NEW JERSEY BUDDHIST VIHARA & MEDITATION CENTER, PRINCETON NEW JERSEY
EXPANSION PROJECT SUMMARY – MARCH 2017
PROPOSED BUILDING WITH EXISTING SAMADHI STATUE
The New Jersey Buddhist Vihara & Meditation Center (NJBV & MC), established in 2003, is located on a serene 10-acre property, just 10 minutes from Princeton University and 45 minutes from New York City. A Samadhi (meditation posture) statue of Buddha was unveil on the property in Sep 2009. The Buddha statue is the largest of its kind in the Western hemisphere. Since it’s unveiling, the center has become a New Jersey landmark attracting a steady stream of visitors throughout the year.
Accordingly, the growing interest in the center requires expansion to serve the needs of people – particularly as the practice of meditation becomes increasingly popular among all segments of the population. The expansion project consists of an aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly building of approximately 11,000 square feet, meditation trails through the woods, a footbridge over a meandering stream, and pleasing landscaped meditation gardens ( see attached figures). The building will house a library, meditation hall, resident for the clergy, and areas for community gatherings. The primary mission of this center is to act as a resource for all communities, establishing programs for interfaith dialogue & encouraging visits from groups & scholars for such interaction.
As evident in the above structure, the work between the different committees (all volunteers) is being coordinated by Rev. Sirirathana Thero. To date, the focal point has been the Engineering and Construction Committee towards obtaining the required approvals, which are key elements for the success of the entire project. Since the township unanimously approved the project in July 2013, followed by a groundbreaking in May 2017, the entire team is fully committed to expediting the completion of the project.
Project Budget & Fiscal Management:
The New Jersey Buddhist Vihara & Meditation Center is a non-for profit religious organization under IRC 501 C (3), as such the Vihara is subject to various federal and regulation. To maintain its accountability and transparency, Vihara’s financials are reviewed and all required returns are filed by CPAs. According to IRS disclosure regulations, Vihara’s three most recently filed annual 990 or 990- PF returns and all related supporting documents are available for public inspection.
A budget for the project and fiscal drawdown requirement are presented below.
Since the completion of the Samadhi Buddhist Stature, the New Jersey Buddhist Vihara has become the center of Buddhism in the United States. The beauty of the statue is beyond words and brings great joy and inspiration to us all. Buddhists and non Buddhists increasingly visit the temple and their interest and willingness to understand Buddhism is overwhelming.
For people who undergo stress in all stages of their lives-- be it acute, episodic or chronic - the NJBV will be a healing center. Some of our stress management programs will be aimed at curbing emotional distress: a combination of anger, irritability, depression and anxiety, constant worry, poverty, egotism, dysfunctional family life, unhappy relationships and childhood trauma.
Unfortunately for our visitors, there is no place to practice meditation or to learn Dharma. The existing building is currently used as a residence for the Buddhists Monks and is inadequate for the purposes of meditation
Based on this need, the construction of a meditation center has been proposed. The proposed building, designed by architects, would not only be a place to meditate but would serve as a learning facility as well.
Once completed, New Jersey Buddhist Vihara will become an international religious learning center for Buddhism and Buddhist philosophy. Having a meditation center in the heart of New Jersey is unique. It's location is a short distance from New York City which will undoubtedly lead more inquisitive travelers to visit.
The children will be the luckiest ones, as they can benefit from the center for many years to come. Introducing meditation to them in their early years will help them become more insightful and intellectual. They will have greater ability to overcome challenges as they grow.
Finally, the center will become an educational institute for Buddhist Monks to expand their knowledge while teaching Dharma. Buddha’s principals can have an enormous effect in modern society and Buddhist Monks are a great source of knowledge among intellectuals for such teaching.
This project cannot be completed without your help and support. It is not so large that it cannot be done. It needs only your simple contribution. We started the Samadhi Buddhist Statute the same way and we achieved great karma because of it. This meditation center will complete the work we started few years ago.
New Jersey Buddhist Vihara is an approved charity, a 501 (C) 3 organization all donations are tax deductible.
We have given below information on how to make your donation to this project
New Jersey Buddhist Vihara Meditation Center development Committee
Ven Bhanthe Hungampola Sirirathana Nayaka Thero
Chief Incumbent of New Jersey Buddhist Vihara and Meditation Center