May 2020 Appeal from the Gaia House Trustees

GAIA HOUSE needs your help!

“Your support is more critical today than it has ever been in almost 40 years”

Dear friend.

We hold in our hearts and send well-wishes to all those suffering from the many ways the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting us.

To compassionately respond to this time of turmoil and uncertainty, opportunities to practice the Dharma (teachings of the Buddha) on-line have proliferated around the globe, offering refuge in our Sangha (community of practice). Many of us are gathering in our Online Dharma Hall ( for daily Dharma talks as well as multi-day home practice retreats. They are offered freely in the tradition of Dana (generosity). We have opened our gates to the world and people are logging in from over 20 countries. Truly a Dharma hall without borders! If you have not yet come to a session, we warmly invite you.

In our recent e-news we shared updates on the programmatic and operational changes we have had to implement in response to the pandemic and lockdown, along with reflections on our new online Dharma offerings from our senior teachers. We also shared a moving message from the newly-formed Caretaker and Practice Community who are guarding and caring for our beloved building and grounds.

We, the Gaia House trustees, are carefully monitoring the devastating financial fallout from the cancellation of our in-house retreats, with the exact date for resumption still unknown. Our primary revenue source – your retreat fees and the donations you make after a retreat at Gaia House – has simply ceased. Yet our operating costs for the maintenance and staffing of Gaia House continue to accrue. Even while our staff costs are being partly covered by the government-supported job retention scheme, a skeleton team is still working hard to process booking refunds for cancelled retreats, maintain our historic building and ensure that we can support our teachers in providing online offerings.

Gaia House is fortunate that your past generosity has enabled us to build up some reserves that will carry us through for the immediate time being. In addition to continuing the flow of Dharma online to our Sangha and beyond, our paramount concern and commitment is to support, for as long as we can, our teachers and staff and to maintain the Gaia House premises in readiness for re-opening while we wait out this pandemic.

It is uncertain when and in what shape Gaia House will emerge from the shutdown. As a nonprofit Dharma centre, we are being challenged to be extraordinarily creative in planning for our future in the midst of rapidly shifting unknowns.

Your support is more critical today than it has ever been in almost 40 years of Gaia House’s existence. Some of you have generously converted your retreat deposit payment to a donation to the Gaia House General Fund. We are so grateful. And many of you are sending in donations in relation to the online Dharma offerings. We thank you.

With your continuing support, we have faith that Gaia House will resume as a pre-eminent meditation retreat centre in Europe when the current crisis subsides. If you are among the fortunate ones not adversely affected by the current plight and have the resources, please consider donating to Gaia House today. Any amount you offer will be gratefully received and will help to sustain Gaia House through these turbulent times.

If you are experiencing financial hardship during this time, please know that Gaia House is here for you with the Dharma teachings and community sharing through our Online Dharma Hall and home practice retreats. And certainly when our in-house retreat programmes resume once again. Our commitment to ensuring that Dharma teachings are available to all who wish to participate in our programme, irrespective of financial circumstances, remains unwavering.

In every crisis there is also an opportunity to do good. We are proud and grateful to our teachers and staff who have acted so quickly to facilitate and hold flourishing online Dharma offerings. We are now even exploring ways to make this a regular addition to Gaia House programmes going forward. This is also an opportunity for you to support and sustain Gaia House in this hour of need. Gaia House without you, our Sangha, is merely an empty building. Please join us today to ensure that our centre once again flows and flourishes with Dharma and Sangha when we emerge from this crisis.

May you and your loved ones remain safe, and thank you for your kind-hearted support.

In gratitude,

The Gaia House Trustees

Kate Malleson Oga Cho Photo of a TrusteeAndrew Lacey
Sue Wood

 Diana Parratt
Anita Goraya
 Tim Blanch