|The Healing Hearts Project needs your support|
|Written by Sister Jewel|
|Saturday, 26 May 2012 09:11|
In honor of the 700 patients removed from the Protestant Healing and Nursing Institution, Waldbröl, in 1938-1939
After the war the psychiatric hospital-turned-hotel became the general medical hospital for the town of Waldbröl. Many Waldbrölers are proud of being born in this building. In the 1960’s the hospital moved to a larger location nearby and then the building was used by the German military. In 2007, Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh (also known as ‘Thay’ which means ‘teacher’ in Vietnamese) and his community acquired it and it is now the European Institute of Applied Buddhism or Das Europäisches Institut für Angewandten Buddhismus (EIAB).
On August 22, 2012, we will formally inaugurate the newly renovated EIAB, marking the historical opening of the entire ground floor of the main residence and former hospital, which will be open to the public for the first time since the founding of the EIAB four years ago. This auspicious event includes an Exhibition of many of Thay’s calligraphy and books, as well as the inauguration of a meditation garden marking the new entrance to the EIAB which will contain a gate and a stupa, a traditional Buddhist place of worship that visitors can walk around in mindfulness. The gate and the stupa are being made of large stone columns that have lain unused in the Asoka Building for over seventy years and were originally intended to create a large plaza in front of the building for speeches and gatherings by the Nazi Party. This inauguration represents an important step towards healing the wounds of this land and a transformation of the tragic history of the building. As one of Thay’s calligraphies states,
With the mud of discrimination and fanaticism,
Make a Healing Heart Yourself
You may like to make a heart by cutting two heart shapes out of any cloth that you have at home, especially cloth that has some personal significance to you. Then you can sew the two sides together by hand or with a sewing machine and stuff it with cotton, wool or some other non-perishable material so it is three-dimensional. The heart should be about the size of your palm; a little smaller or bigger is also fine. Feel free to be as creative as you like in designing, coloring, embroidering or otherwise decorating it! Please contact us first if you wish to make a heart out of a material other than cloth.
We also welcome the involvement of students and others in researching and documenting the historical background for the exhibit. Perhaps you know of people who might have an important story to share in relation to the history of the 700 patients. For instance, if some of the patients’ families wish to share, there will be space for more personal stories of the lives of a few of these patients. We are looking for such stories to help the exhibit be more concrete and moving, but will only display them anonymously unless families of the patients give specific permission to use their names.
Thank you in advance for your participation and support,
Please bring or send your Healing Heart to the EIAB no later than July 16th with the completed form below attached to it.