Do you want to start a ….

A friend, Patrick Cooper, has offered to rent to us for use for Dharma purposes a 10 bedroom house with around a couple of acres of land situated in Glasbury, just inside Wales, near Hay-on-Wye in Herefordshire.Built around 1800, this listed Georgian house was the Cooper family home since 1920. Patrick’s father lived there until his death last November at the age of 93. In early July, Dominika and I took the train from Totnes to Hereford to visit Patrick and take a look at the house and immediate environment.

The house is situated just back from a road with a bus stop very close to the house. Five minutes walk from the house is the winding Wye river and unfolding countryside with the Black Mountains (actually very high hills) about an hour’s walk away. It feels remote! The tiny village of Glasbury consists of a pub, café, a shop and centre to rent canoes. Patrick’s sister and her husband live in a nearby cottage.

The interior of the house needs attention. Major attention. From the cellars to the top of the house. Patrick is getting the roof fixed. There is not a radiator in the house. There is plumbing in some parts of the house but not elsewhere. Some of the wallpaper is the same as my parent’s wallpaper they used in the 1950’s and 60’s. Ceilings and walls desperately need the old paint to be scraped off and repainted. The wooden floors need to be varnished. Carpets are completely worn out. Having said that, the house is solid in the Georgian style. The contents are to be sold and it will be rented virtually unfurnished.

“The house has real potential” – to quote the favourite one-liner of estate agents. It is certainly true in this case but it will be a labour of dedication for some months or year or more.

What could the house be used for?

A dharma community with guests

A retreat centre for meditation, yoga, dharma exploration

A place for a couple of managers to offer personal retreats to visitors

A centre for dharma and permaculture

A centre for dharma, yatras (walks in the nature), creativity and quiet.

–          a combination of the above.

Guests could come on the basis of a daily rate and dana or total dana. The caretakers would decide the vision, the form and costs.Are you interested to give real support to establishing this house as a resource for the Dharma? If so, do contact myself. It would be a major task of transforming the house and gardens into a dharma centre but something very worthwhile. If a few people come forward who are willing to take this challenge on board, the people concerned would make all the arrangements with Patrick. This would mean Patrick and the people would come to agreements in writing in every area so that Patrick, as the landlord, and the tenants know clearly their mutual responsibilities – in terms of time and money.

The natural bridge is that both Patrick and the tenants are dedicated to the Dharma. However Patrick is looking for a commercially viable arrangement although flexible around rent and length of time of lease. Patrick continues to live in Totnes. If the project gets underway, then the residents would also generate initiatives to invite people to lead retreats, yoga events and much else to get the centre to be known. The town of Hay-on-Wye is 15 minutes on the bus. The town is famous in the UK for its bookshops, and annual literature festival.

I will keep the 4000 subscribers worldwide up to date through my Dharma e-News of any programmes

If you are interested to be involved in starting this dharma house, please contact me before September 15, 2008.  Please let me know what kind of commitment you can make and what you have to offer.

I will put any of you who respond in touch with each other and with Patrick, the landlord.  The tenants and Patrick will then discuss the arrangements and responsibilities, cost and time of lease, use of house.  My task is primarily to notify the Sangha of the offer and help to get the place known as a dharma centre through my networks,  if people take it on board.

Address of the house is: Treble Hill, Glasbury, Powys, Via Hereford HR3 5NT. Tel: 01497 847 228.

I look forward to hearing from you.Christopher

Above item will go in the dharma e-news in early August 2008

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