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This post is also available in: French

Sri Ratnam hall captivates with its distinctive Asian influences – from the intricately hand-carved doors from Bali and its strikingly golden roof, changing hues depending on the reflected light. Large windows capture the surrounding forest, lake and sky. But before it took on its true form we used to call it the Rona box because of its rectangular ordinary shape.

In 2010, Fred Buchet had lived at the Centre for 11 years when he was given an unexpected responsibility – supervising the Hall’s construction, from scratch.

When you volunteer at the Centre, you grow out of your small self, begin to expand your skills or even may discover you had skills you didn’t know you possessed. Through meditation and knowledge you grow and your capacity to work through and deal with situations grows. Fred said that what he learned from building the hall was how to deal with stress. It was by “being put in situations, which, to be honest, were not pleasant, that I learned a lot.”

It was a massive project, Fred said. You have a way to deal with your stress, but you have to deal with the stress of everyone else who does not have the tools you have. “People are pressing you for information, and if you don’t turn inside yourself, and breath, and let go, it would be very difficult. What I noticed is the information is there but you can’t reach it at the moment, but you know it is going to come. You know it is there.”

“Working here, you often see grace in action, but still, you have to do your homework.” Fred recalls one situation where, “We had only two contractors able to do the steel. We couldn’t start the work before October. But because of winter coming, at this time of the year, it wasn’t likely we would find anyone.”

I remember calling this guy.  “We have only one issue,” I told him,  “We want this structure to be complete within four weeks.” He surprised me by replying, “Ok, we will have it built in three. So that was a miracle.”

Many stories are connected with the building of this hall, which is a place of beauty and solace. But you will find – whether you are transforming Rona boxes into imposing structures or planting seedlings – is that the work transforms you!



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