Stream Entering Meditation Centre – Special Edition
Plum Village Australia
Unified Buddhist Church - Australia

Special Building Fund Edition

A very important message for us all, from Thich Chan Phap Kham, Dharma Teacher John Barclay and the Nhap Luu Building Fund Action Group.

IN THIS ISSUE

  • From The Fundraising Action Group
  • From Dharma Teacher John Barclay
  • From Thich Chan Phap Kham
  • How to Donate to the Building Fund
  • Christmas and New Year at Nhap Luu

Dear Sangha and Friends,

Following this introduction are two personal messages from Thay Phap Kham and Australian Dharma Teacher John Barclay. They relate to the very important issue of raising funds quickly enough to be able to successfully develop our Meditation Centre.  

This is not the first time we have heard about this. There has been an ongoing email campaign, articles in two editions of Nhap Luu News (Autumn and Winter 2015, both archived on the website), there is plenty to see and read at www.nhapluu.org and you can re-watch our original video on YouTube.

For many of us it probably seems overwhelming to know that we need to raise nearly $300.000 just to complete Phase1 of the project and that there is a time imperative. We need to begin works so that we are complying with local Council requirements. 

John has put a different perspective on the matter. He highlights the importance of a shift in thinking so that we see clearly why this matters, and what we can do.  We understand that some can do more than others, but we can all work together to find enough funds to meet our target. 

Right now, a toilet block up at the lovely Meditation Hall is under construction, and our architect has commenced the enormous amount of work that is involved to apply successfully for a building permit for Phases 1 and 2 together. There are many parts involved, including preparing a Bushfire Emergency Plan for approval, the need to use voluntary draughtsmen to stay in budget, and his own commitments. Despite this, he anticipates that we might be able to see our first new building before the end of 2017.   

However, without the money we cannot even start excavations. Please mindfully read Thay’s and John’s letters with open hearts. The time to give is definitely now. You will be able to watch your contributions (see “How to Donate” at the end of this newsletter) send the mercury rising in our Building Fund Barometer atwww.nhapluu.org.

A lotus for you all,
The Nhap Luu Building Fund Action Group.

The Zendo - inside, and out.

 

From Thay Phap Kham 

November 24, 2015

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Malaysia. I am on the annual family retreat, which is usually held here in the last week of November.  The theme for the retreat is ‘The Pure Land in the Here and Now’. We are studying the Discourse on the Land of Great Happiness (Sukhavati). Looking into the inter-being nature of the Pure Land and the Meditation Practice traditions, we can realize the Pure Land in the here and now.

I would like to share about Plum Village Australia’s fundraising efforts to help replace temporary buildings at Nhap Luu Monastery, which were built  before the nuns first came and set up activities in May 2010. These buildings are soon going to be decommissioned since they do not meet regulation building standards. 

The first new building will be an office and a 24-person dormitory for visiting monks and lay people. We are planning to have about eight monks come to Nhap Luu in the Spring of 2017 to help with the growing activities in Australia. We are happy to see that everything is going to plan, even though it is taking a bit longer than we originally hoped.

Plum Village France started in 1982, and when I came there in the summer of 1987, it was still in its early phase. The small Red Candle meditation hall in Lower Hamlet, which could hold about 60 people, was enough space for all the participants from both Upper and Lower Hamlet at the Summer Opening. In the winter of 1989 a storm ripped off a portion of the kitchen and dining hall roofs in Lower Hamlet. It was left unrepaired for months because of lack of funds. However, activities continued despite the lack of physical infrastructure. Plum Village has grown from those humble beginnings into the International Sangha we know today. I see Nhap Luu’s situation today being the same as Plum Village France’s in those early days. Despite the lack of physical resources and manpower, we are slowly inching forward.

The annual Spring retreat has become a happy opportunity for friends from all over Australia to practise together. It was so nourishing to see children coming to the retreat with their parents and see the monastics guiding and playing with them. Nhap Luu has become a home for these young people.

It will take time to have sufficient physical and human resources at Nhap Luu so that it can operate as a fully-functioning monastery and practice center. However, we don’t have to wait for the future to be happy. The Pure Land is in the here and now, with every single breath and step that we take.

Peace is every step,

Br. Phap Kham

The sleeping hut/office and the current cooking and dining hut, soon to be decommissioned.

From Dharma teacher John Barclay

Building Nhap Luu 

A generation ago our teacher Thay first came to Australia, and soon after the first lay sanghas were established. Since then a score of lay sanghas have grown up around the country, as well as the small monastic presence which has been established.

Twenty years ago Australians had to travel to Plum Village in France to experience a retreat with the fourfold sangha of nuns, monks, laymen and laywomen. This year we held our second Australia-wide Spring Retreat where monastics, lay friends and children spent a week together in an environment that nourished young and old.

When we truly go as a river, the conditions for healing and transformation are there for all.

