Great Stupa to build a meditation cave

People wandering the grounds of the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion will soon be able to enjoy serene moments in a meditation “cave”, thanks to the local Muslim community.

Plans for the cave and an Islamic garden were finalised this week at the Buddhist monument in Myers Flat.

Great Stupa chairman Ian Green said an Islamic inspired garden and meditation cave would be built on the grounds and should be completed by March 2018.

Discussions with the local Islamic community about the project began last year.

“I didn’t realise this at the time, but they had contacted the Islamic Council of Victoria, which selected a beautiful mosaic of Moroccan lamps. Once we got the mosaic, we had to devise the most evocative way of using it,” Mr Green said.

People walking through the garden would be able to enter the cave and enjoy the mosaic, which would be attached to the back wall. Natural light would stream through the ceiling and there would perhaps be a Turkish carpet on which to sit.

GRAND PLANS: Graham Samten, Sameer Syed, Heri Febriyanto, Atalla Khawaldeh and Selemani Ndikumana. Picture: NONI HYETT

GRAND PLANS: Graham Samten, Sameer Syed, Heri Febriyanto, Atalla Khawaldeh and Selemani Ndikumana. Picture: NONI HYETT

Mr Green said it would be a wonderful space to look out to running water and other features often found in Islamic gardens.

The cave would be part of the Peace Park, which the Great Stupa had been developing since 2010.

The park would sit near the entrance to the Great Stupa and contain symbols from different local faith groups.

A two metre high statue of St Francis had been offered by the Catholic Sandhurst Diocese, while the Sikh Community had offered an Ik Onkar.

A Hindu deity was also planned for the park.