Since breaking ground for our Shedra (monastic university, Karma Lekshey Ling Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies, in March 2002 has grown rapidly under the skillful guidance of Choje Lama Phuntsok. Today our Shedra serves as the home for over one hundred monks from all over Nepal. In addition, we have approximately twenty faculty and staff as well as several long term retreatants living on our grounds.
In 2005 we added a guest house, Joyful Land, to our facilities at Karma Lekshey Ling to host Choje Lama Phuntsok’s growing body of European and Asian students, both lay and monastic. With sixteen double rooms, it can accommodate up to thirty-two guests at one time. At present (Losar 2007), we are building a new three-year retreat facility for monks who wish to do the traditional three year retreat, a new library, a debating courtyard and a primary school. We are also building additional housing for younger monks. With the addition of the retreat facilities and primary school our sangha will grow to more than 150 residents. When the guest house is full, the Karma Lekshey Ling community can swell to as many an 180 persons.
As our community has grown, so has the need for a medical clinic to treat the various non-life threatening ailments that occur as part of daily life as well as to provide triage for ailments that require more aggressive medical treatment. At present all health care needs are addressed by a two person Welfare Committee consisting of Acharya Karma Thuthob and Acharya Karma Thugjey. Acharyas Thuthob and Thugjey have only informal first aide training. Whenever a member of our community needs medical attention he or she must be escorted into one of the clinics in downtown Kathmandu for all but the most minor ailments. A typical trip to the clinic takes several hours to all day and takes staff away from their normal duties. We wish to build a clinic adjacent to the Shedra grounds to provide better care to our community than is currently possible.
The clinic will be open not only to the Karma Lekshey Ling monastic community but also to both the villagers of the neighboring communities that have grown up around Karma Lekshey Ling and Lama Phuntsok’s visiting foreign students, many of whom stay for extended periods. Visits to the clinic will be free to the Karma Lekshey Ling students, faculty, and staff and subsidized for local villagers. Foreign guests would be asked to pay competitive rates.
We envision the clinic will be two stories tall and will include a waiting room and reception area, a doctor’s office, one or two examination rooms, a dispensary, and a simple kitchen. It will also include a five bed infirmary for overnight stays ( see floor plan) and will have toilet and washroom facilities, as well as storage facilities. It will be equipped it with a back-up generator to provide electricity during the frequent power outages that are a fact of life in Nepal. Initially, the clinic will be open part time. As funding allows, the clinic will gradually extend its hours to be a full time clinic.