What a great joy it was for me to dedicate the Shanti Villa of the Samadhi Buddhist Meditation Center this past summer. I am very grateful to be able to share with you now some of the memories and also a bit about some of the people who helped make possible this labor of love.
The Samadhi Buddhist Meditation Center itself is located on a protected historic sight in a national nature reserve in the Czech Republic. Because the land and buildings are protected in the reserve, any work done to any of the structures or on any part of the grounds requires a number of permits and approvals. I am thankful for the help offered to me by the government officials of the City of Melnick who advised us throughout the reconstruction process. I am especially grateful to Josef Pokorni who managed the project and worked tirelessly to help me to make decisions for two challenging years during the construction period. I also appreciate the hard work of Jana Hosarova and Iva Nesvarova who managed the accounts with great skill and enthusiasm.
Shanthi Villa is one of the five main buildings of the Samadhi Buddhist Meditation Center. Located at the northern corner of the grounds, Shanthi Villa is the home away from home for retreat participants who come to the Samadhi Center. Framed almost entirely by its original structure, the building recently underwent major renovation to remodel the second floor, resulting in comfortable living quarters and modernized accommodations. Shanthi Villa has 18 beds in 7 rooms on both the upstairs and downstairs floors. There is a small kitchen with a pantry on the first floor that is next to the hallway and sitting area and down the hall from the fireplace. There are two bathrooms on the first floor and two bathrooms upstairs. Also on the second floor are a laundry room, a sitting room, and a kitchenette.
As always, much gratitude and joy is sent to and shared with all of the sponsors and supporters of the Samadhi Center. Special thanks go to the several major sponsors from Ireland, Italy, and the United States who all helped to bear a significant portion of the cost of the reconstruction of Shanthi Villa. A loan was secured to cover the remaining costs. Shanthi Villa is ready and all of you are invited use these wonderful facilities We hope that you will come to participate in our retreats and stay at Shanthi Villa and find peace healing and spiritual rejuvenation.
In June 2005, some of my students and friends gathered at the Samadhi Meditation Center for the dedication ceremony of Shanthi Villa with the celebration of 2005 Vesak.
The following photos are from the dedication ceremony.