Dear Friends and Supporters of Vimokkharam,
When I arrived here over five years ago, Vimokkharam was in a coma. There had been many discussions and heated debates about whether to 'pull the plug' or not, but it was ultimately decided by the committee to invite a monk to come and hope for the best.
When I arrived, there was no running water, no electricity, no sala, no kitchen... there were only two neglected monk's huts, an old firewood shed and a carport.
Over the years, and with much hard work and generosity from many people, Vimokkharam slowly regained consciousness. With support from our spiritual advisor in Thailand and the arrival of another monk, the hermitage was able to be taken off of life support and moved into a regular ICU bed. At some point as the re-building project gained momentum, we were able to be moved into a general population bed in the 'Buddhist Hospital'.
Yesterday -- 8 years, 1 month and 3 days after the fire that burned down the old facilities -- Vimokkharam was released from the hospital! That is to say that we finally received our occupancy permit for the new Vihara and can now use our generational home to the fullest for learning and practising Dhamma together. I would expect the new hermitage to last for about 100 years. Today marked the first day of 'normal life' at Vimokkharam after a long convalescence.
I willl ask our community to be patient, as we still have a few weeks and months of physiotherapy to undergo -- that is, fitting out and furnishing the Vihara and landscaping around it -- but we are now past every hurdle, obstacle and Māra in the re-establishment of the hermitage.
There are too many people to thank to be able to list in this email, but our current Building Committee head is a one-woman Dhamma Army and there is no way we would have succeeded without her. Some serious pāramī has been created by a number of people involved over the years here.
And now the doors of Vimokkharam are open. Sādhu!!!
Very best wishes,