(for information about visiting Lower Hamlet during the period of renovation, please go to the bottom of the page)
Lower Hamlet is the oldest and most rustic of the Plum Village hamlets. It was last upgraded in 1998. Now it is in urgent need of renovation to meet the current building regulations – if not, we will be shut down. This is certainly not our wish! After several years of preparation and many generous donations, we have finally begun!
The renovations address four main points
* Keeping Lower Hamlet open! It has unfortunately reached the point that Lower Hamlet will be closed down unless we carry out urgent work to upgrade our kitchen and other parts of the hamlet.
* Making a lighter ecological footprint through the use of a Biomass heating system, proper insulation, an ecologically friendly septic system and more. We are trying to do the most that we can for the environment given our modest means.
* Becoming accessible to those with physical disabilities.
* Preserve the beautiful heritage farm buildings.
We want to be able to continue to receive guests at Lower Hamlet, to welcome as many people as possible to practice with us and to enjoy the peace and beauty here. Our home is your home. We want to take care of it in a way that is as energy-saving and respectful of the environment as possible.
Urgent: The First Phase of renovations
- upgrade the kitchen
- expand the dining hall, preserving the heritage building
- install a new biomass heating system to heat most of the hamlet
- upgrade the Hamlet’s waste water system, to make it as ecological as possible
This phase is expected to take a year, starting this fall.
The Second Phase of renovations
Guest accomodation at Lower Hamlet is extremely modest. At the moment we do not have enough rooms for everyone who wants to come and stay with us. The Second Phase of the hamlet renovation project will be to renovate Persimmon Building and Cherry House:
- adding and creating proper bathrooms
- adding more bedrooms
- fully insulating the buildings to save energy
- bringing buildings up standard for guest accommodation (fire safety)
We are updating the budget and will post it here once it is ready.
So far we have:
- cleared out our barns and attic
- set up storage in the Dharma Nectar Hall
- set up a new barn space behind the Cherry House
- begun the installation of a temporary kitchen and dining hall in the Cherry House that will be ready to use in the next week or two.
How can you help?
Many people have generously offered their time, resources and money to help us with this project. Last year we were able to raise over 500 000 Euros which is enough to get us started. However, we still need to raise several thousand Euros more in order to pay for the whole project. Please consider donating to this cause so that:
- our shared home can stay open for all, helping to create more peace, harmony and joy in the world
- we have enough space to welcome you
- the hamlet can be in harmony with the environment
- the beauty of the traditional French farm buildings can be restored
Please contact us to make a donation
Staying with us during the period of renovations ~
Lower Hamlet and Middle Hamlet become one
During the building work, we will not be able to receive guests at Lower Hamlet. All guests who register at Lower Hamlet will get to enjoy their retreat at Middle Hamlet (2 km from Lower Hamlet on the way to Upper Hamlet) with accomodations in nearby guesthouses. There will be scheduled activities led by the Sisters, Days of Mindfulness and Lazy Days, just like a regular stay at Lower Hamlet.
Please note that we will only be able to accept guests who speak English during this time. Francophone speaking women will be hosted at New Hamlet.