HISTORY OF KAGYU SUKHA CHÖLING
Kagyu Sukha Chöling (KSC), a Tibetan Buddhist center, was founded in Eugene, Oregon by Vajradhara Kalu Rinpoche (1904 – 1989) in 1982. The name given to the center means The Blissful Place of the Kagyu Lineage Teachings. An alternative translation is Sukhasiddhi’s Home of the Kagyu Dharma. Sukhasiddhi was one of the enlightened women honored as the source of the Shangpa lineage. Between 1982 and 1988, KSC sponsored weekly meditations and hosted several important Tibetan Buddhist teachers, including H.E. Tai Situ Rinpoche, H.E. Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche and Venerable Dezhung Rinpoche in Eugene, Oregon.
During these years, KSC was under the guidance of Venerable Lama Lodru; Venerable Lama Tsang Tsing also taught at KSC many times. The lay leaders were Pema Clark, Yeshe Parke and Norma Cordell. In 1988, when Lama Tsang Tsing expressed a wish to found his own Eugene meditation center, KSC became inactive.
Some years later, in 1999, Pema and Yeshe, two of the original sponsors of KSC, completed the traditional Three Year Retreat in the Shangpa lineage. With that training, and at the request of Lama Lodru, Lama Pema and Lama Yeshe activated KSC in Ashland, Oregon. Under their direction, and with Lama Lodru’s guidance, the center has flourished.
To accommodate the growing sangha (community), a new meditation center was completed in 2010, with all requisite Tibetan Buddhist ceremonies performed as the construction process unfolded. The beautiful building that now graces Ashland is truly a home for the Dharma, the teachings of the Buddha.
KSC offers several weekly and monthly meditations, seasonal classes and retreats. Visiting teachers have included Kyabjé Kalu Rinpoche, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, Lama Lodru Rinpoche, Lama Sarah Harding, Ari Goldfield, Rose Taylor Goldfield and Lama Drupgyu (Tony Chapman).
about the building
KSC’s meditation center opened in June, 2010. The sangha (community), the board and lamas, and the design team were committed to creating a green and sustainable structure which would unite traditional Tibetan stylistic elements with building materials easily available in the Pacific Northwest.
The philosophy of sustainability was embodied in these ways:
Architecture – The building is centrally located in town, with a design and size appropriate to the site and the surrounding community. The natural slope of the property was utilized to provide earth shelter for the ground floor.
Community connection – Local architects, designers, contractors, suppliers, laborers and volunteers built the center, and volunteers maintain it.
Relationship to nature – Natural light is available on all floors and natural airflow regulates the temperature of the space with the aid of whole-house fans. The property is landscaped with regionally adapted plants for low water-use, and is designed to blend with the adjacent protected wetlands.
Responsible energy use – Designed for low energy consumption, the building utilizes high levels of insulation, building mass, shading and appropriate window orientation to reduce energy needs for heating and cooling.
Systems efficiency – Passive heating and cooling methods are featured, which rely upon the occupants to modulate systems.
Walls and roof – Steel beams and integrated concrete forms made with recycled materials; wall treatments of natural earth plaster or no-VOC paints; formaldehyde-free insulation; light-colored metal roof to reflect heat.
Windows – Wood frames with R 3.3 value, using low E-3 366 glass to let light in and keep heat out.
Lumber – Wood products principally from locally grown and sustainably harvested trees, amended by lumber from FSC-certified sources.
Floors and heating – Concrete floors with efficient hydronic heating systems and heat recovery ventilators.
Ventilation and cooling – Whole-building air movement utilizing fans, shading and window adjustments.
Electricity conservation – 100% Energy Star appliances; Energy Star fluorescent and LED light fixtures.
Water conservation – Low-flow fixtures; rainwater diversion for landscaping, highly efficient water heater and recirculation pumps for faucet use.
Design and Construction Team:
Designer: Michaeldavid Uri, Lucid Designs – firstname.lastname@example.org
Architect: Carlos Delgado – www.carlosdelgadoarchitect.com
Consulting Architect: Joyce Ward, Architect – Ashland, Oregon
Landscape Architect: Laurie Sager – www.lauriesager.com
Contractor: John Fields – www.golden-fields.net
Volunteer Coordinator: Clay Colley, Clay Colley Builder, Inc.