More Frequently Asked Questions will be posted here – please check back regularly.
Ahead of submitting planning permission for renovating the Beaufoy Institute, we have been consulting directly with the local community to ask for their opinions and their ideas of how the building is best transformed.
This has included presenting the plans and discussing options at a number of local events in Vauxhall. These discussions have included the KOV (Kennington, Oval, Vauxhall) forum, the Vauxhall Gardens Estate Residents and Tenants Association(VGERTA), local councillors, and St Anselm’s on what the community’s needs are and how we might do our part in serving them when the restored Beaufoy Institute is back in action.
If you have any further ideas or comments, please do let us know.
2) How will the project benefit the local community?
Whilst we are still in the planning phase, these are some of the ideas that are being looked into:
- Community café: A non-commercial café will be operational in the Beaufoy building, for visitors of the centre to have a cup of tea, a slice of cake or a hearty meal. We are also looking into the idea of occasional ‘community feasts’ where members of the wider community will be welcomed.
- An annual classical music concert for local people and members of the community has been proposed in the main hall. This follows success of similar events in Germany. We would anticipate hosting the event in collaboration with local arts groups as a fundraiser for a local project.
- The plans include a landscaped Contemplation Garden for visitors of the centre to enjoy.
- A further space is earmarked for a Buddhist library and shop, plus an exhibition space. The exhibition space would be used for exhibitions related to Buddhism, but we are also open to suggestions from local art groups about what to display there.
- School programmes: Many of our larger centres across the globe offer school programmes; either opening the centre to school group tours, or giving talks on Buddhism at the schools.
- Work & Volunteering opportunities for local youths. We are attending the KOV volunteer matching event at St Anselm’s on 17th March 2012 and if you are interested in volunteering for the project, please get in touch.
- Members of the local community have expressed interest in having a viewing of the Beaufoy building before and after its refurbishment. Subject to Health and Safety, we would very much like to offer this opportunity.
With over 600 Buddhist centres and groups across the globe, our primary community benefit is in offering access to Buddhist teachings to all who are interested. Diamond Way Buddhists are however also involved in many community activities as diverse as palliative care, education, art workshops and exhibitions, science debates and even local transport campaigns.
Buddhism itself is one of the main world religions, known for its peacefulness, compassion and figures like H.H. the Dalai Lama. It is based on ideas and practices that emphasise kindness, understanding and personal development. As such, where Buddhist centres enter local communities, there has often been a ‘ripple-effect’ of positive, socially responsible attitudes and behaviours.
3) What is the main activity of the new Buddhist centre?
Traditional Buddhist meditation is the main method to be taught at the centre. These methods come from the Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism – a more than 900 year old tradition, with famous masters such as H.H. 17th Karmapa, Trinley Thaye Dorje.
Science has increasingly demonstrated the significant positive impacts on health and wellbeing of meditation. See, for instance, the reviews and articles here.
The regular programme of meditation sessions at the Beaufoy will be free to attend and all are welcome.
As with most religions, there are many different denominations and approaches within Buddhism, so people are invited to try the Diamond Way methods out and see if they suit them. Lectures will also take place – by both Western and Tibetan masters – at a price which is accessible to all.
We would welcome further ideas for how you would like to see Diamond Way Buddhism and the local community working together at the Beaufoy Institute.