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Expanding Opportunities to Heal and Transform with the Addition of Our New Residential Center

We are happy to report the current progress on our community’s endeavor to build Great Cloud refuge.

After many delays with the permitting process (we later learned that systematic problems with the City of Tampa's online system have affected many organizations and are now being addressed), we now have all approvals to move forward. We plan to pour foundation and begin infrastructure in August. However, with predictions by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association for a normal to above-normal hurricane season (which officially began June 1) for 2018, we will be postponing the commencement of much of the construction until we near the end of the traditional hurricane season for Tampa Bay, in mid-to-late October. This means that we will be constructing primarily during dry weather, with an anticipated completion date in late spring of 2019. Anticipating possible delays, we have reserved our usual January and April dates at the Franciscan Center so we will be able to continue retreats on our normal schedule next year.

We are grateful to have strong project leadership, flexibility in operations, and support of the community as we patiently move forward to make Great Cloud Refuge a reality. We will continue to keep you informed of our progress.

When complete, the new Great Cloud Refuge building on our Tampa Center Campus will include: 4,000 square feet for sleeping rooms to house 24-42 people, additional spaces for individual meditation, and flexible gathering spots for meditation or small group meetings. (Please click below to see the attached beautiful architectural renderings for four views of the completed building and landscaping).

Please click here to hear our teacher Fred speak about his vision for retreats at the Practice Center and here for a Q&A with Fred.

Envisioning Great Cloud Refuge

We envision Great Cloud Refuge as providing the capacity to offer sleeping accommodations for up to 42 retreatants for a whole range of Dharma activities and study currently limited by our access to outside facilities. Some examples of what Great Cloud Refuge would make possible are:
  • A larger number of 2-, 3-, and 4-day retreats;
  • Individual retreats to explore specific areas of healing and transformation under the guidance of a teacher/mentor;
  • Accommodations for visiting teachers who can offer teachings at the Center;
  • A wide range of mindful living weekend course offerings, e.g. transforming relationships, working with emotions, mindful parenting, mindful leadership, etc., that would appeal to both Buddhist practitioners and the general public, and would contribute to the happiness and well-being of our broader Florida community.

…and other purposes yet to be envisioned.

Informed by the advice of architects, construction experts, and experienced retreat facility managers, we have undertaken a thorough process of assessing how the space can be used to maximum advantage, serving the sangha’s needs for years to come. The result is a lovely 4,000 square foot space that will support our retreat aspirations and both blend with and enhance our current Practice Center campus. We hope to begin offering retreats at Great Cloud in the first quarter of 2019.

Great Cloud Architectural Renderings (Views 1, 2, 3, and 4)

Giving the Gift of Dharma by Supporting the Creation of Great Cloud Refuge

What greater gift can we give to ourselves, the world, and generations to come than the Dharma, with its capacity to transform suffering at the base and bring true happiness into the world! We welcome all support for helping to create Great Cloud Refuge. Please click here to explore ways to offer support.

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