Dear Sangha and Friends,
Aside from the Practice Period at Hebden Bridge, two new developments have happened in the growing Sangha. One, we started a group in Dublin city, Everyday Zen Irl & U.K. The group in Dublin meets on Thursday evenings, 6 to 7:45 in a rented room and started because John, whom some of you met at Rohatsu at Unstone Grange in 2012, was part of a meditation group that was waning and he asked me if I’d be willing to use the venue for a Zen group. So, we now have a group meeting in Dublin city. At the moment there is five people plus me. We expect it will grow.
The next news item is that I have put a deposit on a house in the Irish country side – it’s a two-hundred year-old school house and the dimensions of the rooms very much favour Zen practice – it is easy to see the upstairs classroom as a Zendo, which currently has carpet on a wooden floor. The extension to the original house would make a great kitchen. My idea would be to make the original downstairs classroom into a dorm and in that case I think we could accommodate 15 – 20 people for sesshin. So, this is fairly exciting. If successful, over the years I’d envision building a separate Zendo thereby having more accommodation space in the house. There is much potential with this house and I really like the fact that it was a (primary) school, so in a sense we’re continuing with its purpose of education. I’ll need to fundraise in order to carry out development and renovation projects, even to get it to the first level of readiness. That would be the installation of showers, kitchen and sorting out the septic tank. My initial way of doing this will be to sell ‘sesshin days’ in advance but more of this later. My ‘Preliminary Inquiry’ email, sent to approximately twenty people indicates that there is a tangible interest in this project, as does discussing it with Devin, Rebecca and Wendy. I would hope to have Rohatsu there in 2015, and hopefully have some sesshin there before that. I am delighted that Dancing Mountains have offered to buy £500 worth of sesshin days! Individuals have also offered to buy sesshin days and although I’m a long way off from my target it does indicate that my target may be realisable.
The school house is located not too far off the beaten track but in a quiet location surrounded by farmland and pine forests.
Here is a photo of the property and a link to its sales pitch. When I visited the property in March it pretty much lived up to the impression gleaned from the internet.
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