Centre de Méditation Kadampa France
The charity: We are a non-profit organisation offering a year-round programme of study in Buddhism ( specifically the Kadampa lineage). Visitors can come for themed retreats or meditation weekends as well as help with the general running of the place between retreat sessions. Visitors can also come to help in a broader and more sustained way at any time of the year. As a volunteer, you have free access to the noontime meditations (guided) and all evening teachings (in French). These are Buddhist insights for everyday life and for learning to solve our problems in a new way.
We do not organise or teach yoga, tai chi or other practices because, as Buddhists, we do not practice them.
The grounds: The Château is located in the heart of a magnificent 6-hectare estate, including gardens and forest. The main building, with its 19th century architecture, has been almost completely renovated and modernized, offering comfortable rooms and functional and cosy shared spaces (cafeteria, boutique, terrace, dining hall, etc.). The castle is surrounded by a moat, adding to the charm of what already seems to be a timeless place.
A small community of monks, nuns and laypeople live on site, either on a short or long term basis, all studying Kadampa Buddhism and contributing their time voluntarily to the smooth running of the place. A group of Buddhist students living in the surrounding towns and villages also actively help to maintain the spiritual activities whenever they can. In addition, anyone staying at the Meditation Centre, whether or not they are participating in retreats, is invited to help in various ways.
Thus, volunteers from all over the world come throughout the year to help with various tasks, such as catering or housekeeping. They usually stay for several weeks and can choose whether or not they want to be among the community. Everyone can easily feel at home, while respecting the rules of the group to preserve the harmony of the institution.
Although we do our best to maintain a peaceful and caring atmosphere, the daily routine can be more or less demanding for participants, depending on the programme and the particular retreats being held.