JOHOR BARU: A Theravada Buddhist centre for English speakers will be built here.
The four-storey meditation centre will cost RM12mil to build and furnish and take 15 months to build.
Metta Lodge chairman Heng Chai Teet said since the centre’s founding 35 years ago, their membership has grown to 600.
“Today is a historic occasion as we have received approval from the state government to build our new centre,” he said during the groundbreaking ceremony at Taman Johor Jaya here.
Heng said that the centre was founded in Johor Baru in 1982 by English speaking Buddhist devotees.
The centre will promote the teachings of Buddha as well as aid in spiritual development and leadership training.
About 200 supporters and well-wishers were present and took part in several activities such as pindapatta, in which devotees offer small packets of rice to monks as well as a paritta chanting session to gain protection from evil.
Metta Lodge fundraising chairman Lim Hock Teck said they had collected RM3mil to date.
“We still need to raise RM9mil to continue the construction and furnish 12 rooms,” said Lim.
He added that their new fundraising event, Donate A Brick Project, launched on Sunday would allow supporters to contribute RM100 per brick to support the construction of the new centre.
Donate A Brick Project deputy chairman Lee Chin Guan said that they had sold about 300 bricks during the groundbreaking ceremony.