A couple of weekends ago, a friend and I took a drive to the eastern part of Prince Edward Island to take in an open house at the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society‘s (GEBIS) newest campus.
In 2009, a former Montague lobster supper and motel property was up for sale. Previously the home of traditional east coast hospitality, the real estate was purchased and renovated to become the province’s first Buddhist retreat. Construction on a new campus in Little Sands, not far from the original location, began in 2011. This new campus is home to between 80 and 100 monks and nuns, and regularly hosts people from around the world at its meditation programs.
The open house provided insight into daily monastic life and included a tour of the dormitories, displays of traditional works including art and sculptures (made of butter), a guided tour of the prayer hall by the resident monks and nuns, followed by lunch in the dining hall.
The hosts went out of their way to make guests feel welcome and the tour made for a great day in an otherwise bleak winter. For a province with traditionally Christian practices, this event provided a great opportunity to learn more about people who have become part of our Island community.