Some news from Montchardon on April 15th, 2020…
It has now been almost a month since the confinement began in Montchardon, on March the 16th, the day of the last Nyung Ney.
Our first task was to organize ourselves for this new adventure, in the face of an unexpected threat… How should we set up a new organisation for the supplies, implement strict sanitary measures in order to preserve the community and especially Lama Teunsang? We had to reorganize the dining room to respect safety distances, the preparation of meals, the use of sanitary facilities, common areas and practice areas. Confinement according to the required standards is inevitably more complicated to set up when there are twenty or so people, each having a different approach to the precautions to be taken. Several meetings helped us find the way to put everything in place. We also informed the retreatants who don’t have the same perception of the situation, and established hygiene rules to protect them.
The shopping is done by Claude who lives in the valley and delivers the goods every week, following a very strict protocol. Our biggest concern is to preserve Lama Teunsang from this virus, given his age and his health concerns from last year. We have asked him to remain as confined to his apartment as possible. Meals are served to him in his room, with the utmost care. We have reserved a special access for him to the temple, which he uses twice daily, for the morning practice and Mahakala practice at 6 pm and, according to the habit he has had for several months, he stays in the temple until the time of the Chenrezig practice. He goes out during the day to walk alone or to supervise the logging and road construction work currently underway south of the Centre, beyond the boiler room.
We take advantage of this period to improve the Centre website and to release video documents made over the last few years. You can thus see:
We owe these films of great quality to Sophie Thélotte and Sylvain Hart who, patiently, have made these videos with the footage they have shot all these years. We thank them for this remarkable work..
Other videos will be put online progressively… we invite you to discover them by going from time to time on the site.
A new teaching by HH the Karmapa Thaye Dorje is available since April 9th, in which he talks about the importance of practice to accept change. We would also like to put other audio teachings of our masters online. All this takes a lot of time and we are doing it as we can.
We have just learned that the confinement has been extended until May 11th in France. It is difficult to define now the programme of the Centre activities for the next few months. We will gradually see what will be possible and will keep you informed.
Concerning the project of a new building, presented in the December 2019 issue of the Nouvelles de Montchardon, we have obtained the building permit. A team of architects has been hired to launch a call for tenders with local companies. Our objective, before the confinement, was to start the work this summer. The current situation will certainly delay this project, which is so dear to Lama Teunsang’s heart, who wants to get this new Nyung Ney temple up and running as soon as possible. The construction is scheduled to last one year. We will come back to this major project soon, on the occasion of a future edition of the KML News.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank once again the people who made a donation for the construction of the Nyoung Né temple. Thank you to you.
On the occasion of the construction of the new building, the government asked us to completely change the Centre current sanitation system, which was built in 1988 below the flat grass area underneath the 8 stupas. This system has given us full satisfaction for all these years, but was beginning to prove less efficient. We are currently consulting micro water treatment plant suppliers, to install a new system soon. It will be a biological treatment plant, which uses the principle of treatment by fixed, immersed and mechanically aerated biomass. This takes the form of different tanks equipped with a ventilation system, buried so as not to be visible in the environment.
We wish you all to continue this confinement in the best conditions, and to be able to take advantage of this opportunity to practice Dharma and reflect on impermanence, as the Karmapa invites us to do.
Sincerely in the Dharma,
The team of Montchardon