Nous voulions témoigner de l’ambiance qu’il y a dans le Centre actuellement, dans le contexte singulier de la pandémie.
La retraite de Shiné-Lhaktong s’est bien déroulée, bien que sur les trois semaines il n’y ait eu en moyenne que 25 à 30 personnes, ce qui est peu par rapport aux années précédentes. Plusieurs facteurs pourraient expliquer cette baisse significative du nombre de stagiaires : l’annonce tardive de la réouverture du Centre en attendant la prise de position des autorités, la crainte du Covid ou la difficulté à se plier aux contraintes sanitaires, les problèmes de transports publics ou encore le fait que Lama Teunsang n’enseignait pas cette année…

Cette timide reprise de la fréquentation a cependant été plus facile pour l’équipe des résidents, qui a dû tout réorganiser en fonction des directives sanitaires contraignantes. Devoir accueillir les stagiaires avec l’obligation d’imposer une certaine rigueur n’était pas pour nous une chose évidente. Fort heureusement, tout s’est déroulé de manière très harmonieuse, chacun jouant parfaitement le jeu et nous avons constaté que la plupart des stagiaires étaient rassurés et même reconnaissants des efforts que le Centre avait déployés pour sécuriser leur séjour.

La présence des stagiaires au mois d’août sera plus importante. L’enseignement de Trinlay Rinpoché est complet, il remporte comme d’habitude un franc succès.

Le contexte sanitaire et les règles en cours

A cause des mesures de distanciation de 1m entre les personnes, nous pouvons accueillir un maximum de 85 personnes dans le temple et aucune dérogation n’est possible. C’est une première à Montchardon de devoir limiter l’accès à un enseignement et nous en sommes désolés.

Depuis le 20 juillet, le port du masque est obligatoire dans des lieux clos. Nous venons de recevoir la confirmation par les pouvoirs publics de l’obligation de porter un masque en permanence dans le temple durant les enseignements et les pratiques collectives quotidiennes. A cet effet, pensez à prévoir suffisamment de masques pour la durée de votre séjour.

Les personnes qui viennent au Centre doivent respecter impérativement ces mesures barrières. L’inscription à un stage vaut engagement formel à suivre strictement les consignes. Les résidents ne sont pas des vigiles : la moindre entorse à ces règles peut provoquer des confrontations inutiles et pénibles pour tous, et entrainer de fâcheuses conséquences pour le Centre qui serait placé dans une position contraire à la loi. Donc, si vous n’êtes pas disposé(e) à suivre ces règles, nous vous demandons de ne pas venir au Centre tant que ces contraintes ne seront pas levées par les pouvoirs publics.

De même, si vous présentez des symptômes de maladie, il est inutile de venir au Centre car nous ne pourrons pas vous recevoir.

 

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 ".

Summer Courses in Montchardon during the Covid pandemic    

We wanted to bear witness to the Centre’s atmosphere at the moment, in the singular context of the pandemic.

The Shine-Lhaktong retreat went well, although over three weeks there was an average of only 25 to 30 people, which is little compared to previous years. Several factors could explain this significant drop in the number of trainees: we announced quite late that the Centre was reopening because we waiting for the authorities to take a stand, people’s fear of Covid or difficulty in complying with health constraints, the issue of public transport to the Centre or the fact that Lama Teunsang was not teaching this year.

However, this timid resumption of attendance was easier for the residents' team, who had to reorganize everything according to the restrictive health guidelines. Having to welcome trainees with the necessity to impose strict guidelines was not an obvious thing for us. Fortunately, everything went very smoothly, everyone accepted the situation perfectly and we found that most trainees were reassured and even grateful for the Centre’s efforts to make their stay safe.

Attendance in August will be more important. Trinlay Rinpoche’s teaching is as usual already fully booked.

Sanitary context and current rules
Because of the 1m distance between people, we can only welcome a maximum of 85 people in the temple and no derogation is possible. It is a first in Montchardon to have to limit access to a teaching, and we feel sorry for this.

Since July 20th, wearing a mask is compulsory in closed places. We have just received confirmation from public authorities that wearing a mask is compulsory at all times in the temple during the teachings and daily collective practices. To this effect, please remember to bring enough masks for the duration of your stay .

People who come to the Centre must imperatively respect the sanitary measures. Registration for a course is a formal commitment to strictly follow the instructions. Residents are not security guards: the slightest breach of these rules can cause unnecessary confrontations that are painful for all, and lead to unfortunate consequences for the Centre placed in an unlawful position. Therefore, if you are not willing to follow these rules, we ask you not to come to the Centre until these constraints are lifted by public authorities. Likewise, if you have symptoms of illness, it is useless to come to the Centre as we will not be able to welcome you.