Pure Land’s Fundraising Lottery – Frequently Asked Questions
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We are developing a multi-faith spiritual hospice called The Pure Land.
We are running a lottery to raise funds for it.
The objective of The Pure Land is to offer a safe and caring place for those suffering terminal conditions, who wish to end their lives in a spiritual environment.
The Pure Land of the Indestructible Buddha, Incorporated, or The Pure Land for short, will build and operate homely accommodation within a peaceful and virtuous environment. It will suit those who wish to focus on the spiritual and emotional side in their last weeks.
Money raised, when added to our existing funds, will enable us to rent a house for the three-year pilot trial of The Pure Land concept – ‘a multi-faith spiritual hospice’. The Pure Land will rely heavily on trained volunteers.
☐ 2. Isn’t the bushfire appeal more important?
Deciding which of several good causes to support can be difficult and is very much a personal decision.
Yes, those suffering from the horrendous bushfires across much of Australia need our support.
At the same time, we can try to find it in our heart to help as many people as possible. We can send our loving-kindness to all those suffering in so many different ways from a vast array of problems, as well as to those with good hearts who are trying to help them, even if we can only give financial support to a few of these worthy causes.
☐ 3. Why Bhutan?
Bhutan’s main measure of progress is Gross National Happiness not GDP (Gross Domestic Product): it puts its peoples’ welfare and the environment first.
Bhutan has constitutionally protected a minimum of 60% of its natural forest from development thus preserving biodiversity.
Bhutan is a carbon neutral country with some amazing sustainable strategies that support its people and develop the country responsibly.
Bhutan is a country that values and sustains its culture, an individual culture worth experiencing.
In travelling to Bhutan we are supporting a country that is working towards a happier future. They are a small country, with a small population but they are showing how development might take place responsibly and without the environmental cost we see elsewhere.
☐ 4. Why do you need ‘bricks and mortar’? Why not visit people in their homes?
The safety of our workers is easier to guarantee in our own environment, and good standards of care can be more easily ensured round the clock.
It is one thing for a Health Professional to get permission and ensure safety in a private home, but it is much more difficult to get permission for a volunteer to be with a dying person in their home.
Peace and tranquillity are not always easy to ensure in a dying person’s home.
By providing a place of respite, staffed by trained carers and volunteers, an atmosphere of peace is easier to maintain. Our emphasis is on a spiritual environment.
The stress of looking after a dying person at home is often overwhelming for their carers, and the stress of suffering a terminal condition can be the cause of deep suffering. Not everyone can confront death with equanimity.
Home visiting carries inherent risk from various sources. These include:
A. The home layout
B. The suitability and availability of home modifications and equipment
C. The presence of relatives whose behaviour creates risk
D. Ensuring quality of care by Pure Land volunteers
E. Permission for volunteers to be alone with dying people in their homes
☐ 5. What’s the difference between The Pure Land and a hospice?
A hospice usually employs nurses and doctors, and relies on Government support.
We will not be employing nurses or doctors.
The care offered is a continuation of the medical care that the dying person is currently receiving at home, augmented to provide a better quality of life in the last weeks, by focussing on the emotional and spiritual aspects.
We will require the dying person to be admitted with the approval of his doctor, and they will bring with them the arrangement they already have for visiting in-home nursing care e.g. from Silver Chain.
The care offered does not attempt to offer medical treatment with the objective of curing the dying person, because they are suffering a terminal condition which has reached the palliative stage.
Instead, Pure Land care offers a continuation of the nursing and medical care that the person is currently receiving at home.
Specifically, the difference will be the focus on the patient’s emotional and spiritual needs and the services offered by trained volunteers who can take some of the load off the family carers, who will ‘live in’ at the facility most of the time.
☐ 6. What if I’m not a Buddhist?
The Pure Land is organised on Buddhist principles but it welcomes all people regardless of their belief systems, providing they meet the admission criteria.
The spiritual care offered will vary according to the patient’s beliefs.
The Management Committee comprises people from two different Buddhist groups in Perth, emphasizing the ‘multi-faith’ nature of The Pure Land.
Following the lead of Christian groups that run hospitals and hospices that are open to all, so will The Pure Land.
However, initially, because of our background and contacts, most patients are expected to be connected to the various Buddhist traditions.
☐ 7. How will you offer spiritual care suitable for all?
Because of the spiritual background of most of the volunteers and their good hearts,
because of the visits of the dying person’s spiritual teacher, and
because of the appropriate recorded or actual chanting, prayers and music, and
because of the appropriate images, flowers and so on,
the atmosphere will be different – genuine peace and goodwill and, from the Buddhist point of view, the best opportunity for a death without regret or fear and for a happy next life.
Very often the mere presence of an accomplished spiritual teacher can create a solid sense of calm and purpose, which inspires both the dying person and the family. Trained volunteers bring to the bedside a sense of loving kindness and peace. Combined with the physical images in the person’s room and the sound of prayers, a sacred space can be created.
☐ 8. Is there a charge for using the premises and services?
Yes, there will be a charge.
There are overheads and other costs.
We are a charity relying on private donations.
We will keep the charge to a minimum.