Our recently completed fundraiser to Help Build Doonkar Retreat House was a resounding success! Check out some of the videos and the community that came together to make this project a reality at the following page: Community Videos.
If you'd like to contribute to this special project, donations are still being accepted. Click the "Donate" button in the sidebar to learn more.
Doonkar Retreat House is located on 65 acres of pastoral Wisconsin countryside, a stones throw from our Norbu House facility. The 4,700 square foot Doonkar House (Tibetan for "White Conch") will provide accommodations for an additional 22 persons and features a spacious dining room with a covered porch nestled against the Meditation Grove pine forest and tenting area.
The Design Process
The past year and half has seen the design for Doonkar Retreat House tweaked, scrapped, and re-configured numerous times. What began as an octagon housing structure attached to our Norbu House facility, morphed into a full-fledged commercial building. Employees of the State of Wisconsin spurred the changes, as we quickly found out that our intended use required extensive licensing and regulation.
Fortunately, we are blessed to have a community of diversely talented individuals. Pema Dorje, a frequent retreat participant, is a designer/builder in Kingston, Ontario and enthusiastically headed the design process - from octagon all the way to our final floor plan! Mikma, another retreat participant who has extensive experience designing and working in professional kitchens (and who is a world-class chef!) offered guidance on the layout and functioning of the commercial kitchen.
Like countless other activities within the White Conch community, building Doonkar Retreat House is an example of what can happen when people come together for a cause! Thanks to the diligence of one community member, we were able to secure wholesale pricing on triple-pane, energy efficient windows. Another couple who attends retreats has donated a beautiful entry door with a peacock decorative glass insert that they were no longer needing to install in their new home. A Milwaukee-area individual is using a gift card at Home Depot to sponsor toilets for the entire building and our new neighbor, Jinpa, has offered to create and install the exterior and interior trim for Doonkar House!
As the White Conch community of spiritual practitioners has grown and progressed along the path to awakening, the need to have special housing for those doing 1 month, 3 month, 1 year, or even 3 year retreats has arisen. In addition to general retreat accommodations, Doonkar House will have designated space for those embarking on these longer meditation retreats.
That people place strong emphasis on their internal development and seek to carve out time for such an endeavor is a testament to the transformative power of Domo Geshe Rinpoche’s teachings and the timeless lessons of the Dharma, still 2600 years after its founding.