The decision of Lama Ole to let us fundraise for this year came to us somehow as a surprise, even though we’ve asked for it! It has undoubtedly speeded up our activity and planning, as everyone could feel an energy and inspiration rush. And the past three months have been hectic!
Apart from kickstarting the fundraising activities at the beginning of May, we still had to come up with the vision for the future design of the Great Hall. To do that, we followed the guidance from Lama Ole and the advice he gave us the during the 2017/18 New Year’s Course in London. His recommendation was ‘not to take the colour out of Tibetan Buddhism’ and to design a space which will inspire and touch everyone who will see it.
To create the concept for the altar, we formed a small team consisting of architects, interior designers and local experts in Buddhist art. Furthermore, responding to Lama Ole’s request, we approached Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche and asked for his support. We sought his counsel in regards to the forms and statues which will grace the meditation hall in the future.
After many hours of tireless work of the designers, we presented our suggestions to both Lamas in July during the stupa inauguration in Copenhagen. Their decision was unanimous – we will have a six metres high Refuge Tree thangka for an altar! And Rinpoche will oversee the production of the painting, as well as two statues: the 16th Karmapa and Loving Eyes, which will be placed on our altar right next to the big Buddha statue.
Needless to say, now that we have a clear vision of the finished Grand Hall and the blessing of our Lamas’ behind it, we are absolutely thrilled.
This process not only boosted our enthusiasm but also allowed us to progress with further developments and designs for space. We’re currently in discussions with plasterers who will renovate the walls and beautiful period ornaments decorating the Hall. Simultaneously, we’re working on the technical specification for electricity, heating system, lighting and audio-visual equipment.
Not to waste any time, we already have a few Dharma friends helping us with the building works. They’ve been focusing on the restoration of the historic stained glass windows and under-roof skylights which can be open using the original industrial mechanism. They will soon be brought back to their former glory!