Padovano Peace Pavilion
The largest gathering place in the Salameno Spiritual Center is the Padovano Peace Pavilion. Its design was creative, indeed startling: triangular and trapezoidal, with sloping planes and 800 square feet of interior space, accommodating eighty people. There are views of the sky at its apex and two bands of windows, three feet high, composed of translucent and transparent glass, affording views of the pond, the woodlands and the horizon. A large oak tree, removed to build the center, has been made into oak benches on three sides of the pavilion and in the McBride and Marino Meditation Rooms.
The Padovano Peace Pavilion is built in the shape of a tent, one of humankind’s most ancient symbols of the presence of the divine or the cosmic spirit and, indeed, a traditional symbol of hospitality. The building is called a “pavilion” from the Latin for “butterfly”, a sign of stunning transformation from earth-bound caterpillar to freedom and flight and beauty.
The McBride and Marino Meditation Rooms
Gracing the Salameno Spiritual Center are two other structures, the McBride and Marino Meditation Rooms. They are the curving structures, each with a small window allowing light to enter at the top and a lower window providing a view of the pond. These spartan spaces are limited to one person and provide an environment of solitude, silence and serenity.The bend of the structures toward the horizon suggests spiritual yearning.
The utility buildings are what one first encounters on entering the Center. They form a barrier. One passes through an aperture between the buildings which become a wall shutting out the hurried pace of everyday life. To make this point clear, a talented sculptor at the College, Professor Jay Wholley, donated his time for two years to construct a sculptured, workable gate. The gate is a circular structure, with one half on each side of the aperture. The imagery is derived from the mystical beast, the Ouroboros, holding on to its tail. The beast encircles and protects the whole universe, particularly the spiritual life in it.
Mann Contemplative Terrace
In the midst of the center is a glacial erratic, a huge boulder remnant of the last ice age that shaped the terrain of northern New Jersey. Near the Padovano Peace Pavilion, at the edge of the pond, the Mann Contemplative Terrace offers unimpeded views of the water and the woodlands.
McBride and Marino Meditation Room Policies
- The McBride and Marino Meditation Rooms are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- In order to gain access, one must have a valid Ramapo College ID card that will need to be specially encoded at the Office of Public Safety ( C-102).
- Motion and heat detectors installed in the Meditation Rooms will cause a red light on the exterior entranceway to be activated if the room is currently occupied.
Five gardens planted with indigenous flowering plants alter the landscape throughout the year and complement the buildings.
The Center occupies 1,525 square feet of the half-acre site. The buildings are geo-thermally heated and environmentally sensitive. A gracious field-stone wall and pavements surround the Center.