“We've finally signed a contract to start building an FWBO retreat Centre here in The Low Countries. Our Chairwoman Karin van Kesteren signed the contract on Friday morning 4th of September on behalf of our charity Metta Vihara. And in the afternoon, Akasasuri opened the door of our future retreat place!
“It's an old pig farm and we will have to demolish the barns first before we can start the building work in spring 2010. We hope to open the doors of our centre at the end of 2010.
“In the meantime, there’s more work to be done, and more money to be raised - but our spirits are up! Both our Sanghas are very supportive of the project and willing to help in all kinds of ways. In fact, the network of friendship and interconnectedness just grows and glows.
“Thank you to all who've supported and encouraged us”.
Metta Vihara’s new address is Hengstdijkse Kerkstraat 36; on the outskirts of a small village near the sea and well-placed for all the local Sanghas, being more or less midway between Gent, Antwerp, and Rotterdam, south of Amsterdam.
There’s lots more about what’s going on there on their (Dutch) website www.mettavihara.nl. In fact, we can’t resist copying some if here, translated courtesy of Google Translate. Apologies for any inaccuracies! They say -
“On September 4 we had the keys of the future retreat centre and then we immediately got to work with cleaning and painting of the house. The next step is to move all the stuff from Bilthoven to Hengstdijk (September 12) and then in October following the demolition of the old barns. If everything goes to plan we will start the spring with the new construction.
“Meanwhile, we continue to the final design for the retreat centre, and the building permit application.
"For the future, sustainability is a topic of conversation: the care for the earth is dear to our hearts and we explore all possibilities that exist for sustainable building and focus.
“Yours, Dhammaketu, Karin van Kesteren, Akasasuri, Manigarbha”.
Meanwhile their fundraising goes on, and they’d like to draw attention to one thing especially - the Urgyen Sangharakshita tulip bulbs. They say (also in translation) -
“BUY THEM NOW!!! And help the fundraising campaign of € 80,000 together for the establishment of the brand new retreat centre. This unique tulip was named after Urgyen Sangharakshita, the founder of the Friends of Western Buddhist Order, which Metta Vihara is part of.
"You can get 15 bulbs for € 10 and 7 bulbs for € 5. The bulbs can be planted from October to December on balconies or in the garden and bloom in the spring. Click here for photos and ordering."
The photos show Metta Vihara's latest poster, the contract-signing ceremony, and an architect’s impression of the new retreat centre building.