However, although we now have Nhap Luu and have had nuns here for over five years, and have bought Peace House for them to live in, the conditions there are no longer adequate for visitors. The local council has given us approximately two years for the original kitchen and sleeping quarters to be replaced. After that there will be no way to stay in the monastery for visiting monks or lay people who wish to enjoy practising in a monastic environment. Unless new accommodation can be built, Australians will once again need to travel overseas to have that experience.

The two-day Order of Interbeing retreat held in Nhap Luu following the Spring Retreat was a wonderful opportunity to sit, chant, practise slow walking and enjoy meals in silence, all in the Plum Village tradition. However, with around 20 people more than the usual number of residents, the existing facilities were stretched to the limit. In two years’ time, unless new facilities are built, such an event at Nhap Luu will no longer be possible.

At the retreat most of us were impressed with the presentation of the architectural drawings of the proposed new accommodation.  The estimated cost is in the order of $250,000 and raising this amount of money is clearly a challenge.
 


My own attitude to giving money or fundraising has not been particularly inspiring. Over the years, a few dollars here and there went to a range of charities, although in recent years the majority of my modest contributions tend to go to Nhap Luu. The obstacles to giving, the arguments of my monkey mind, are many!

So my first reaction to this project was my old monkey mind saying ‘How inspiring, what a wonderful idea!’ (grasping!), and then ‘I already give enough, hopefully a rich benefactor will come along and pay for it all!’ (aversion and delusion!). However, during a recent silent dawn walking at Nhap Luu it became clear to me that this same old thinking will only produce the same old results.

For me, the case for supporting a viable monastic environment where lay friends and monastics can practise together is irrefutable. And we really do need to practise together. To really blossom, the nuns need lay friends as much as lay friends need monks and nuns.

There were 150 retreatants at the Spring Retreat and many more around Australia we know wanted to be there but were unable because of personal circumstances. Now let us imagine that 150 gave $100 toward the building project just as my old monkey mind would decide. Hmmm $15,000 – it’s something but realistically with that amount the project is not even going to get off the ground.

I have written this in the hope that we can all think differently about the challenge before us. What is written here is not intended to make you feel guilty about giving. I hope it doesn’t come across as being sentimental. What is intended is to highlight the practicalities of developing the conditions for Plum Village in Australia to flourish, not just for this generation but also for the sake of generations to come.

So here is a ‘What If?’ to contemplate.

Let us imagine 120 people contributed $2,000.00.

Realistically not everybody will be able to do that. However it is going to take something similar to get the accommodation built. In the case of my own family $2,000.00 is a fairly major budget consideration. It cost us that much to attend the Spring Retreat and we thought about it a lot before committing to it. However, somehow, we gave up things and managed it because we knew it was a good investment for our family. 

It may be that some of us don't have the amount sitting there right now-but can see that we have the capacity to pull it together, and give it, over the year ahead. This also is a way we can do it; and it may be that some can give a bit less than that, and some a bit more.

We talk a lot about going as river. There are some 700 people on the Nhap Luu mailing list! Individually we are just one drop in that river, and whether we can give more or less is not so important.  Right now we, Plum Village Australia, have a chance to really come together and truly be the river that flows beautifully into the future.

John Barclay – True Path of Light.

 

How to donate

1) If possible, please use the donation form athttp://www.nhapluu.org/en/component/categoryblock/donation-form-building-pv-australia-phase-i?Itemid=101.

You will be able to email it (the link is there to do that), or print it and post by ordinary mail to:
Nhap Luu Monastery
PO Box 10
Beaufort, 3373

2) if you are unable to do that for any reason please just use EFT or direct deposit to the following account and then email us letting us know when, and how much you sent, so that we can receipt you properly. Always quote your transfer or deposit receipt number also. All emails should go toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

BSB: 633-000

Account Number 137099818

Account name:  Unified Buddhist Church of Australia

S.W.I.F.T code:  "BENDAU3B"

Bank name: Bendigo Bank, 17 Lawrence St, Beaufort Vic 3373 Australia.

Bank phone number:  61-3-53492322

 

CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR AT NHAP LUU


You are invited:

Christmas Night (Friday 24.12. 2015)

16:00 Thay's Dharma Talk

17:00 Walking Meditation

18:30 Dinner

19:30 Be-in (Gifts Exchange)*

Performance

*We have a gift exchange for the whole Sangha, so we invite you to make a small gift and bring it to NhapLuu if you come for Christmas Eve.

New Year's Eve (Thursday 31.12. 2015)

16:00  Live Dharma Talk

18:00  Happy Dinner

19:30  Walking Meditation

20:30  Be-in Performance

22:00  Total Relaxation

23:30  Sitting Meditation

New Year's Eve Ceremony

Copyright © 2015 Nhap Luu, All rights reserved. 
You are receiving this email as you opted to join our mail list. 

Our mailing address is: 

Nhap Luu
221 Marias Lane, Beaufort, Victoria, Australia
BeaufortVIC 3373
Australia