We leave our old cozy gonpa on the 25th day of the 6th lunar month of the Wooden Horse Year. It is amazing to see how much unnecessary stuff we have collected over these three years despite our thinking that we possessed nothing but books, yoga mats and disposable ganapuja plates.
The weather is warm with drizzling rain as two dozen practitioners in a line patiently put in order the boxes and packages of our stuff on the truck.
At the same time the new gonpa is awaiting the new inhabitants – spacious, warm and full of light. With noisy but nice neighbours next door. How are we going to live with them? Will we manage to contemplate when they dance hip hop and Harley Davidsons rally right under our windows? We might be needing to add some sound isolation…
But, the new gonpa is wonderful, located on the second floor of a small two-floor house, in a former warehouse, not far from the railway station. The sun which we never saw while occupying the first floor of the old gonpa, shines softly all over the place here.
We will see… we are curious to observe the interchange between the place and us.
The car with the stuff from the old gonpa arrives and a line of practitioners forms again, streaming the flow of stuff from the car into our new gonpa.
At this very moment, a preparation for a Ganapuja is taking place, too. Two old Persian carpets are put on the floor, the tablecloth is covered with plates of offerings, practitioners are seated on their cushions. We are vigorously enlivening the new gonpa. We are getting used to it more quickly than expected.
The Ganapuja is uplifting. Very many people have joined. Despite the difficult day of the move, we are not tired, rather the opposite. We feel great in our new gonpa!
We also have great plans for its occupation. The gonpa looks very representative, being located in the very centre of Petersburg and we hope that this will attract new people too. Around us is the fashion quarter, a ‘town in a town’, lots of little houses with studios and workshops – a very suitable location for a centre for Tibetan culture, including the Shang Shung Institute and the ASIA foundation. We have also managed to get the neighbouring space and this should resolve the problems with the additional rent for the numerous retreats that we do. We also intend to rent out this space and with the money cover the rent for the gonpa.
We hope to achieve active growth and the implementation of our plans.
Thanks to our Master, who gives meaning to our activities!