Comme vous le savez, le 5 juin passé les drouplas de Montchardon ont achevé leur retraite de 3 ans. Nous n’avons malheureusement pas pu les accueillir en public à leur sortie, à cause du Covid, mais nous avons pu découvrir quelques moments de cette journée filmés par Sophie Thélotte, dans deux vidéos publiées en juin.

Nous avons également souhaité interviewer les drouplas sur le moment, pour qu’ils nous parlent un peu de leur expérience de retraite. Plusieurs d’entre eux se sont prêtés au jeu, filmés par Sophie Thélotte, Jean-Marc Falcombello jouant le rôle d’interviewer, son ancien métier. Ce sont des propos recueillis dans une ambiance spéciale, à chaud, au sortir d’une expérience de plusieurs années de vie commune et « hors du commun ». Première ouverture aux autres, ces paroles nous éclairent sur la retraite de 3 ans, ses difficultés, ses étonnements, les cheminements individuels, si différents mais tous passionnants.
Nous allons progressivement diffuser ces interviews magnifiques, où chacun nous livre une parcelle de cette pratique en retraite. Nous commençons aujourd’hui avec les premiers interviews de Marie-Dominique et de Guillaume.


Interview of two druplas after their retirement

As you know, on June 5th the druplas of Montchardon completed their 3-year retreat. Unfortunately, because of Covid measures we were not able to welcome them in public, but we discovered some moments of this day filmed by Sophie Thélotte in two videos published in June.

We also wanted to interview the druplas on the spot, so that they could tell us a little about their retreat experience. Several of them accepted and were filmed by Sophie Thélotte, with Jean-Marc Falcombello playing the role of interviewer, his former profession. These comments are gathered in a special atmosphere, on the heat of the moment, at the end of an extra-ordinary experience of several years living together. These first words shared with others enlighten us on the 3-year retreat, its difficulties, its surprises and the individual paths, so different but all fascinating.

We will progressively share these magnificent interviews, each one giving us a piece of this retreat practice. We start today with two interviews of Marie-Dominique and Guillaume.
(see above – englsh subtitles soon available)

Vigilance COVID at Montchardon

The programme now takes place under special circumstances, since the Centre may resume its activities provided that the health rules are strictly observed.

The conditions of participation imply strict compliance with the barrier measures, whether for practices or courses.

Here is how we will organize ourselves.
For places of worship such as Montchardon, the rules set by the State are as follows:

  • - upon arrival at the Centre, the trainee must not be ill or show symptoms of the virus.
  •  obligation to maintain a distance of 1m around oneself, in the temple, in the refectory and when moving around the Centre,
  • - mandatory wearing of a protective mask in :
    •   - the temple: permanently during the teachings and daily collective practices.
    •   - the refectory: from the entrance to the moment of sitting down and if you get up to get a drink or to go out.
    •   - all other situations: as soon as it is difficult to maintain distance from others,
  • - hand washing with hydro-alcoholic gel at the entrance and exit of the temple and refectory, every time you enter the self-service area and on all occasions when you have to touch a collective object.
  • - An identifiable member of the administration will be responsible for the entry and exit phases of the prayer area to ensure that the rules are respected.

If you are unable or unwilling to follow these guidelines, we ask that you do not come to the Centre while these rules are in effect. The same applies, of course, if you are ill or have symptoms of the virus.

About Lama Teunsang

It is essential to protect Lama Teunsang whose immunity is compromised, making him extremely vulnerable to infection, and the people at the centre are in daily contact with him for meals and care. This also means that it is not appropriate to return to Lama Teunsang's home to greet him. For the compelling reasons mentioned above, he currently only receives those who care for his health.

No offering of kata to Lama Teunsang
It is asked to stay away from him, at least 1m and not to offer him a kata.
This use, so much appreciated by all of us, is currently suspended during the Covid period, to preserve its still fragile health.

Individual interview with Lama Teunsang
We asked Lama Teunsang about personal interviews. He does not wish to resume them for the time being. We will inform you of their resumption when he tells us so.
However, it is possible to request an interview with one of the Lamas of Montchardon. See with the translator.

In brief

Access to the temple will be limited to 80 people to respect sanitary distances. For accommodation, the rooms with several people will become individual accommodation, except for couples or families. The number of dormitory places will be reduced to space between beds. We will thus be able to accommodate about 80 people. The campsite will be open, the installation of the tents will have to follow the same instructions. We will have disinfecting liquids in all the places where it is necessary.

We would like to remind you:

  • - on the one hand, failure to respect the rules could lead to the closure of the Centre and legal proceedings.
  • - on the other hand, we have a moral obligation to protect ourselves and others from a potentially dangerous disease, especially since we live in collective premises.

As Buddhist practitioners, the constraints of masks, social distances and frequent hand washing can be integrated into our practice, as a constant training for vigilance and support of attention in our daily actions. It is also a great opportunity to practice the awakening mind, the altruistic attitude: "I commit myself to make this effort, thinking more about the well-being and health of others than about my own inconvenience". These are the skillful means of Dharma called " integrating unpleasantness into the path ".