Triratna’s new Buddhistisches Tor Berlin celebrates 'topping-out' ceremony for new Centre
On Thu, 2 February, 2012 - 05:42
Amogharatna, chairman of Triratna’s Berlin Buddhist Centre (known as the Buddhistisches Tor Berlin, the Berlin Buddhist Gate) writes with news of the ‘topping-out’ ceremony for their new Centre - scheduled to open on September 1st this year. He says -
“On Tuesday 17th January, along with other parties from the building in which our new premises are situated, we celebrated the topping out. The topping out ceremony marks the completion of the roof structure when a building is built or, as in our case, renovated. It is an occasion in which all parties involved in the construction work, the property owners, the craftsmen and the architects, express their thanks to each other.
About 50 people attended the celebrations which began with a speech and a toast from the head carpenter who concluded in the traditional manner by throwing his champagne glass to the ground from high up on the scaffolding surrounding the building. There followed speeches by the architect and a representative of the owners of the building. Those present continued in the traditional way with beer and barbeque, held in the opposite wing of the building to that in which our rooms are situated. Of course we also ensured that vegetarian and alcohol-free options were available.
In the evening, despite the cold, a similar number of people attended our Sangha celebration in the space which will become our new centre. This was the third of five rituals planned to mark stages in the renovation of the premises, and this time we held our regular Tuesday Sangha-Evening in what is still actually a building site.
The event was dedicated to Amitabha, the red Buddha and included a talk by Sabine Fechner (a local mitra) on the significance of the topping out, a talk by Dharmapriya on Amitabha, plus mantra singing and a seven-fold Puja. In addition to Sangha members we were joined by some Buddhists from other groups in Berlin as well as a few curious neighbours-to-be. Thanks to the generosity of Triratna Essen we had a new centrepiece for the ritual: a beautiful light-stupa, shown in the photographs opposite. There’s a few other photos there too, showing the building itself and some of our plans for it.
Due to the mild winter, building work is progressing well and the building is due to be handed over around the start of June. This gives us a couple of months to complete the interior furnishings before the centre opens on 1st and 2nd September 2012. Programme details of the opening will be available later in the year.
As mentioned in my last report, the total cost of the new centre will be around 1.3 million Euros, about half of which we are borrowing. If you would like to contribute financially and thereby help us in our work of making the Dharma and Sangharakshita’s teaching available to even more people, you can do so in the UK via the Berlin Buddhist Gate’s JustGiving page or (for larger and non-tax-deductible donations) simply amogharatna [at] gmx.de (email me).