Kagyu Ling is run entirely by volunteers and lockdown saw most of them self-isolating. Although the centre itself was closed for three months, our resident community members were able to stay in the building to keep it safe and prevent the need for others to visit. Between them, they maintained the puja programme and attended to administrative jobs, as well as keeping on top of maintenance and cleaning, while Akos (pictured) mowed the lawn and he and Geoff watered the plants. Here you can view a selection of his photographs of the garden taken during lockdown. Akos said: ‘It has been a true blessing being in such a wonderful place during all this time’.
By June it was possible for our usual gardening team to return safely, so Mary and Derek (pictured) were able to take over again and began readying the gardens for reopening. And our cleaners were out in force to prepare the building for a visit from our main teacher, Lama Jama Thaye, during the first week in July. Lama Jampa held over 60 interviews with students over a 4 day period – all in a carefully managed socially distanced way.
The configuration of the building makes it difficult for us to safely open up for classes for a while, but we are exploring how we can manage social distancing for small events and activities and we hope to publish a programme for the autumn soon. Between now and September, we are hoping to begin bringing back some of the regular pujas, with some people able to attend in person. When this does happen, we will continue to Zoom pujas, so those people unable to attend – either because numbers are still restricted, or people are continuing to shield or simply because they live far away – can continue to join in.
As part of our preparations we have been rearranging things at the centre. As you will see from these pictures, our shrine room and reception room are looking very different, now that we’ve implemented 2m distancing; and parts of the building will remain completely closed while restrictions remain.
In the meantime, we are urging people to continue to join us from home via our various online classes and meditation sessions: visit online meditation or what’s on for more details.