Renovation of the Gönpa at Merigar East

Greetings from Merigar East!

Now that the summer season is over let us share some good news regarding our Gönpa renovation campaign. The very project was born last year during a gakyil meeting with Migmar Tsering. Migmar encouraged us to try to do something about the state of the meditation hall and offered concrete help.

First, following his advice, we set up a fundraising campaign and started collecting money. We are a small Gar in a relatively poor part of the world so there was a sense of scepticism as to whether we would be able to collect sufficient funds for the necessary construction repairs at least. But looking back – we couldn’t have had more generous support – big thanks for all of you for the precious help!

Fast forward several months and the relatively easy phase of gathering information and planning the various works was over and the time for action was almost here. At the last moment, we were very lucky to find a flexible local crew to start the repairs in May. The progress on isolating the foundation and putting up new plaster was remarkable and once finished, we couldn’t wait to welcome our painting volunteers!

At this point, it was clear that we would have enough resources to renew the decoration of the outer walls, but we didn’t know whether or not we would have the capacity to start with painting inside the Gönpa, nor how it would look like.

The date of Migmar’s arrival was approaching and the various missing elements slowly began to come together: the Austrian paint, the Romanian scaffolding and last not least, an international group of enthusiastic helpers to support both the painting works and the general flow of the workshop.

Photos by Lubomir Michna

Then came D-day and Migmar and the Dynamic Space of the Elements team of six arrived. Chinese and Tibetan students from Italy together with Romanian, Czech, Slovak and Moldovan volunteers proved that with commitment and dedication nothing is impossible. For three weeks these fantastic people withstood harsh weather and fatigue and bravely overcame whatever obstacles appeared. Thank you so much Gönpa renovation team! Not only did they manage to restore the outer decorations (with some improvements), but, following Migmar’s vision, they also started the elaborate process of painting the ceiling of the hall. Some of the volunteers even re-painted the central outside mandala, so there’s a neat place to practice the Vajra Dance, too.

Over the next couple of months we will share more visual content from the Renovation workshop, including interviews with some of our volunteers. Naturally, we want to start working on next year’s workshop as soon as possible. Apart from the continuation of the ceiling painting, there are further auspicious, beautifying and informative elements that we would like to see manifest in the temple. Our wish is to continue creating a unique space for practitioners, but also casual visitors, who mainly come to Merigar East to find out more about Buddhism, Dzogchen or the Teachings and the legacy of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu. We will also share with you this years budget breakdown.

To find out more and participate in this amazing project please check out our web and FB page, or get in touch with us in any way you prefer.

With gratitude

ME team

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