Buddhist monastery in Germany needs help

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Buddhist monastery in Germany needs help

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:26 pm

Just received word from a Venerable that a Buddhist vihara in Germany is in danger of being shut down by the government. Read here:

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/267818?a=920542
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Re: Buddhist monastery in Germany needs help

Postby perkele » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:56 pm

Thanks for sharing! I hope enough people contribute to put them out of this calamity. Bureacracy can be rather silly and destroy many good things for no real purpose at all.
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Re: Buddhist monastery in Germany needs help

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:06 pm

I'd just like to point out that although they've only made about $500 on this Indie Go-Go page, they are actually far closer in real life. So far it looks like they're closing in on about 2,000 euros, which is not that bad for a few days! Your donations aren't going to a lost cause!
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Buddhist monastery in Germany needs help

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:25 pm

From the website:

Lately the construction department of the City of Freising turned to the landlord of the monastery in order to demand the building of an additional parking lot or when not possible, the payment of 9000 € in lieu. Ironically, the monastery does not even own a car and visitors cannot park in front of the house anyway, as there is no parking available. In case the demand cannot be met, the monastery will have to give up the location at Fischergasse 18. As our small community is already struggling with covering the monthly rent and the upkeep of the monastery, this demand is very difficult to meet.


It sounds like they are renting the facilities? If so, then can't they get the landlord to pay? After all, he/she is the owner of the property. It is not the tenant's fault that there is no parking lot since they are not owners of the property. That seems like an unreasonable demand on a tenant (and I'm a landlord myself).

What would be the worst case scenario? Perhaps moving to another facility? They would not be "losing" this facility since they are renters anyway. They could pay their rent elsewhere, if the landlord doesn't pay this parking lot fee/fine.

In any event, the funds raised could be used to help with this situation either at this location or at a new location, so hope it all works out for them.
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Re: Buddhist monastery in Germany needs help

Postby equilibrium » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:18 pm

According to the text:
Lately the construction department of the City of Freising turned to the landlord of the monastery in order to demand the building of an additional parking lot or when not possible, the payment of 9000 € in lieu.

This is clearly a landlord issue at first.....What is interesting is when a new law comes into effect, does that mean everyone has to comply to that new law right away?.....is this what happens in your country?.....this is really odd?.....maybe newly built houses but existing properties too?.....surly not?
However, the law is directed to the landlord so the landlord should comply with the issue unless the conditions are that the tenant bear the expenses.....surely that is very unreasonable?.....so what if the tenant don't pay, can they leave?
The logic of this does not make sense.

But yet equally strong, one can offer 9,000 euros in lieu.....what does that really mean?, does that mean the money is used to build a new car parking space or if the money is paid, does that mean a parking space is no longer required even there is space to build one?
And who says it is going to cost 9,000 euros.....based on whos quotations?.....
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Re: Buddhist monastery in Germany needs help

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:51 am

This whole story seems to be kind of strange. I wrote an e-mail to Ven. Thitadhammo hoping he may shed some light on this...

best wishes, acinteyyo

edit: I got a reply today. In short, the apartment is used as a religious facility with events and meetings. The building authorities in accepting the monastery as a monastery applied a new calculation of necessary parking lots which have to be provided according to german laws for religious institutes. Since the apartment is just a normal apartment the landlord doesn't want to pay for the parking lot because if the monastery leaves the apartment in the future sometime the landlord will have to bear all the costs and any additional costs for a parking slot which is only necessary if another religious institute will ever rent this apartment again which is more or less unlikely. That's why the landlord passed the costs to the monastery. Ven. Thitadhammo wrote that they accept the demand of the building authorities because this also means that they are accepted as a monastery by the city.
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

:anjali:
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Re: Buddhist monastery in Germany needs help

Postby perkele » Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:24 pm

Thanks for explaining, acinteyyo. So the whole story is not so strange at all, and I think all sides involved are dealing with it in a very reasonable manner. For those who understand German, on this website there's a link to an article of a local newspaper in Freising: http://www.bodhi-vihara.org/archive/14138. In short: Not too much to worry about, but donations are still needed.
On the aforementioned website (on the left side under "Spendenstatus") you can also see how much has been donated in total by now.
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Re: Buddhist monastery in Germany needs help

Postby equilibrium » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:36 pm

Can't read German.....so according to the OP, this "apartment" in Fischergasses 18 has been rented since May 2011.
Therefore the apartment being a "flat/residential property" is being used as a religious facility.....clearly wrong function.....yet it has been in full operation since May 2011 and had no issues ever since.....until this appears on the papers dated 8 November 2012.

Need the right property with the right facility/function is required.....Surely it must be cheaper to seek out alternative accommodation elsewhere.
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Re: Buddhist monastery in Germany needs help

Postby perkele » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:14 am

equilibrium wrote:Can't read German.....so according to the OP, this "apartment" in Fischergasses 18 has been rented since May 2011.
Therefore the apartment being a "flat/residential property" is being used as a religious facility.....clearly wrong function.....yet it has been in full operation since May 2011 and had no issues ever since.....until this appears on the papers dated 8 November 2012.

Need the right property with the right facility/function is required.....Surely it must be cheaper to seek out alternative accommodation elsewhere.


I think you misunderstand something here. The apartment is cheap, because it is just an apartment...
being used as a religious facility.....clearly wrong function.....

What's wrong with that?
yet it has been in full operation since May 2011 and had no issues ever since.....until this appears on the papers dated 8 November 2012.

If you find something suspicious here, :spy:, then be more clear about what it is.
The apartment being used for religious purposes it falls under some law for religious facilities which demands a parking lot to be available. In this case there is no parking lot, there is no parking lot possible, so instead the construction department charges a one-time penalty fee of 9000 euros.
Until recently no one was aware of that. Now the construction department noticed it and demanded the fee.
But yet equally strong, one can offer 9,000 euros in lieu.....what does that really mean?, does that mean the money is used to build a new car parking space or if the money is paid, does that mean a parking space is no longer required even there is space to build one?
And who says it is going to cost 9,000 euros.....based on whos quotations?.....

The penalty fee goes to the construction department (or some other divison of the bureaucracy) as far as I understand. No parking lot is built as there is no space for that. As I said, bureaucracy can be rather silly. But hey, somehow they have to earn money, too. No?
From a legal perspective you are certainly right in that
This is clearly a landlord issue at first
, but the landlord was not aware of this law either. He just rented out the apartment as an apartment. So understandably he does not want to pay the fee for the use "as a religious facility" and would rather terminate the rent contract.
So it seems only proper that the supporters of the monastery step in to pay for it.
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