We would love to inform you that the shower & toilet block has been finished!
We are so happy to invite you to Lama Ole’s 2016 Great Seal course at Glentui, where Lama Ole will also inaugurate our new gompa – an historic event not to be missed!
Registration is now open at http://diamondway.org.au/glentui_great_seal_course_2016.
The course will kick off on Wednesday 17 February with talks by Dharma teachers and guided meditations, followed by four days of precious Great Seal teachings and meditations with Lama Ole. The course finishes on the evening of Sunday 21 February.
This is the first big course with our new gompa and the Sangha has been super busy building a café, installing water filtration and waste water management, putting in new electrical connections, leveling ground, getting council permissions, managing the gompa construction, renting a commercial container kitchen and portable hot showers.
But there is still a lot to do, so we welcome anyone to come early to help build up the course, to help during the course, and be part of the joyful energy.
During the course we will be camping at on the retreat land where we have plenty of spots with great views. There is limited dormitory accommodation at the nearby Glentui Meadows Conference Centre. However, we encourage all New Zealand and Australian Sangha to bring their tents to allow overseas travelers or families with small children to register for the dormitory accommodation as capacity is limited.
There are also a few recommended hotels and bed and breakfasts a short drive away if you are planning to rent a car. Due to council regulations, parking on site is restricted to vehicles needed to run the course but we have arranged for extra parking at the conference centre down the road.
Shuttle buses will run between Christchurch Airport and Glentui at the start and end of the course.
Stage 2 has three parts which we will be working on over the next year:
- Finish the inside of the Gompa
- Build a toilet and shower block
- Finish around the outside of the Gompa
1. Finish the inside of the Gompa
- Wall framing and panels
- Install insulation in the walls and roof
- Electrical wiring installation
- Lighting and electrical plugs
- Paint the walls
- Put up the plywood ceiling
We want to have this finished before Lama Ole comes in February 2017 to inaugurate the Gompa.
See the photo gallery of how this work is going > Sangha rocks!
2. Build a toilet and shower block – see the separate blog post on this.
3. Finish around the outside of the Gompa
For council sign off we also need to put in disabled parking and we will also put in some retaining walls and paths around the gompa.
Further down the track
We have lots more we want to to after stage 2 such as polishing the concrete floor, getting carpets, mats and cushions for meditation, building an altar, landscaping around the Gompa – that’s just the start. Stay tuned …
Not for Stage 1, this is contracted to Totalspan and they have safety regulations and laws for this. They will do all of this work and for purposes of ACC and insurance, we do not do any of this with them.
However, we’ll be able to visit the site and discuss progress or problems with the project manager. This is in a controlled manner in the interest of the safety of all.
Stage 1 is the building of the Gompa to what we call “lock up stage”. This means that it will be complete but without the lining on the inside and the power connected to it. Storm water drainage from the Gompa to a pit some distance away – this will provide water for new trees below the Gompa.
The design is consistent with most Diamond Way gompas around the world. The plan complies with IL2 building code standards for the local area and with legal conditions which meet government standards for this type of building purpose. This allows for the building to withstand the weather conditions in the area which is at a higher altitude than that required for a lower standard. This includes high winds which are known in this area. At the same time, the plan is for an attractive building. These codes also comply with regulations for it to meet standards for public use.
For stage 1 the building will have a concrete floor with no heating and no wall linings nor insulation apart from a builders thermal break. Included in this is sliding front doors to accommodate bigger courses and the use of a tent to hold more participants, a porch for shoes, coats etc. and this will have double french doors into the Gompa. Lots of windows open for air and light and a side door for the Lama to have a tent off to the side for entering and exiting, toilet, tea facilities or for whatever his needs are.
Diamond Way Buddhism New Zealand prepared a proposal for a joint collaboration with Australia to build the gompa. Buddhism Diamond Way Australia has agreed to donate and lend a large amount of the money required for stage 1 construction. Along with New Zealand fundraising efforts and some incredibly generous private donations we have enough money to start construction.
The owners of the land, the Diamond Way Buddhism Foundation (Buddhismmus Stiftung Diamantweg), have approved the New Zealand Diamond Way Buddhism Trust to build.
