Despite restrictions to travel within Australia as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are three people currently in individual retreat, including one who is on a year-long retreat. Rejoice!
Regrettably, due to the uncertainty of future spread of the virus, the annual Lam Rim retreat planned for October has been cancelled. This was unfortunate for those who had expressed an interest in attending, as well as for the centre because of the financial impact.
Construction work on the Group Retreat Facility (GRF) has now resumed and good progress is being made. The focus remains on the accommodation and ablution blocks, where most of the work is occurring within the buildings. We are so fortunate that there are a couple of dedicated carpenters who are working regularly on site, as well as Dale Wright, our designer, who assists them and oversees construction at least once a month. As the building progresses the beauty of the architectural design is really beginning to shine. It is a fantastic achievement for all involved.
Our Centre Manager Pavel also contributes a great deal on the GRF construction site, in addition to his usual work supporting the retreaters and maintaining the buildings and grounds at the centre. He has been burning piles of bush that were cleared after being flattened during the bushfires and has tidied the scrub around many of the buildings – the surrounds of the Stupa are now far more attractive. In the future the scrub will need to be regularly trimmed to maintain the fire-breaks.
We sincerely thank all the people who continue to contribute to the centre; building, cleaning, organising, cataloguing books, meditating, donating, the list goes on!
For anyone who has been considering assisting De-Tong Ling in its future development, there are two areas where involvement would be greatly appreciated. The important issue of land management needs to be explored some more to better ensure protection of the precious environment around the centre and protection of the buildings and holy objects from bushfires. The ever-challenging activities of publicity and fundraising would also benefit from the input of fresh and enthusiastic ideas; specifically our fund-raising sub-committee is seeking new members.
We hope you are able to enjoy the Spring weather if you are in the the Southern Hemisphere, and that those who are living through restrictions can endure them with patience and consideration of others.
DTL Director Becky, and the De-Tong Ling Board