The NZ Lama Tour swung by Glentui on an auspiciously fine and warm day. A busload of 40 people walked up to the land where they were greeted by cold drinks, pepperoni sticks and a great view (documented for example here).
We all then went to show our progress on the hut to the Lama. He was pleased enough to do an impromptu gompa blessing and we now have a name: Dechen Ling, place of highest bliss! The short meditation, with at least 24 people sitting in the 10m2 small space, was an exciting surprise.
Now the Lama has been and gone, we are again focusing our energies on finishing the construction before the first guests arrive. Yes – three people have already signed up to do retreats in Dechen Ling! This is a good inspiration for the workers to push on.
Klaus Kaltenbrunner, a travel teacher from Austria was in New Zealand for a few weeks and we managed to extract some labour and inspiration from him and his wife Andrea. Whilst in Auckland and Wellington he also generated a focus towards Glentui and opened up possibilities for sangha from afar to join in on the whole project.
On the construction front, cladding of the outside walls is well under way with the silver corrugated iron. It looks very smart and very ‘Kiwi’. Corrugated iron is our traditional building material that was used on all barns, woolsheds and bachs in the past. It is lightweight, cheap and adapts well to modern interpretations. We are also putting the doors and windows in.
Once the space is closed in, we will concentrate on installing a small log burner so that it is warm. One would usually insulate the walls first but we have a couple of keen sangha wanting to do a retreat asap, so we will at least try to make some heat available. And a bonus is that you can cook on top of the log burner. Perfect!