In 2014, The Dagpo Educational Fund provided the means to install a proper sound insulation between the debate room and The Dagpo Shedrup Ling temple. The debate room is located right under the temple and does not merely serve as a debate room. It is also being used as a meeting and dining room by around two hundred people who come each year to listen to the teachings.
Most of the time however, it is used for daily debates. The tradition and art of debate is an important educational tool at the Tibetan monastic universities. During the debates monks use a combination of logical reasoning and quotes from the texts they have previously studied to support their views. For the monks, the often very animated debates are a way to expand their knowledge and their understanding of Buddhism and at the same time uncover any gaps there might be in their comprehension. The goal is to completely master the mind, to ensure one’s own happiness as well as the happiness of other beings.
One monk starts by introducing a subject and will ask his debate partner a question. His partner has to answer this question in a quick and precise manner. Others can now get involved in this traditional spar to introduce their point of view. All the gestures used during the debate are established in advance, each one has a specific meaning.
There is only one major disadvantage: the very vivid debate sessions bring along noise disturbances. The people in the temple were being bothered by the sound coming from the animated debates. The temple is not only used as a room for prayers and teachings, but also as a place anybody can use to retreat in order to quietly study, reflect and meditate. Silence is an important element to support concentration and a clear and calm mind. Therefore it is essential that the temple is as silent as possible.
A reliable architectural firm, one Dagpo Shedrup Ling is familiar with, has examined the situation. They proposed a sound proof insulation between the ceiling of the debate room and the temple floor, in order to reduce the resonance to an acceptable level.
The Dagpo Education Fund has been able to fully cover the costs of this insulation. The result is that now the temple hall can be used optimally, and several groups can debate there at the same time. TDEF is very happy to have be able to help in this way, to ensure the optimal circumstances for study, meditation, debate and reflection in Dagpo Shedrup Ling.
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