September 22, 2016 at 3:00 pm #399
Acharya Kaspalita (temple host)Keymaster
September 27, 2016 at 9:15 am #433
I realise its been quite a while, well over a month, since I have provided an update on the renovation on the Friends of Amida Ning. This of course doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been progress or nothing to report. In fact having started this thread I have felt somewhat guilty for not having found the time to write something more regularly.
At this point in time, as the season starts to change, we have finally reached the stage of removing the old roof and wooden structure. Like with every stage of this renovation what we uncover leads to rethinking the next steps. We will also never cease to be surprised by how fragile this little building must have been. Most of the oak timbers and wooden purlings are like balsa, destroyed by dry rot. Dry rot attacks the lignum essential to the strength of wood and thrives on dampness retained in bricks and lime mortar. In short dry rot relies on a certain set of conditions to thrive, conditions that the coach house structure and environment have amply supported.
So the building is now quite exposed, but safely so. Most of the work in the proceeding weeks has been to create new stable footings and a strong waterproof floor.
Now we need to put effort into reconstructing the upper walls that have bowed out of shape due to the sagging of the original roof. This came about because at some point someone had taken out one of the two essential roof braces to create more head space on the first floor.
Over the last few weeks we have had various volunteers and different paid help on site. This in someways forms a Seishi House community in my mind, all of which is essential energy that contributes to the spirit of the project and the life in the building. Sometimes I see this as a dance, sometimes a drama, a narrative, a poem or a sculptural piece in development.
Finally, some news, Seishi House will become the office for Amida Therapy, a new group therapy practice, and training unit based in Malvern. Caroline Screen, Kaspa, Satya and myself will all be offering therapy and some training under this umbrella.
The common link of course is our affinity with Pure Land Buddhism and our training in a Buddhist approach to psychotherapy. You will be able to follow the progress of Amida Therapy by visiting the “Therapy Room” on this site. Content coming soon.
September 27, 2016 at 7:26 pm #449
Rev. Satya Robyn (temple host)Moderator
poor coach house – it’s getting more and more naked before you put its new clothes back on! looking forward to seeing the next stage…
September 29, 2016 at 9:00 am #461
I have given a bit more time this week to the building project. In part I think I have been avoiding the head work involved in writing an essay, and in part because I felt a little dispirited following the impact that removing the roof has had. I think others in the temple and visiting have been equally taken aback.
This is about keeping faith I think. When one is distant or cannot make sense of why something has happened we find ourselves having to trust in others. This isn’t always easy. In the case of the coach house I am having to trust Gordon, the builder, since he is the expert, the renovator. What I recognised this week was that despite my previous confidence I still felt somewhat knocked sideways by a process that had left the building looking like a ruin. Being on site and taking down bricks myself and talking through the reasons why we are doing what we are doing brought me back into the meaningful narrative of the building. We can find ourselves inhabiting a number of different stories at once and I still have anxieties about the project. But this is a self-invested narrative woven with other stories from my past that reverberate with disappointment for one reason or another. When this is the case Buddhism invites us to investigate the conditions that face us now more fully, to be inquisitive about what is really going on, and perhaps if we can let go of some of the old self stories. This is a process, sometimes a delicate one. It involves holding to wider, deeper vision, trusting in someone who has learnt to have faith in a process and recognising that there narratives other than those we have imagined ourselves. And when these different threads come together and are told out loud as it were there is a process of co-creation and wisdom that we can trust in.
December 22, 2016 at 4:27 pm #961
After a good many weeks working to rebuild the less than stable walls Seishi House is beginning to look like a building again. Last week a huge wooden beam was delivered, described in the plans as a “glue lam” – short for glue laminate as you may have guessed.
This beam weighs in in excess of 290 kilos and is 10 metres or so long. It took five of us to carry it down from the roadside carpark and half a day with ropes and roller trestles for Nod and Gordon to get it into place to form the ridge of the new roof.
Now the building is starting to feel more solid at the place the whole structure takes up is re-emerging. The narrative unfolds and each day presents challenges connected to details that have to change in order to accommodate both the structural needs of the building as well as the historic oddities that were probably the result of compromises when it was originally built.
It has been gratifying to see progress this week. At times I have struggled to be patient given that the building will be the base for my practice as a therapist, as well as a place to live. When I find myself feeling frustrated however I remind myself of how fortunate I am to be supported in developing this project and the generosity of a number of people, some sangha members like Richard Thorogood (who is project managing) and Nathan, others who have just been willing to lend a hand when it is needed, like our neighbours.
Storms are forecast for tomorrow so the plan to fix the under-felt will be put off until next week. In the meantime the frames for the five windows, including the beautiful circular one (shown) will be made in Nods workshop.
Soon enough the building will be watertight and interior work can then start to take place.
If you are skilled in aspects of building work or just relatively handy and would like to volunteer to help with the project do get in touch. Gordon has a lot of knowledge about renovations and I can guarantee that you will learn a good many new things – not all to do directly with building.
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