the basement and sat in what would later become the future Prayer Hall.

“The windows on the south side are huge!” “So more sun could get in!” “How thoughtful!” The sliding door between the Prayer Hall and the Dining Hall also caught everyone’s attention. It made the space as flexible as need be. Every little detail was placed with great care, hoping that monastics could practice in peace.

First up is a Purification Ceremony. The air was filled with a great sense of sincerity and devotion. Next, the nuns who overlooked the construction shared tales of how the South Lotus Hall came to be.

“Have you noticed? Everything here was chosen to match your robes!” “Seeing you all here, I honestly feel that there’s no one more fitting for this building!” The nuns had to fight back their tears. Having contributed their all to provide monastics with the best living conditions, one could only imagine how comforted they must’ve been. They’ve waited all too long for this day.

The tour ended with a group photo outside the new Hall.

The joy of a great harvest comes from the joint efforts of everyone. Without Teacher Zhen-Ru’s care and the support of each and every one of you, this would not have been possible. There is a passage in the Praise of Maitreya’s Pagoda: “A bodhisattva, the child of the Buddha, dwells here. Like the sun and the moon, he stands in front of all beings, eliminating the darkness life and death brings.”

With an environment like this, monastics can study in peace, reach the pinnacle of the Five Great Treatises, and carry the torch of Buddhism.