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Compassionate Dharma Cloud Monastery adding new meditation hall

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By Deborah Swearingen

High on a hill alongside U.S. 285, blanketed in shade, is the Compassionate Dharma Cloud Monastery.

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It’s a peaceful place, the perfect blend of Vietnamese architecture, Buddhist culture and Coloradan beauty. The birds chirp freely; the air is crisp; the trees are plentiful. This is exactly why Abbot Tinh Man chose the space.

“It’s very peaceful. It’s very light. The energy’s very pure. ... Whenever I go somewhere and come back, I feel refreshed right away,” he said.

Though it may be serene and sacred, the monastery is currently undergoing quite a bit of change. Now, the sound of bulldozers drifts through the air while walking the meditation path. It will all be worth it, though, when the Morrison monastery is home to a brand new meditation hall.

The meditation hall, which could be complete as soon as July 2019, is a long time coming. It’s been a goal of Abbot Tinh Man’s for at least five years, and it was inspired by his Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.

“He came here and he tell us that we should have a meditation hall so that all people can come and practice,” he said. “ … It will have a lot more space for activities, for retreats, for yoga, for children’s programs.”

Compassionate Dharma Cloud is working with MW Golden Constructors, a contractor out of Castle Rock, on the two-story project.

While MW Golden has worked on a variety of religious spaces, a Buddhist meditation hall is a new challenge. And it’s one that has taught president Jason Golden a lot.

“We’ve been very fortunate to work for a lot of good people over the past 33 years,” he said. “But this client has given a new meaning to high expectations and just making it unbelievably pleasurable to go to work every day.

“The whole mindset of their religion has been very enlightening to me over the last eight months,” Golden added. “ … It’s the beginning of a life-changing project for all of us and something that’s going to make us all better people and a better company.”

When complete, the nearly $5 million project will look very Vietnamese in an architectural sense with sweeping arched glulams, or glued laminated timber. The wood is a highly innovative and durable construction material, according to The Engineered Wood Association. Though it’s a material MW Golden uses frequently, there is one main difference with this project.

“We have a lot of glulams in our state, but all of the glulams are either square or triangular, which is the much easier engineering feat,” Golden said.

Abbot Tinh Man, however, is keen on maintaining the arched approach.

“That’s just not something that is a regular occurrence in construction in Colorado,” Golden said. “So anything new, for me, is always exciting.”

Construction already has begun and will continue piecemeal until the project is fully funded. If funding is secured soon, the meditation hall could be ready by next summer.

WANT TO HELP?
Donations are being accepted, and there is a dollar-for-dollar match program through Houston-based Glow Investment Group. According to the company’s website, Glow’s current matching promise is approaching $467,000. To learn more, see a drawing of the meditation hall or make a donation, visit www.cdcmeditation.org.