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A Buddhist Life

Kido: 2019, Project Launching

A Buddhist Sanctuary for Animals

Creation of an innovative place, based on the values of Zen Buddhism: meditation practice, permaculture, retreat centre and animal shelter.

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The Location

A ranch surrounding by meadows, at the edge of the woods, 500 meters from a Buddhist monastery.

It takes place in a village called Weiterswiller, home of a 20 years old monastery, visited by a large amount of people for spiritual retreats.

The monastery welcomes visitors from all over the world and is getting well known with the help of a website in 3 languages. There are 20 persons living in permanently:nuns, monks and lay people, of all age ranks (from 16 to 85 years old)

A ranch is located 400 meters form the monastery. The owners are a couple: Lothar and Ute Weiland, breeders of Icelandic horses, use to provide accommodation coupled with horse-riding lessons and hikes. This business had slowed down over the lasts years. Since, the horses are being taken care of and enjoy their retirement. They are 20 of them, age between 12 and 27.

The Wish

The idea is to buy this estate to make it into an animal and forest sanctuary. The ranch is located on the border of a beautiful ancient forest which is already bathing in spiritual energy. We will renovate the premises, take care of the elderly horses already in place and most of all, welcome new creatures for them to live a happy life. Chickens, cats, dogs, pigs…This place will be their shelter and our bliss !

There also will be some space to plant a vegetable garden with the permaculture methods.

A few people will be permanently installed in rooms while participating in the monastery’s daily life. It will be a Buddhist sanctuary, following the Zen Soto philosophy and Zen meditation sense (Zazen).

The Activities

In the spirit of Soto Zen philosophy: meditation, samou (volunteering, being in the Offering), animal care and various workshops (meeting the animal, learning to be in focus/presence, discovering the forest)

On the premises, we will organize :

  • Care and retirement for elderly animals
  • Samou : volunteering work in the Zen Sôto tradition ( joint project of renovation, field labour, handywork…)
  • Thematic workshops infused with Buddhist values and learning the focus/presence
  • Conferences about caring and being in relationship with animals, nature, forests…always in link with Buddhism.
  • Zen meditation training
  • Thematic workshops specifically based on equestrian knowledge
  • Meeting the animal with children
  • Discovery of permaculture
  • Creation of a “petting and learning” farm with a signposted trail
  • Forest walks to learn to appreciate the ecosystem surrounding us
  • Etc ...

The Ranch

  • A 3 floors wooden house of 300 m2, slightly elevated. The owners, whom we are friends with, will still live there during the project’s first stage.
  • A covered equestrian arena
  • Place to work with horses (sand ground)
  • A workshop of 30 m2 with plenty of tools.
  • 6 Stalls
  • A living area of 150 m2 partly equipped : a dormitory, a equipped kitchen/dining room, a bed room. 5 or 6 extra bedrooms could be easily created with some renovation works ( cost around 50 000€)
  • Around the buildings, fields and meadows (currently for hay balls)
  • Fields for horses : 3 hectares of land in Weiterswiller, a 1 hectare land 15 km from there, a little forest in Weiterswiller.
  • Farm machinery and equipment.

The Working Principle

  • A few persons living-in would dedicate their time to develop the activities of the place whilst respecting the monastery’s time schedule. Meals and morning and evening meditations will take place at the monastery.
  • Other people staying for short or long retreats will follow the same type of working guidelines. Organization still pending.
  • The earnings will be shared between the monastery and the sanctuary. Percentage of the shares still pending.

The Funding

  • Personal financing by Kankyo : copyright + selling 2 apartments – 30% of the sum.
  • Crowdfunding
  • 15 to 20% financed by the monastery, with a right of inspection on the global functioning of the place.
  • Financing by an Agricultural Land Group that is yet to be established
  • Bank Loan.
  • Creation of a website to allow the sponsoring of horses, chickens, cats or even…residents 😉

The Project's Progress

  • Several meetings with the current owners to clarify and define the project.
  • November 2018: meeting at the Chamber of Agriculture with an advisor and a legal expert.
  • Meeting with the lawyer Jean-Pierre WICKERSHEIMER, advising us for the associative part of the project. An association for community management is going to be founded to organize the crowd funding and take care of some aspect of the activities. Its president would be Master Wang-Genh and its treasurer would be David Würtz, professional accountant.
  • January 4th2019 :Meeting with Mrs BELLOT from the Land Development and Rural Settlement Society.
  • January 8th2019 : After meeting with the lawyer Maître SOUDIER (Etude Fiducia, Reichstett ), we are planning to opt for the French juridic form of the Agricultural Land Group : a moral person in which a few private persons or associations can partake. The members of the Agricultural Land Group would be :Kankyo, the association of general interest, the monastery, Master Wang-Genh and it is open for buyers.
  • Creation of a crowdfunding, click here.
  • Collaboration with Missi from the workshop Superpeng + permacultur applied studying.
  • 4th of march 2019 : SAFER (Land Development and Rural Settlement Society ) experts visiting the site for a financial evaluation (results pending). A second evaluation is going to be realized by the organization “Les Domaines”.
  • 16th of march 2019 : Kankyo and Master Wang-Genh visit the swiss animal sanctuary “Hof Narr” near Zurich and study their working principle.
  • 6th and 7th of april 2019 : official presentation of the project to the members of the monastery.
  • 21rst to 28th of april 2019 : brainstorming week on the topics of the renovation of the place, financing, communication, permacultur.

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