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In the middle of a nature park surrounded by meadows and lakes, only 60 kilometres north of Berlin, lies the so-called “Rote Burg“ (Red Castle): two old Ziegler buildings with about 850 square metres of floor space and surrounded by 37,000 square metres of meadows and oak forest.
In July 2020, Aryabandhu, Chairman of the Berlin Buddhist Centre, signed the purchase contract for the Rote Burg. This step was preceded by more than two years of intensive preparations in the Sangha. There was an exchange of ideas about a future retreat centre, plans were drawn up and several properties were visited in the Berlin area. When they came across the Rote Burg in spring 2020 - in the middle of the first Corona wave - they immediately agreed in the Berlin Sangha that they wanted to seriously pursue the purchase of the site. Everyone who had visited the place reported enthusiastically about its special atmosphere. Easy to reach from Berlin and yet located in a forest, the site offers ideal conditions for a meditative retreat in nature.
The Rote Burg is to become a place where, in harmony with nature, the sangha can practice the Buddha’s teachings in a contemporary way, deepen meditation and experience simple communal living. A place of spiritual inspiration that attracts and connects people far beyond the Berlin area, and where a vibrant and growing community will be felt.
In November 2020, 14 members of the Berlin Order met at the Rote Burg to celebrate a ritual together. A historic moment as it marked the beginning of the spiritual journey of the future retreat centre. They walked the grounds in the four cardinal directions and made offerings to the local spirits. They then consecrated the site to the Three Jewels and asked Bhante and his teachers for their blessings for the project.
By May 2022 the Berlin sangha are aiming to raise €400,000 in donations and €300,000 in private loans. If you would like to donate or could lend them some money, then please get in touch with Aryabandhu: aryabandhu [at] buddhistisches-tor-berlin.de
Watch a short interview with Aryabandhu on the vision for the Rote Burg
Watch a tour through the buildings.
Visit the Rote Burg website to find out more about this project.