Wisdom Park fact file

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A quick reference & guide

1. What is ‘Wisdom Park’?

It is an integrated educational hub comprising facilities for teaching and learning Buddha-Dhamma.

2. Where is it located?

In Hulu Selangor District, 60km north of Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

3. What is the land size and status?

It is 39.2 acres of ‘free-hold’ land.

4. What is so unique about ‘Wisdom Park’?

It is the first truly integrated Buddhist education hub to be built in Malaysia - comprising the monastic and lay communities living, learning, practising, mutually supporting, and propagating the Dhamma.

5. How is ‘Wisdom Park’ going to be built?

It will be built in phases over 15 years – from 2018 to 2033.

6. Who is coordinating and implementing the project?

Nalanda Buddhist Society is the project coordinator and will be responsible for the overall implementation of Wisdom Park masterplan. The participation of other Buddhist organisations is positively welcome as Nalanda maintains an inclusive policy on this community project. There are also representatives of Buddhist organisations working in the Wisdom Park Development Committee.

7. Why does Nalanda want to develop ‘Wisdom Park’?

Nalanda views this project as a necessity for the preservation and development of Buddha-Sāsana in Malaysia, by making available two important factors for its growth: good teachers and good leaders.

Interview with Bro. Tan Ho Soon

Founder of Nalanda Buddhist Society Malaysia

Why did you name the proposed facility ‘Wisdom Park’?

The purpose of Buddhist education is the attainment of Wisdom. The Buddha taught that Wisdom is the key to liberation from ignorance. Therefore, we found it apt to name the proposed integrated educational facility ‘Wisdom Park’.

Why is Nalanda focusing strongly on Buddhist education?

Buddhist education in Malaysia has fallen behind in terms of knowledge. Currently in Malaysia, the focus is mainly on conducting rituals; there is a lack of appreciation on Dhamma. Many people are ‘practising’ based on their own beliefs and without proper understanding.

There are many ‘pseudo-Buddhists’ with misleading teachings and this is causing plenty of confusion among the public about ‘Buddhist’ doctrines and practice. I think this unsatisfactory state of affairs can only be alleviated with proper Buddhist education that is widespread, impactful and effective. The way we can achieve this is by training a large number of competent and inspiring Dhamma teachers – enough for every state and district in Malaysia.

We need educated Buddhists in this country to prevent Buddhism from declining. In the past, Buddhism vanished from India due to the lack of proper understanding among followers. The Malaysian population has matured and it is time for Buddhists to enhance and deepen our understanding of Dhamma, under systematic and progressive guidance.

Interview with Sis. Evelyn Chow

President of Nalanda Buddhist Society Malaysia

What are the views of Nalanda Board members on the ‘Wisdom Park’ project?

The Board agreed unanimously to the proposed acquisition of the land during our meeting on 12 July 2015. It was later endorsed at the Extraordinary General Meeting on 26 July 2015, where all members voted unanimously to approve the purchase.

The Board views ‘Wisdom Park’ as a necessity because of the declining standard of Buddhist education and the lack of competent leadership in the country. We perceive this as a critical issue and that is why Nalanda is taking the initiative and lead to build these facilities for the training of future Dhamma teachers and Buddhist leaders.

How will Wisdom Park benefit the community?

The park will be equipped with various facilities for Dhamma learning, meditation, wellness, communal and family well-being activities, and monastic residence to cater for different aspects of personal and community development. With this integrated holistic educational facility, more effective leaders, educators and missionaries will be trained to support the propagation of Buddha’s teaching throughout Malaysia.

Interview with Bro. Charlie Teng

Deputy President of Nalanda Buddhist Society Malaysia

How did you get to know of this piece of land?

We have been looking for a suitable parcel of land for Buddhist education development since several years ago. In July 2015, a friend introduced this piece of land in Hulu Selangor which appeared to be reasonably priced to us. More than 20 Nalanda officers made visits to the site and everyone found it to be suitable for our needs.

Where is Hulu Selangor and how accessible is it from different parts of the country?

Hulu Selangor is geographically situated at the centre of Peninsular Malaysia, just 60km from Kuala Lumpur. It is very accessible from either north or south; you can get there by road or rail transport. We consider it to be strategically located for travellers from all over Malaysia and Singapore.

Is this a Buddhist community project where different organisations are involved?

Yes, this is indeed meant as a project involving the whole Buddhist community. Nalanda Buddhist Society acts as the coordinator of this project. Our policy is to include and work closely with other organisations which are passionate and interested in achieving the objectives of ‘Wisdom Park’.

Interview with Vijaya Samarawickrama

Chairman of Nalanda Education Team

Why is there a need for this project when there are already many Buddhist centres in Malaysia?

There are not many societies in Malaysia providing Buddhist education, less so in the English medium. The facilities at ‘Wisdom Park’ are akin to those of a university campus. Buddhist education in Malaysia can only come to the forefront with better facilities.

In the past, expansion meant the construction of more big buildings and temples, or setting up more charitable organizations. ‘Wisdom Park’ project is aimed at educating people and increasing their understanding of Buddhism through proper education.

Why is ‘Wisdom Park’ project focusing on educating the lay community?

We need lay people to play a bigger role in promoting Buddhist education in tandem with the modern and technological era of 21st century. ‘Wisdom Park’ aims to provide long-term training for future lay Dhamma teachers and Buddhist leaders. As there is currently no such training facilities available in Malaysia for the laity, ‘Wisdom Park’ will fill this gap.

Interview with Tan Siang Chye

Director of Nalanda Institute Malaysia

What is the plan for realising ‘Wisdom Park’?

The conceptual plan for ‘Wisdom Park’ has many relevant facilities for various training programmes - catering for children to adults, families and leaders. So, it will take a bit of time to conceive and develop. We have a long-term vision for realising ‘Wisdom Park’, which will be staggered over several years. I am sure with concerted effort of everyone in the Buddhist community, the project will be realised.

How does ‘Wisdom Park’ cater to the training of youths and children?

Today's youths will be tomorrow’s leaders. We can train youths to become good leaders if we have the right people, resources, facilities and training programmes. ‘Wisdom Park’ will be build with these requirements in mind.

Children learn best in moments of joy. The project provides suitable facilities and a natural environment conducive for learning and the development of children. Furthermore, there will be facilities for family activities which will help to foster closer parent-children relationships while they learn Dhamma together. We have to use the most relevant techniques, not recycle outdated ones, for effective education of the modern generation.