For about forty years the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism has received the sincere interest of many Western practitioners and researchers in Italy.
Thanks to the kindness of many teachers, a source of inspiration, and in particular of the Venerable Geshe Ciampa Ghiatso, it was possible to gather, at the Lama Tzong Khapa Institute in Pomaia, a vast community of students and practitioners, both lay and ordained.
Lama Yeshe and Geshe Ciampa Ghiatso came up with the idea of building a monastery for monks and nuns while they were together in Kopan, Nepal. That vision is now taking shape. In an abandoned quarry, about 2 km from the Lama Tsong Khapa Institute, we found the ideal site to build the future monastery which will be built on the rock just like the monasteries of Tibet.
In this way we contribute to the recovery of an area of great beauty (with a view as far as the eye can see up to the blue border of the sea) that has suffered the environmental trauma of the excavation. The project envisages an ecological architecture in harmony with the surrounding area, and the use of natural and clean energy resources. The monastery aims to provide hospitality to about one hundred monks and nuns.
the main temple
Lama Zopa Rinpoche has stated on several occasions:
"It will be the first monastery of the Tibetan tradition in Italy and the first monastery built from scratch specifically for the FPMT in Europe and it is important to do it in the best way."
When His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama was informed of the project and was invited to bless the land, he pointed out that:
"The flourishing of the Buddha's teachings in a particular place is determined by the existence of fully ordained monks and nuns and practicing laymen. So the existence of monks and nuns and the practice of Vinaya, the Buddhist monastic discipline, are very important."
A place where monks and nuns can live in accordance with the discipline and ethics taught by Buddha Sakyamuni, to receive teachings, study, progress in practice and keep the Buddhist tradition alive.
It will be the first monastery in Italy, a point of cohesion and a point of reference for all those who intend to take their vows, it will allow access to a complete and in-depth study curriculum under the guidance of qualified teachers, it will preserve the tradition of Buddhism and the purity of its transmission. As a monastic project of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, founded by Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa, it relies on the teaching and advice of His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama of Tibet, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and the Abbot of the Monastery.
It will be built on the rock of a hill in the immediate vicinity of the Lama Tsong Khapa Institute, recovering the territory marked by the excavation of a previous disused quarry. On the rock, like the monasteries of Tibet!
The architecture will be sensitive to both ancient traditions and the landscape context and will follow a path of eco-sustainability, thus guaranteeing a low environmental impact, energy and resource savings.
The use of the Mediterranean flora species, typical of the area, and the creation of a park of contemplation with the improvement of the ancient pathways, will be the way in which the Association will contribute to the recovery of a tormented area, originally expression of the rich Mediterranean scrub and the great forest of Santa Luce. Existing wildlife will also be protected, with the confirmed presence of some wolves.
openness to others e
The Monastery will reserve some spaces for silence and contemplation, but fundamentally it will be open to contact with others, to spiritual counseling and interreligious dialogue. It will allow people of different faiths to open their hearts and minds to the harmony of a communication based on respect and tolerance and to increase their serenity in everyday life and promote peace in the world.
how the project developed
Many ideas were considered for the site: some, such as building on rock, were discarded; others were considered too invasive and not in harmony with the territory. After the study of the University of Pisa in 2008, the architects drew up more detailed plans for the site, which were proposed to the municipal administration in 2011. These plans form the basis of the most recent project, presented in 2021, shared with the local authorities and with a view to developing an architecture that is as sustainable as possible.
How to share the project
We bought the 96 hectares of land and have a magnificent architectural project. Everything else still has to happen.
If you think you can help us we will be extremely grateful
Let's write history together ...