Meditation Hall - Solitude

Meditation opens the senses, clears the mind and releases the body to the pinnacle of a state of relaxation and heightened awareness. Now more than ever, in our globalised society where everything and everyone is more interconnected, a place of solidarity and tranquillity becomes increasingly necessary. Living in the contemporary era means our lives have become more complicated with commitments to work, family and friends filling up our daily schedules. Time for oneself, however, is seemingly lost, and this loss of freedom can exacerbate stress levels, leading to anxiety, depression and other mental issues. A place of meditation can benefit the mind, body and soul, and it is through meditation that we can release our burdens to achieve revitalisation from a feeling of peace and harmony. I want to explore meditation through the four themes of Refuge, Pilgrimage, Memory and Mā 間 (relationality).

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The growth in world interconnectedness leads to a decrease in individual privacy. A space for solitude and refuge would allow for undisturbed self-reflection and exploration, as exemplified by hermits in the past.

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The act of promenading through spaces to explore an underlying ambience enriches the senses while on the move; thus, the promenade through different environments that enhances perceptions of atmospheric qualities is achieved through pilgrimage.

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Memory underlines our perception of the world, therefore, memories embedded within the site can add a layer of depth to enrich our knowledge of past events and the physical materiality of a place.

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Mā 間 is a Japanese concept of the relationality or in-betweenness of the physical being and the mental feeling of all aspects of life. It is Mā which interlinks the other themes that will inform my approach to meditation.

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The site is located at Mangakura, 73km northwest of Auckland. The site is located on top of a hill overlooking the Kaipara Harbour. Various buildings are spread throughout the site interconnected by pathways that lead up and down the hill.