This summer the programme will take place under special circumstances, since the Centre can resume activities provided that sanitary measures are strictly observed.

Whether you are vaccinated or not, whether you have a negative PCR test or not, does not change the need to respect sanitary measures.

Your presence in Montchardon implies that you strictly respect sanitary measures in all circumstances.

We are now used to these measures:

  1. Wear a protective mask in the temple during the whole teaching or practice period, in the refectory until you start eating, and in all situations where it is difficult to maintain a 1m distance with others.
  2. Hand wash with hydro-alcoholic gel when entering and leaving the temple and refectory, whenever accessing the self-service area and on all occasions when touching a collective object.
  3. Maintain a distance of 1m around yourself, in the temple, in the refectory and when moving around in the Centre.

Access to the temple will be limited to 70/80 people to respect sanitary distances.

For accommodation, the rooms that accommodate several people will become individual rooms, except for couples or families. The number of places in the dormitory will be reduced to space out the beds. This will allow us to accommodate about 80 people.

The campsite area will be open, and the layout of the tents should follow the same guidelines. Disinfectant will be available in all places where necessary.

These rules must be maintained in Montchardon at all times.

Indeed:

- We have a moral obligation to protect ourselves and others from disease, especially as we live in collective premises.

- It is important to continue to protect Lama Teunsang, whose immunity is greatly diminished, even though he has been vaccinated.

For these reasons, we are asking all those who come this summer to commit to respecting sanitary measures. This commitment will take the official form of a box to be ticked on the registration form, which will allow everyone to come to the Centre with complete peace of mind.

If you cannot or do not wish to follow these guidelines, we ask you not to 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.

When you leave, if you need to have a PCR test, this can be done in the cities in the area. However, it will be up to you to organise (making an appointment, travelling to and from the test site), because the Centre cannot manage these procedures.

The new sewage system

In the Montchardon adventure, there have been engaging and federating projects such as the construction of a stupa or temple, and others that are less exhilarating but of prime importance for daily life, such as the creation of a new water treatment plant for the Centre.

Because Montchardon is far from the surrounding villages, it is impossible for us to connect to the communal sewage system. In 1988, the public authorities having asked us to establish an autonomous system, we built a 100m3 concrete pit where all waters from Montchardon are gathered and treated before infiltrating naturally into the ground. Located below the campground underneath the 8 stupas, this installation had so far given us complete satisfaction.

Recently, during the building permit process for the new building, the Administration asked us to increase the capacity of our sewage system. A specialized engineering office advised us to bring the installation up to current standards, which are more environmentally compatible. This advice seemed very relevant to us, since we had been aware of the limits of the system for some years. After studying the situation, and taking into account our present and future needs, the expert helped us choose a new installation capable of treating the effluents of a site receiving up to 200 people. The current capacity being about 130 people, this will also ensure our future development needs.

The chosen solution consists of a biological treatment plant, entirely buried so as to be unnoticeable in the environment. Water is treated by a population of bacteria attached to a support. A clever aeration system facilitates the development of aerobic bacteria which degrade the polluting materials contained in waste water. This makes it possible to obtain non-drinkable yet clean water, that can then be discharged into the natural environment by infiltration.

We wanted to replace the old system under the 8 stupas with the new one before the beginning of the summer courses. We called upon our friend Florent Lamberton, an excavation specialist, who has been working at the Centre for many years with great competence. He coordinated this particularly delicate work: first of all, he delivered 6 large concrete tanks, some weighing more than 11 tons, and then placed them precisely in a 3.5m deep excavation the size of a public swimming pool!

On July 5th, 4 vehicles brought the tanks, preceded by a truck crane, necessary to handle them. All were positioned on an access road laid out for the occasion below the construction site. After the crane was deployed, the impressive operation of removing each tank was carried out easily, in a record time, under the watchful eye of Lama Teunsang standing on the top of the terrace of the 8 stupas.

The total cost of this operation is also impressive: €70,000! This may seem quite expensive... yet if this facility lasts as long as the previous one (32 years), it is an essential and very profitable investment for the Centre.

The 100m3 tank that served as an all-water pit was in good condition: we kept it so that once cleaned and restored, it can be used as a water reserve for the fire services, for watering or for various needs.

Our photographer and friend Salva has made a film and photos that you can see on the french version.