The roof over the Lodge at the BRC was built 40 years ago from sheeting Louis bought at an auction sale of materials that had been salvaged from a 40-year old railway shed in Durban harbour after it was demolished. It cost next to nothing, but was of poor quality. Although it has now served us for another 40 years, it has finally given up the ghost. Whenever there is a downpour, leaks spring up and rooms have to be vacated. It did not help when during a storm, hail stones punched about 200 holes in the sheeting.
To replace such a large roof costs money: approximately R. 120 000… What to do? As everybody knows, the BRC – in keeping with ancient Buddhist tradition – does not save for a rainy day to meet such expenses as this would increase our rates. We therefore need to think of other ways of finding this amount of money. That is why we hope we can count again on our Sangha Friends.
Louis had been thinking for a while about establishing a Buddhaboma - a circular meditation garden next to the labyrinth in which eight trees associated with the principal events in the Buddha’s life and teachings are planted. It will be a sacred Buddhist space, a refuge in the middle of an African indigenous forest. There will be a thatched meditation pavilion in the centre where one can sit and meditate, surrounded by the trees. One can circumambulate the trees and reflect on the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha – the trees being the unifying theme tracing the Buddha’s birth, his first samadhi experience under a Rose Apple tree, his enlightenment under a Bodhi tree, the various trees associated with his teachings and monasteries and concluding with his death (paranirvana) between two Sal trees. This will be the first such Buddhaboma in history. Chris Dalzell, who is busy establishing Botanic Gardens in Singapore and elsewhere in the East, has sourced all the trees. They are expected to arrive in South Africa soon.
Here is our suggestion: help us to put a new roof over our heads by sponsoring a tree (R.10,000) a branch (R. 2,500) or a leaf (any amount) of the Buddhaboma. Your tree will outlive you many lifetimes over - to the enjoyment of countless numbers of people.