Tuesday, October 31, 2006

World's Largest Dome

The Asia Times reports:
Air travelers over Mumbai will soon have something spectacular to goggle at: a cloud-high view of the golden Global Pagoda, the world's largest stone monument and the first dome in human history of this size without any supporting pillars.
Outside Mumbai (Bombay) India, construction is nearing completion on what will be the largest self-supporting dome structure ever built. It is a stone pagoda designed to seat eight thousand meditators. The pagoda is dedicated to a Burmese meditation teacher, and it is modeled after the great pagoda in Rangoon (itself the focus of a developing news story).

The background to the structure's construction is is interesting. You can read the Asia Times story about it here. The organization that built it offers non-sectarian courses in meditation. That is, the practitioners practice Buddha's teachings on meditation and ethics but many -- if not most -- do not consider themselves "Buddhists" in a religious sense. Hence the meditation courses have become popular among persons of different religions, as they do not require persons to either become Buddhists or adhere to Buddhism.

The organization's vipassana meditation courses are offered at over one hundred centres throughout the world. There is no charge for the 10 day courses, and they are funded entirely by the voluntary donations of returning students. If you are looking for a way to develop a results-oriented meditation practice in your life (by "results-oriented" I mean a meditation practice that brings a noticeable increase in one's peace of mind, powers of concentration, and health condition) check out the vipassana organization's website where you can find out more about vipassana meditation and the 10 day course given by S.N. Goenka.

The 10 day meditation courses have also been given in prisons in both the US and India. The effect that the 10 day meditation course had on the inmates was the subject of an award winning documentary.

I have taken the 10 day course.

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