Over the last 20 years, many thousands of people have attended programmes at Dechen Chöling. Here they reconnected with their inner wisdom, left with warm hearts and were able to make a little or bigger change in the world. This was only possible because a lot of effort and capital were invested in this place of wisdom and compassion, which, according to both Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, leader of Shambhala, and Eva Wong, Feng Shui master, has an enormous potential for healing and nurturing.
Before we invite you to invest in Dechen Chöling—so that we can continue to enable more, new and other people to have the same experience that you might already have had here—we would like to share with you a bit of our history and our view for the future.
From its beginning, Dechen Chöling's development has been guided by the desire to provide a healthy and peaceful practice environment for visitors and meditation students. Since its purchase in 1994, an enormous amount of effort and money has gone into the renovation of Dechen Chöling. As you can see from the photo, the place was old and neglected when we bought it.
The first to be renovated were the main building, called the Château and three smaller surrounding houses. These spaces now host the kitchen, a dining room, a meditation space, the office, and staff and participant dormitories. After that, among many ongoing smaller improvements and repairs, we developed a childcare area and a café/shop. The latest highlight in our development was the landmark renovation in 2005 of an old barn into the spacious Drala meditation hall (formerly known as Barn Ah). Since 2007, the Château has received a partial facelift, and we have built a beautiful new curvy road that opens up the land on the other side of the heart-shaped pond.
Organic and sustainable
Over the last few years Dechen Chöling has been moving steadily in the direction of becoming more sustainable and organic. We now have a new ecological sewage system, solar collectors, a substantial number of double-glazed insulation windows that keep the costly heat inside, and 100-percent organic food. Our current organic garden already enriches our meals more than seven months a year, and is in the process of being expanded.
We have a vision for our development. Here are some examples of what we are currently working on or planning for the near and further future.
We would like to be able to host more programmes in the winter, for which we wish to build new, better-equipped lodgings that could also accommodate older and disabled people in comfort.
Also, in 2007 Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche requested that a stupa be built near the lake, to increase the power and the auspicious good fortune of this place. As physical representations of the Buddhist ideal of enlightenment, stupas embody the aspiration for increasing wisdom and compassion in the world, so we are naturally eager to start this project.
Furthermore we have plans for a new kitchen, a larger indoor dining hall and another meditation hall.
Since we wish to keep our programme prices as low as possible so that everybody who wishes can attend, we also need money to take care of our daily business, such as maintaining the beautiful nature surrounding us, and uplifting the spaces in which we live, practice and sleep.
Furthermore we offer annual scholarship funds which support participants, who cannot pay the full programme fees due to their financial situation.
If you would like to help support Dechen Chöling, you are invited to do so and get in touch with us.
Generosity is the virtue that produces peace.