Completion of the construction of a Buddhist Monastery
WHO ARE WE?
We are a Buddhist Monastery situated near Limoges, in rural South West France. Our name ‘Kanshoji’, means light of compassion. Currently there are more than 20 full-time residents, male and female, between the ages of 18-74, who have come from all over Europe to live here. Some have been here for a couple of years, some are already monks and nuns, others are recognized ‘Kyoshi’ (senior instructors) with more than 30 years of Buddhist practice.
The abbot, Taiun Jean-Pierre Faure , received monk ordination in 1981 from Taisen Deshimaru Roshi, who introduced Zen Buddhism to Europe for the first time in 1967. He has since been certified as a Sôtô teacher by Dônin Minamisawa Roshi.
He teaches according to the foundations of our school and provides a living day-to-day teaching, corresponding to situations encountered by practitioners in the world at large.
WHAT DO WE DO?
In Buddhism, enlightenment is wisdom and compassion. It was from his awakening that Buddha became the Omniscient one , the Great Compassionate one.
This Buddhist monastery is a school of life open to all who wish to discover, deepen and put into practice the Buddha’s teaching. We welcome many people, averaging 500 a year, to stay with us and share our way of life. It is also intended to train monks and nuns who in turn will transmit this teaching.
Although we all come from very different backgrounds, through the practice of meditation, the mind becomes available and sees things as they are; the heart opens to the non-separation between me and the other. The happiness of the other becomes my happiness, their suffering, my suffering .
Practice of the principles that accompany this realisation- sharing, service, tolerance, co-operation, respect for all forms of life, allows us to live peacefully together and to dedicate our lives to allowing others to discover this same path of freedom.
From experience we believe it is through this process of encounter and exchange, the world is transformed, that when the life of one person is improved, their happiness and peace of mind increased, so too the lives of those with whom they in turn come into contact.
WHY WE NEED HELP
Soon we will host a giant event in which people who have little to no experience of Buddhist practice but who wish to adopt a new direction in their lives, one based on Buddhist values, are invited to do so by symbolically ‘taking refuge’ through the conferral and acceptance of precepts. In this way, we support their decision and offer them a way to realize their aspiration. This event is called ‘Ojukai’, it is only the second time in Europe that such a ceremony has been conducted. It can save and change lives. It is for this event that we are fundraising-
Many works have been completed to facilitate this event. We will host 180 people from all over the world- all of whom require sleeping arrangements, toilet facilities, feeding etc. The building, which is not new, has required numerous reparations and extensions. We have already raised funds to purchase materials and spent the last two years completing this work together. It has been a labor of love, and we look forward to realizing the culmination of our efforts and the generosity of those who have already given through the welcoming of participants.
We need to extend and adapt the entrance of our ceremony hall to accommodate everyone- some of whom are old, and thus require disabled access. Ceremony is the heart of Ojukai. It is through ceremony we can open to the world in its entirety- to those we are otherwise incapable of reaching; those in the gravest suffering.
We also need to complete a memorial to Taisen Deshimaru, and to create a surrounding garden. This will be a place of reflection and quiet. Buddhism and nature are inseparable and to celebrate this relationship is of great importance in Zen tradition.
We require a final £20,000 before the end of June to finance this work.
OUR THANKS TO YOU
We will happily offer all donors of over £100 the opportunity to live and practice with us for a three day retreat. Ordinarily an equivalent cost would be asked to cover food and expenses.
Thank you for your help. We receive no support other than donations. Generosity and gratitude allow us to live lives of service.
This spirit of giving and reciprocal exchange which underpins Buddhist teaching. In itself it is an entrance to the way.