Tuesday, April 27, 2010

News from Metta Vihara

 Akasasuri writes from Holland with news of their new retreat centre, Metta Vihara.  She says “here's some news on our retreat centre building work - seems a never-ending Mara-story!”  and goes on to explain -

“In September 2009 the Triratna Sanghas from the Low Countries (Holland and Belgium) bought a property in the South of Holland with the aim to establish our own retreat centre. In 1972 Vajrayogini (who recently died at the age of 93) organised the first FWBO retreat in Holland, led by Sangharakshita. Over the last 4 1/2 years about 20 retreats a year have been held in Holland and Belgium. And we thought, about time we had our own place!

“After much fundraising, the place we bought is a modern-looking white-washed farmhouse with lots of pigstables which needed to be demolished as they contained a lot of asbestos, especially on the roof. Due to the cold winter we had to keep postponing the removal of the asbestos as one is not allowed to handle it when the temperature sinks below 5 degrees!

“Finally in March we saw the demolishing of the barns. Unexpected draw-back is the appearance of new asbestos in the foundations. The regulations for the removal of asbestos are very strict here in Holland. Large new costs are looming as we are waiting the results of the new asbestos-survey!
“However our spirits are still up even though we have to face some serious financial consequences with the new-found asbestos.

“Meanwhile the architect is drawing his plans while we are establishing friendly contact with the people in the village and lots of volunteers from the Sangha come out to help.

With metta,

Jan Deckers from the Dutch Sangha made a video of the demolishing of the pig stables, and set it to the chanting of the Pali Buddha Jaya Mangala Gāthā  (the The Verses of the Buddha's Auspicious Victories), part of which goes like this -

            Creating a form with 1,000 arms, each equipped with a weapon,
            Mara, on the elephant Girimekhala,
            uttered a frightening roar together with his troops.
            The Lord of Sages defeated him by means of such qualities as generosity:
            By the power of this, may you have victory blessings

May Metta Vihara too have victory blessings!

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