Dear Tariki member
Depending on the way the project shapes up, there could be scope for people who do not have much money to invest to commit to help out in other ways in return for involvement, or for groups who want to commit to using it for retreats or gatherings on a regular basis.
looking for people who might be interested in both financial and practical involvement in developing the place. It would be ideal for someone wanting to develop a programme based in nature who is not able to afford their own place, but also for families wanting to holiday in a natural environment.
The retreat centre is in the Cher region in the centre of France (you can see more about it at www.amidafrance.org). T
he place consists of a small house with two bedrooms, out buildings which are used for accommodation, a large shrine room which is open to the elements where birds fly in and out as we sit, and a large barn. I can give more details on enquiry or you can look at photos on the web site. Facilities are basic but functional and could be improved with a small extra investment. It is equipped for groups. There are 30 acres (16 hectaires) of land which is diverse - deciduous woodlands (mostly oaks and maples), fields in various stages of reverting to nature and a network of paths over a site which includes an area of hill top and slopes down towards the south. There is a hut in the woods for personal retreats and plenty of space for wild camping.The land is a wonderful mix of habitats with wildlife to match - we have deer and wild boar, a huge variety of bird life, and a rich variety of plants. We are close to Troncais forest and lakes and rivers for swimming.
The house and out buildings would be suitable for groups or families. We can currently accommodate about 15 people comfortably, the main limits being bathroom facilities. With some modest additional funding it would be good to add extra shower facilities and install a large woodburning stove in the end part of the house which is currently unheated but we would not envisage a large scale modernisation. The main heating is through woodburning stoves for which we collect our own wood. In winter living there can be challenging and rather basic unless you like bracing conditions!
Because of the dependence on the land any group owning the place would ideally need some communal spirit in wood collecting, managing the land, sharing tools and resources and gardening. There would need to be some system of contributing to costs and to basic repairs. Indeed, buying into the project would require a commitment to co-operation and involvement at many levels.
The place has been a retreat centre since it was bought in 1993. It has an atmosphere which is profoundly peaceful and conducive to spiritual practice. Keeping this ethos is hopefully part of any future devlopment and we would like to see the shrine room respected. We have always had a no meat, no alcohol policy. We would prefer that this continued, particularly with regard to not meat eating but I think other policies would need to be discussed with the group.
At present we are seeking people who have a general interest for further dialogue. Details would need to be firmed up soon though. The time scale needs to be fairly swift - we would need to act this summer to make the new arrangement and some decisions have to be made in the next week or two. If you think you might be interested in being involved please get in touch with me and we can take it from there. I am sending this message to a number of friends as I would want to work with people with a common philosophy. Please do feel free to pass this on to any of your friends who might have an interest.