On the night of Thursday to Friday, December 1st, the old Chartreuse of St-Hugon at Karma Ling Buddhist center in France was the victim of a terrible fire. Fortunately, there were no casualties.
We warmly thank all those who have generously offered to help us on site. But for the moment the center is inaccessible for reasons of security and logistics. So please postpone your visit for the time being. In addition, we are currently forced to cancel all scheduled activities at the Shangpa Karma Ling Center for the next few weeks.
We will keep you informed of the situation by newsletters which we will publish regularly on our website.
Fortunately, no one was injured. Of the 30 people staying at Karma Ling that night, luckily none was in the Charterhouse. Residents and retreatants on site quickly gathered around the Stupa to witness this sad spectacle, helplessly watching while firefighters tried their best to slow the progress of the fire, without success.
The other buildings in the area – Dewachen, the retreat centers, the cottages and the House of Wisdom – did not suffer any damage.
More than a building, a heritage.
Long before the recent construction of the House of Wisdom, the Charterhouse was the central building of the Karma Ling Institute. Formerly a monastery housing a Carthusian community, it was bought in the 1970s and was completely renovated by members and friends of the community. Since 1979, the Charterhouse has continued to transform and beautify itself to better accommodate the ever-growing community. Anyone who has stayed at the Domaine d’Avallon has fallen under the charm of this stately stone building dating back to 1676.
A New Start
Many of us are heartbroken by the events of this first long night of December, but there is no time to waste. We have already set up a crisis unit to deal with the many issues we will have to face.
As Shangpa Master Denys has said, this event reminds us of the reality of impermanence. It also reminds us of the values of friendship and solidarity that connect us and have manifested themselves with great focus in this very place, as well as among all of you who have given your attention and support.
Of course, the most important thing today is to maintain our spirit and motivation. If we approach it well, this event can be the occasion of a new start, and the contribution of each and everyone will be precious.
Temporary interruption of all activities
We have been forced to cancel all activities scheduled at the Shangpa Karma Ling Institute for the next few weeks. We will inform you in the coming days about the duration of this interruption.
How to help?
For the moment, no additional personnel are necessary on site, because we are busy reorganizing the life of the residents in the absence of a kitchen and with only minimal electricity and gas supplies.
In addition, in the absence of revenue in the coming months, financial assistance is welcome. This will help us to meet the most urgent needs at first, and subsequently help us to ensure the continuity of Shangpa Karma Ling’s activities.
Go to the online donation form.
We also have an immediate need for equipment and material, and we are preparing a plan of action which we hope will be informed by your proposals and talents. To notify us of your willingness to participate or of any materials you can make available, please fill out this form.
We would especially like to thank the firefighters and police officers who worked tirelessly over the past few days to control and secure the Avalon site.
We are also very touched by the expressions of empathy by all the members and supporters of the community to the residents and retreatants present at the time of the fire, and we wish to reassure and thank you on their behalf.
Finally, we wish to thank Shangpa Master Denys for the presence and support he brings us despite the distance. His clarity and lucidity in this difficult moment are a precious help to guide us and to envision a prosperous future.
May everything be auspicious, from heart to heart.
The Avalon Team
This message has been copied from the UniRimay website
There is a special spiritual relationship or ‘damtrog’ between Shangpa Master Denys and Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, and their two Communities, the Dzogchen Community and the Shangpa Rimay Community.