Message From John Mann 2014

The transformation of the land in Big Indian into a Sanctuary continues

2014 Progress Report:
The Future of Big Indian

In 2013 John Mann wrote this vision statement concerning the future of Big Indian: “As the current owner of the land in Big Indian and passing my 85th birthday I must look to the potential future of this place. What I see as a highest and best use is the transformation of the property into a Sanctuary, a sacred space to which all may come if they approach with sincerity and reverence, a pilgrimage site providing an endless source of spiritual nourishment….”
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Much has happened in a year’s time, and tremendous progress made. Mr. Mann gives us this update:

A year ago I made an offer to contribute Lot One of Big Indian (containing Rudi’s Shrine, the Stupa, the Meditation Hall and the Cabin) to a not-for-profit corporation if certain conditions were met. The first was that $24,000 be raised to support repairs and improvements. This has occurred by the contribution of $19,000 in cash and $5,000 in contributed labor. This is all most gratifying.

The second condition was that The Big Indian Sanctuary (as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit Corporation) be formed and receive IRS approval in order to be able to receive tax-deductible contributions. This process is underway. The major condition — which is to be met over the next two years — is to raise $300,000 as an endowment for the Big Indian Sanctuary. To that end an auction of art bought from Rudi (and others) to contribute toward this endowment will be held at Sotheby’s in March of 2015 as part of the fundraising process. It is hoped that this will contribute a significant amount toward the financial goal of $300,000.

In the summer of 2014 there have been a number of events which have occurred at Big Indian that are related to the general rebirth of the land. Several have been sponsored by the Bodhivastu Foundation as an expression of their initiation of the use of Lot Two which was donated to them in February 2014. READ MORE >>

In addition there have been several weekend retreats focused on Rudi’s form of spiritual practice. On August 9 and 10 Bruce Joel Rubin visited Big Indian to lead a two-day retreat. And if that wasn’t enough, there was also a Labor Day Meditation Marathon of eight inspired teachers from the tri-state area leading classes.  In addition, restoration to the meditation hall is already underway. All of these events have been rewarding to those concerned and speak well for future developments.

It should also be noted that in the course of this year some confusion has arisen about the relationship between the Bodhivastu Foundation — which is a Not for profit Organization devoted to the establishment of sacred spiritual spaces, sacred architecture, & an ecumenical spiritual approach to learning — and the Big Indian Sanctuary. These are two independent organizations, each with their own mission. As good neighbors getting to know one another, we sometimes share mutual activities. No matter what endeavors we are pursuing we are both striving in our own way to improve the energetics of the land for the good of all visitors. The work of the Bodhivastu Foundation is described on its website which will be updated over the winter.

It should also be noted that in the course of this year some confusion has arisen about the relationship between the Bodhivastu Foundation, (which is a Religious Organization devoted to the practice of the Red Hat Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism) and the Big Indian Sanctuary. They are two independent organizations, each with their own mission. As good neighbors getting to know one another, we sometimes share mutual activities. No matter what endeavors we are pursuing we are both striving in our own way to improve the energetics of the land for the good of all visitors. The work of the Bodhivastu Foundation is clearly described on its website.

What is the Big Indian Sanctuary?

First and foremost my vision for the future and longevity of Big Indian is as a Sacred Park, a place to come to for renewal and transformation in the spirit of a non-denominational pilgrimage site. Second, it can provide a setting for retreats focusing on Rudi’s spiritual practice and other related activities. Other functions will be defined by the Board of Directors of the Sanctuary as it is formed.

That is it!

But what if the $300,000 endowment is not raised in the next two years? The answer is simple. The condition for donating the property would not have been fulfilled so the offer would be withdrawn. I am not sure what I might do then, but it is my fervent wish that this issue never arises!

John Mann

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