MAY 2013 – HURRAH FOR VOLUNTEERS
In the past two weeks all the hard work that has been going on here since September has really begun to show. It started with getting services – water, electricity and sewage- sorted out and that proved a much bigger job than had been expected. That long, and rather unglamorous, stage of the work has been essential to making sure that everything works properly and that it will be a while before we need to do anything to them again.
After that there seemed to be a lot of demolition as walls were torn down to make big spaces like the dining and lounge area, the library and the shrine room. There are now light, open areas where before there were lots of small rooms. The next stage after that was installing light, water and heat in the right places and making good the floors and walls. And that is still going on. There are still outside contractors on site as well as sangha members who are professional carpenters, plasterers and plumbers but one of the things that makes this project special is the contribution of volunteers.
There have been volunteers working here from early on in the project and their work has always made a real difference. In the past weeks we have had a number of excellent volunteers and at this stage of the project we can see the effect of what they’ve been doing even more clearly. Clare, Sally, Rachel and Lucy are living at Taraloka as part of a Young Women’s project and they came and gave us a week of their time. They transformed the Beams, which will be the retreat centre dining area and lounge, steadily painting away but also sanding beams and removing protective film from windows –a fiddly and unpleasant job which requires the use of ammonia and a lot of patience.
Since then Carol, Julia and Prajnamala from Croydon have also been here and have worked very hard in the Beams and the Shrine Room. These spaces are very large and it has been really surprising to see how long it takes to decorate them, despite the very steady way everyone has been working. Having volunteers makes a huge difference and it doesn’t have to be for a long stretch at a time; Shantipala, who lives in Herefordshire, has been coming once a week since late January to help with the decorating. Raymond, who has now been here for 4 months, also does a great job, with Ratnadharini, of setting volunteers up and showing them what needs doing. Volunteers with a special skill are a bonus. Vajrasiddhi is here to do some decorating but as an ex-firefighter he is also able to help with fire risk assessment.
In June we have a big influx of volunteers- some of whom will be able to stay in the first completed rooms in the accommodation block- but we are always happy hear from other people who would like to come and work here. Things are certainly progressing well but it’s only 10 weeks to our opening weekend and there is still a great deal to do. It is a privilege for all of us working here to be part of such an exciting and significant project – creating a spiritual home for the whole Triratna Movement. Volunteering provides an opportunity to share in that experience.
30TH JULY – DAYS AWAY
With the grand opening and dedication of Adhisthana just days away, Clear Vision returns to the Sangharakshita Land Project in June 2013, to see how work is progressing.
Links to their videos are available here.
2ND AUGUST – OPENING WEEKEND
The Adhisthana dedication weekend began today with an afternoon tea for invited local people. Over 80 people came to look around, listen to a talk by Sanghadeva and eat scones and cream. They included former staff at the school for autistic children which occupied the house before us, local residents, and the last person to be born in the house before it was sold to an oil company. Although there’s still much to be done, the place looked so good by the time the guests arrived, they’d never have guessed the team had downed tools and gone off to shower just half an hour before! The guests were extremely positive about the project, which has been characterised by very good relations with the local community right from the start.
Read the bulletin from Munisha on thebuddhistcentre.com