Restoring Geser Sum monastery
||Inside the compound of the Geser monastery
The Geser Sum monastery is one of the few religious buildings to have survived the Stalinist purges in Mongolia. Ironically it survived because it was being used as a factory and so was considered an industrial site. Built in the late 18th century, it is one of the oldest buildings in what until living memory was a city of tents: Mongolia's capital, Ulaanbaatar.
Geser, to whom the temple is dedicated, is the deity of war and literature. It is appropriate that the temple should therefore be used as a centre of teaching, and to defend the environment, on which the country’s future depends.
Preserving nature and the arts
||the monastery‘s murals and decorations are being restored
ARC is working with a Mongolian charity, set up solely for the preservation of Geser Sum. Wall-paintings at the monastery will be preserved with seed funding provided by the Getty Foundation. These include a series of murals showing the story of Monkey, a mischievous hero figure said to be protected by Avalokitesvara, the patron deity of Mongolia.
Energy conservation in Mongolian monasteries
Working with monasteries across Mongolia, ARC and the United Nations Environment Programme are developing energy savings programmes based on Buddhist notions of right use of natural resources.
The project is helping monasteries where possible to be more efficient in their energy use, by using sustainable fuels for heating and power, such as biomass, solar and fuel-efficient stoves.
The goal is for monasteries to act as information centres for lay people, by developing literature and models of energy efficiency, as part of Mongolia’s commitment to the Kyoto protocol. The hope is that ordinary people will see how the monasteries are saving energy and keeping warm - and they will use the same principles in their own homes. A handbook will be published in 2004.
Link to article on preserving Mongolian Buddhist history in the English-language Mongol Messenger
Links to the Mongolian Buddhist Handbook
Link here to access the news story about the launch of the Mongolian Buddhist Handbook.
here to download the Mongolian Buddhist Handbook in English. (Please note this file is 1.15MB)
And to download the Mongolian version, please link
here.(A 2MB file.)
Link here to download the guide to the Mongolian Buddhists’ Eight Year Plan (this file is 4.13MB).
here for details of ancient Buddhist wisdom on taking care of nature.
Link here for details on Mongolian Case Studies.
here on how to make contact with the Sangha.
To download the A3 poster of a new thangka about Buddhists protecting Nature, link