Land & Facilities
Dechen Chöling looks like a small French village. The main house and surrounding farm buildings sit in an open, yet protected, landscape. The grounds surrounding the buildings are dotted with centuries-old trees, rose and flower gardens, and rolling fields planted in an 18th Century English garden style. Of the 56 hectares of land that belong to the centre, the Dechen Chöling "village" uses only a small portion.
The Château and Meditation hall
The main building is a beautiful château with accommodations for guests and teachers, and also includes the main kitchen and -dining room as well as a medium sized meditation hall. “Marpa Room” is our cosy community room with an antique style chimney where you’ll find a library and space to read or converse with others in the evenings. Guests and staff like to find a peaceful place on the front or back porch to rest, socialize, or enjoy silent moments and serene views.
Facing the château is our new large meditation hall. Now the heart of the centre this former barn has been beautifully renovated with parquet floors; its bright calm atmosphere and inspiring energy supports people in practicing and opening up. The meditation hall can seat up to 100 people. Dechen Chöling also offers facilities for Kyudo and Kado practice. For our „Kyudo – the way of the bow“ programmes we have constructed an elegant „azuchi“, a traditional Japanese structure in which the targets are placed.
Also on the land are childcare facilities, a Boutique & Café, and our popular organic garden. There are six campgrounds situated around the land, where we offer large two-person tents for participants staying in the busy summer months. Many return each year and enjoy these camping-style sites under the sheltering leafs of our most beloved and oldest trees.
Boutique & Café
Situated in the centre of Dechen Chöling, nestled in a romantic, charming terrace, our Boutique will magnetize you with an attractive variety of practice materials and supplies, an exquisite selection of spiritual books, gifts, postcards, T-shirts and jewelry.
The shop also sells sweets and oft-forgotten toiletries. In the summer especially, it becomes a favorite social gathering point, as the “terrace café” offers fresh brewed coffee!
Even when you're back home, you can order books, practice materials or anything else you might have remembered seeing in the boutique by contacting email@example.com.
Since its inception, there has been a working vegetable garden at Dechen Chöling. By using biodynamic/French Intensive method of gardening, as introduced by Allen Chadwick at the University of California in the early 1970s, the garden produces many vegetables and herbs for Dechen Chöling’s kitchen. In addition to providing nourishment, the garden's flowers decorate our shrines and other places of adornment, as well as supplying our contemplative flower arrangement classes.
The garden is also often used as a place of respite -- providing a space for visitors to just sit or stroll and appreciate the sacredness of the natural world.
The Kami Tree
The kami tree, the old and powerful tulip tree near the château now surrounded by a rope fence, was designated as a kami tree by the Japanese Kyudo ("art of the bow") master and bow-maker to the Emperor of Japan Kanjuro Shibata Sensei XX in the late 1990s. Kami trees in the Shinto tradition of Japan are places where a kami lives. Kamis are deities embodying a powerful, awakened energy and are comparable to dralas in the Shambhala tradition. For the last years, Shibata Sensei has taught summer Kyudo programmes at Dechen Chöling.
The Dechen Chöling kami is said to embody feminine energy and the principle of motherhood, and helps to protect and rouse the energy of this place. Designating a tree as a kami tree and recognising its sacredness is a way to magnetise the energy of the particular kami inhabiting it.
Around Dechen Chöling
Guests and participants appreciate the gentle and soft atmosphere at and around Dechen Chöling. With its still meadows and farmland where cows and horses graze, gentle rolling hills and a river passing nearby, it's a perfect environment for short or long walks or going for a run. Small sleepy French villages are in walking distance and you may make a tour to St. Junien or St. Victurnien where you can rent a bike or enjoy a cup of coffee in one of the boulangeries.
Dechen Chöling is committed to preserving our world and its environment. In 2010 we switched to offering exclusively 100% organic food, use of only organic cleaning supplies and we even have installed a reed-based waste water system.
Our cooks are very pleased to offer you healthy and tasty meals based on high quality organic ingredients. We think you’ll enjoy them!
Eva Wong, a famous Chinese Feng Shui master, has stated that Dechen Chöling is a unique meditation centre as its land is optimal for people who wish to integrate spiritual and family life. According to Ms. Wong, it is also a beneficial place for people who are either beginning on their spiritual path or trying to enter again after a long break.
For information about our programmes and to register please click here.
If you would like to help making this place as enjoyable and supportive to everyone coming here, please make a donation. Thank you!