The contract with a local construction company, Totalspan, has been signed and council permissions are in progress. We expect to have council permissions finalised in July and construction is due to begin by September.
If all goes as planned, phase 1 construction will be completed in December, giving us time to prepare to host the national course with Lama Ole in February or March 2016.
1. Rack card sent to friends worldwide showing the Gompa design
2. Gompa plan
3. Friends looking and talking at Gompa site
4. Laurie from Totalspan & Manfred with signed documents
During Lama Ole’s tour of New Zealand and Australia this year the wish was expressed to hold a Phowa course at Glentui in 2016. From this the inspiration came up to build a Gompa where we could hold the Phowa which we’d also use for group retreats and national courses.
We visited Glenui with Lama Ole and around 50 Sangha and got a lot of inspiration for where and how big to build the Gompa and even discussed the place for a stupa further into the future.
So now we are planning and raising money for this project as a place for Australians, New Zealanders and friends from around the world to come to meditation courses and retreats. We want to build a space for the Phowa for 200 people or more that can then be divided up to meet our ongoing needs.
To get everyone excited Martin shot a promotional video “The Lord of the Mind” in New Zealand with contributions from the Australian Sangha as well. To get a taste of what’s to come watch the trailer (coming soon).
We are also planning what we’ll build and how. Our international team has put together some initial plans and got some basic estimation on price. To get more concrete about this, our next step will be to talk to the local Waimakariri council about the permissions, facilities and information we need to proceed. After we have this info we’ll use it to get more definite quotes from building companies and go on from there.
On Saturday 1st September three of us took the car from the center and drove up to Glentui. We stopped in Rangiora for two pies and a coffee and arrived at around 11am to the retreat land. The plan for the day was changing the old wooden for the new aluminium doors.
The boys took out the old doors and I was cleaning the old wood besides the hut. We took the new doors from the container up to the hut (quite heavy!) and in one hour the new doors were in. After a quick lunch and meanwhile Cris put new walls Vladi and me were digging holes to plant the last trees in the Mahakala forest.
After a nice day of work we came back to Christchuch happy that now, hopefully, no strong wind will break the doors.
The council has issued a notice to clear or spray all gorse and broom 10m back from the middle of the road. Or else we are liable for a fine. For the past few visits we have been hand spraying with a newly aquired backpack spray tank.
It is not the ideal time to do this- spring with all the fresh shoots is best. Hopefully now with the addition of a penetrant the spray will get into the tougher dormant foilage and kill it.
Along the inside of the fence we are clearing a strip which will allow for easy future access to further spray when the time is neccessary. It is fun- our weapons: choppers, saws, loppers and energy. A line is opens out quite fast and we feel like real pioneers. Also it is in an area we rarely have set foot in so it feels like an adventure.
When we arrived we had a small setback as we discovered that the sheep had eaten some young trees again. They’d pushed their determined bodies through the fence wire and nibbled all the tops of the outer row of trees.
7th April, five of us went to Glentui to plant native tree seedlings. Mainly these are Karamu (Coprosma robusta), Flax (Phormium) , Kohuhu (Pittosporum tenuifolium) and Manatu (Plagianthus regius). We also had to spray our invasive gorse which is everywhere on the land.
Right: we spray the gorse, an invasive plant.
It was a really sunny and hot day. As we came to the retreat land and opened the hut we started with the 16th Karmapa meditation as we always do before work. We dug, planted and watered around 45 trees in the Mahakala forest in the left corner near the entrance at the edge of the land. We also planted a cabbage tree (tī kōuka in Maori) by the Hut.
Right: a Freshly planted tree, – Kohuhu (Pittosporum tenuifolium)
We attempted to go to Glentui previous Saturday but the car started to do strange sounds so we had to come back to Christchurch -better than getting stuck on the dirty road to Glentui
We want to plant all the small trees, grasses and bushes we have in the wee shadehouse at the center before winter comes. See you there next weekend!
Right: the site after planting
Bottom: Glentui panorama
The site after planting