Work to start on new Dartmoor Wing

Thank you to everyone who came along to our July celebration to mark the start of our building development work. 

We are excited to be getting started on our new Dartmoor Wing – a two-storey building at the back of the Hermitage Wing on the site of the crumbling garages. The new building will enable us to double the number of single rooms we can offer to group retreatants, as well as provide badly-needed extra bathrooms.

It’s fantastic to have got to this point thanks to the open-hearted and generous support of our sangha. Our aim is to put in footings for a timber frame structure in January next year and develop the rest of the building throughout 2020. Our retreat programme will continue as normal and various plans are in discussion for how best to keep noise and disruption to an absolute minimum during this time.

We are incredibly grateful for the support of our sangha during this period of transition and evolution. The continued expressions of love and generosity we receive will help Gaia House to blossom into this next incarnation for the benefit of all who come here.

On the day of our summer celebration Tan Ariyo of Hartridge Monastery led a beautiful ceremony to mark this important milestone in Gaia House’s evolution. Christina Feldman gave a wonderful account of the history of Gaia House from her perspective as a founder, explaining why we need to develop our site to better meet the needs of our retreatants. After the ceremony everyone headed into the gardens to enjoy a cup of tea and delicious homemade cakes.

The background

Since we moved to our beautiful, peaceful site in West Ogwell in 1996, there have been no major structural improvements made to the building. In fact, the house remains pretty much the same as it did 50 years ago, with the last major upgrade in 1967 when the Garden Wing was built.

Yet, the demand for what Gaia House offers has increased significantly over the last 20 years and our facilities are stretched to the limit.

To address the challenges that we are experiencing, we have developed plans to enable our site to catch up with the vast numbers of people now visiting Gaia House each year and help us to increase accessibility.

The aim of these plans is to improve facilities for group retreatants by increasing the number of single rooms we can offer and increasing the number of toilets and showers available. In addition, the plans aim to improve our coordinator accommodation, create a self-contained resident teacher living area and minimise disruption to the retreat space by moving our offices outside the main house.

Future plans

In time, with further fundraising efforts, our aim is to develop the ground floor of the Garden Wing to provide an accessible bedroom and bathroom suite, as well as more showers and toilets close to the Meditation Hall. The final component planned is a beautiful covered walking meditation area running alongside the Meditation Hall.

Thank you for your support!

Present and future generations will benefit from your generosity.

“I have been involved with Gaia House almost since its inception, and I am heartened again and again that it continues to be a refuge for people in need of kindness, understanding, nature and quiet. This building project will be an opportunity to improve the facilities so that all of us, teachers, staff and students alike, can benefit.”
Martine Batchelor
 

 

“Gaia House is where I healed from years of pain, learnt about love and became the whole human being I was always meant to be.

Discovering Gaia House saved my life. I hope it will be there for centuries to come, making the teachings of wisdom and kindness available to all who seek them.”
E.T.