Our precious ear whispered teachings — clearly heard, word-for-word

Acoustic treatment of Karma Guen’s Thaye Dorje Gompa and museum space.


Recently (during 2016) it was decided to investigate acoustic and audio solutions for Karma Guen’s Thaye Dorje Gompa and the new museum (top floor of the new building). This was done because for several years now it has been clear that the affects of adverse reverberation interference in both spaces makes the delivery of clearly audible amplified sound, and especially speech, very difficult, and at times, close to impossible. For this task we put together a small team of professionals in sound engineering, audio installation, acoustic design, architecture, and structural engineering

The team undertook professional acoustic reverberation tests in both the spaces, and from these test results computer simulations have been created for various scenarios using different types of acoustic treatment and audio equipment layouts. Also detailed price quotes for acoustic solutions and audio equipment have been created by various means.

The conclusion of the investigation is that it is possible using various acoustically absorbent solutions to significantly reduce the reverberation characteristic of both spaces, and in both cases to a degree where there would be a very noticeable improvement in the sound quality from an audio system, in particular making amplified spoken word much more easily audible.

What’s needed for this project and why it’s necessary?

To cut to a very long story short — for the entire project, so for acoustic treatment of both the Thaye Dorje gompa and the museum, we need to raise close to 135.000€. This is what’s needed for the acoustic treatment, not for the additional audio equipment needed. Very detailed price quotes for acoustic treatment solutions and audio equipment have been created and are available if needed. The main thing to say about this is that this 135.000€ price is with us, so Diamond Way Buddhist friends, doing almost all the work. To put this in to perspective, if we only talk about the acoustic treatment for the Thaye Dorje Gompa, and if we had an external contractor come and do just this part of the work it would cost close to 250.000€.

Probably the most important point to understand about this entire project is that it is not a luxury item! It’s a necessity. Our Karma Kagyu teachings and our great teachers are so precious and valuable that you cannot really quantify in terms of money how important it is for them to be clearly heard. And actually providing the ability to clearly hear the transmission of these teachings is probably the most important and valuable thing we can offer — without this direct transmission Diamond Way Buddhism does not function, and a principal function of our Diamond Way Buddhist centres is to provide the environment and opportunity to come in to contact with and receive the Karma Kagyu teaching transmission.

The simplest and most direct way to explain the existing situation is that the acoustics in both the Thaye Dorje Gompa and the museum are absolutely terrible, and no amount of hi-tech audio equipment or audio engineering skill on its own can resolve this. The problem can only be solved using audio technology (so specialist loudspeakers, microphones etc) combined with acoustic treatment (mainly the use sound absorbing materials). The acoustics problem — in both spaces — can be summarised by saying that because of their dimensions, shape and construction, sound (any sound) collides with all the hard surfaces and reflects endlessly around the space, creating a constantly repeating echo everywhere. The louder the sound the louder and longer the echo. So when you cannot hear the amplified voice of a teacher in either space, turning the volume of a loudspeaker up does not solve the problem, it only intensifies the problem. Then add to this maybe more than 1,000 or so enthusiastic friends in a lecture in the Thaye Dorje Gompa, all coming and going, chatting, moving around, rummaging in their bags, translators translating… all constantly creating sound, sound which reflects endlessly around the space… well, it’s not hard to imagine the result in terms of sound echo… for a significant amount of the people in the lecture this echo is a big problem, they simply cannot hear what is being said by the teacher.

The acoustics problem (in both spaces) can easily be resolved by installing various acoustic treatment solutions — however these solutions can often be ugly, intrusive and industrial looking. Our design principle was to create a significantly better acoustic environment whilst maintaining the purpose and beauty of both spaces. The challenge was how to reduce the amount of reflective surfaces and to absorb as much of the unwanted echo as possible whilst at the same time enhancing the already almost perfect aesthetics of each space.

In the ‘downloads section of this page you can see our plan and also examples of the more industrial looking solutions supplied by an external contractor.

How much we need and how much has been raised so far

We need to raise 135.000€ for this project. Approximately 110.000€ is for the Thaye Dorje Gompa, with the remaining 25.000€ for the museum.

Raised so far: 108€

(From time-to-time we will endeavour to update the raised so far figure, if you would like accurate up-to-the-minute information, please get in contact — see the ‘More information’ section below)


Here you can view some more in depth information (downloadable PDFs)

Thaye Dorje Gompa PDF’s

  1. Karma Guen Thaye Dorje gompa acoustics study
  2. Karma Guen Thaye Dorje gompa acoustics design 1
  3. Karma Guen Thaye Dorje gompa acoustics design 2

Museum PDF’s

  1. Karma Guen museum acoustics study
  2. Karma Guen museum acoustics design stage 1

More information

If you would like to know more details or if you would like to speak with someone directly about the plans to improve the acoustics in the Thaye Dorje gompa and the museum please email to:



All donations for this project are greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Donations can be made in four main ways:

  1. By bank transfer (see below for full details).
  2. By PayPal (see below for full details).
  3. By credit card via PayPal (see below for full details).
  4. In person. To make arrangements to do this, please email to kgacoustics@bcdd.es

For bank transfers please use the €uro bank account details below.

   Account Holder: Fundación Karma Guen Karma Kagyu Camino del Diamanté

   IBAN: ES45 0075 0337 8806 0062 7178


   Banco Popular, Canalejas 25, Edificio Alhambra 29700 Vélez-Malaga

For PayPal and credit card payments please click on the link below. Via PayPal you can easily donate using your local currency.

So that we can ensure that all donations for this project get allocated correctly please add a note to any donation payment saying “acoustic improvement”. Also please email to  kgacoustics@bcdd.es  saying that you have made a donation.

Please state the donation amount, and that it is for the “acoustic improvement” project. Also please indicate if you require a tax receipt.

Again thank you for your donation to this project.