For years this was the hub of all the activities in the garden and was the cosiest place at Samye Ling. Everybody says they could live in here and seldom does a day go by without somebody taking a photograph. It seems to fire people’s imagination with comparisons to an Australian railway station, a Slovakian house, one young chap thought it was something from a film set? There are tools neatly hanging up, a workbench, a raised office with a couple of armchairs and an old pot belly stove. Above the door is a small round porthole crafted by Pascal, an old friend sadly no longer with us. It’s a feature we’ve included in subsequent buildings. But as things have developed the old place has gradually faded from the daily routine and is now in need of a few repairs. The roof felt is seriously worn, probably due to the peacocks scratching around up there, and the wooden skylights are starting to disintegrate. So next summer we’ll do a proper repair job and this time we reckon it is worthy of a proper slate roof.
For a while there was a plan to build a few more as retreat cabins on the hill above the camping meadow, and then another plan for a holiday camp style estate down past the old farm. This would have entailed laying out electricity and drains etc. and then building a few chalets at a time with landscaping and hedging. Eventually it reached the point where we had to decide whether to concentrate on building the garden or the cabins. Rinpoche reckoned we should focus on the garden but you never know, one day it might still happen.