Our non-profit organization is based in a 19th century castle in the Sarthe countryside, on a 6ha plot of land near the Bercé forest, 20km south of Le Mans. The place is magnificent, very quiet and peaceful, ideal for meditation and rest, with many walks in the surrounding woods, on foot or by bike (we can lend you bicycles).
The community living here is composed of monks, nuns and lay practitioners, all buddhists practitioners, of all ages and backgrounds. We organize weekly meditation retreats (5 days retreat) and many people come to benefit from teachings and meditations, stay to do a break and recharge their batteries or come also to do volunteer activities. All are benefiting from accomodation and meals in the Meditation Centre.
During your stay as volunteer, you will be able to participate (at no extra cost) in the spiritual activities that take place in the evening, as well as the 30-minute guided meditations before lunch time which we try to organize each day, also the practices of sung prayers with meditation in the late afternoon. PLEASE NOTE that these spiritual activities are all in FRENCH LANGUAGE only. You will need an intermediate level to feel confortable.
During your stay, you will have the opportunity to borrow a kit containing Buddhist books and an MP3 player with guided meditations.
ARRIVAL and DEPARTURE DAYS: To organise at your best your arrival and departure, we ask for you to schedule your arrival and departure on the following days : TUESDAY, THURSDAY or SATURDAY.
If you need to travel by train to reach the Center, you probably will need a shuttle at your arrival from the Ecommoy train station to the Center and vis vers ça for your departure, in this case please organize this on afternoon only (availability of the shuttle) and book your shuttle 48h before (otherwise it cannot be guaranteed).
IMPORTANT : Due to Government restrictions linked to the COVID virus, a health passport is required to participate in the volunteering stay. The health passport includes a complete vaccination schedule or a negative test (PCR or antigenic) to be renewed in due form.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
Volunteers have the opportunity to discover and take part in spiritual activities (in FRENCH only) in the national mother Centre of an international Buddhist Tradition, which includes more than 1000 centres and annexes in 40 countries. The Meditation Centre houses a community of about 20 residents (monks, nuns and lay practitioners, of all ages and backgrounds).
During the volunteer stay, you will have the opportunity to participate in our spiritual activities (guided lunchtime meditation, evening teachings, prayers and meditation in the late afternoon - all in French language). You will also be able to share and exchange if you have the desire with experienced practitioners, residents, and discover the beneficial effects of meditation practice. Intermediate French level is necessary to feel confortable.
By participating in the proper functioning of the Center, you will also have the opportunity to meet people from all over France united in the same process: discovering the Buddhist way of life, experiencing meditation and training our mind. To benefit those around us is the best way to live in harmony.
We propose various activities in preparing rooms and common areas, in gardening activities and some light maintenance.
Of course, we are always interested to know the specific skills you may be able to offer. All skills are welcome, don't hesitate to share your talents with us ! We need help also in communication for our social networks.
Although the work is not always arduous, you will need to be reasonably fit and active to participate in a volunteer trip, with missions lasting between 2 and 3 hours per half day (an average of 5 hours per day).
Dormitory - male or female (not mixed)
The sleeping bag is requested. Please also bring your own bath towel.
In the surroundings of the Centre, you can visit the city of Le Mans: Le Mans, labelled "City of Art and History", conceals in its heart a hidden jewel: the Cité Plantagenêt. Twenty hectares of paved alleys, inhabited by pan-de-bois houses and Renaissance hotels, sheltered by a Roman wall and overhung by a cathedral. Saint-Julien Cathedral, half Romanesque, half Gothic, is also one of the largest in France (134m long for a surface area of 5000m2).
Also, the national forest of Bercé is a beautiful place to go hiking. The fruit of several centuries of silviculture, the Bercé oaks have acquired a worldwide reputation for their exceptional quality. A former royal forest intended to supply the navy, this massif now produces oaks that are sought after for cooperage. Its forests make it one of the most beautiful forests in France.
To go to Le Mans, there is a local bus but you can also ask residents or other volunteers to drive you to the train station.
To preserve peace and harmony within our Buddhist community, the consumption of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs is not permitted on the entire property. Being a Buddhist center, all meals are vegetarian (sometimes vegan) and the consumption of meat / fish is also not allowed throughout the property.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have a public wifi in our Café. Depending if there is a lot of people logged in, it is quite ok. You can check emails and do some basic works online but if you need to use a very good connection maybe you might need to have your own Data with your phone.
You can also camp but in winter it is not such a good idea ;-) We don't have usual facilities for campervan but there is one in the village. You can have your showers in the common bathrooms. If you have your own kitchen in motorhome though, we ask you not to smoke, drink alcohol or eat meat/fishes in the premicises
More than two
Maximum 5 hours/day
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