The Fo Guang shan Cultivation Centers was Founder Venerable Master Hsing Yun's contribution to the great numbers of devotees, a permanent location for meditation retreats, Amitabha recitation retreats, and sutra transcription. They are centers to develop the virtue and raise the spiritual level of both monastic and lay practitioners, in order to benefit society and purify people's hearts. And the Meditation Hall is one of such centers.
The Meditation Hall is situated behind Fo Guang Shan's Main Shrine, on the third floor of the Tathagata Building. After five years of design and three years of construction, it was finally completed in 1993. The Meditation Hall measures 27 meters in length and 17 meters in width, and has a total capacity for over 400 practitioners.
Divided into an inner and an outer meditation hall, the center of the outer meditation hall features a Buddha niche with an image of Sakyamui Buddh, copies of the Chan Canon, and an image of the Chan Patriarch Linji, which represent the blessings of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, the Triple Gem within the Meditation Hall. The west and east wings of the outer meditation hall hold seats designated for the Abbot and Master of the Hall, which are known in the Chan School as the niche of purity. Situated on the four sides of the hall are seats for the meditators, with the center of the hall left as a large open space for walking meditation sessions. The bell board beside the door, the meditation staff on the table, as well as the wooden fish, gong and small bell, are all used as signals during meditation, indicating to the practitioners the time to practice, to rest, and other actions within the hall.
The inner meditation hall contains long alcoves, wherein practitioners eat, sleep, and sit in their meditation practice. This hall truly has he real style and flavor, the rigor and seclusion, of the Chan sect of old!
In order to spread the practice of meditation, and mental and spiritual health, the Cultivation Center has designed a complete system of meditation retreats. All these are in order to draw in all manner of people from society to come and experience Buddhist meditation, to achieve the aim of purifying both body and mind.