Making a Place

William B. Turner
3 min readJul 6, 2022
Chenrezig, The Buddha of Compassion

I have never fit in very well anywhere. Usually, I don’t care. I decided some time ago that the failure of fit between me and the world is more the fault of the world than of me.

He didn’t put it that way, but one can read the life of the Buddha in terms that are at least very similar. He noticed that all humans are subject to old age, sickness, and death, and that no one was trying to fix what he saw as a problem, so he resolved to fix it himself, then spent the rest of his life explaining his fix to anyone who would listen.

He then essentially told us that there is nothing to fix, presumably because we can all rely on his fix. I still have trouble resisting the urge to try to fix the world, but I work on that in my meditation practice.

I feel an enormous debt of gratitude to the Buddha for his willingness to leave the record of his teachings for me to learn about 2,500 years later.

Red State Vihara is the place I intend to make where I will fit. It’s boundaries will be pretty loose so that lots of other people will also fir. Depending on how one defines it, the requirements for following the Buddhist path are not that demanding. I’m a long way down that path now. If it has an end, I am very near that end.

Red State Vihara will have what Ajahn Sumedho calls kutis, or meditation huts, which are very bare bones structures with a raised platform for sleeping, with a mat, and a cushion for sitting, where dedicated monks can sit for days, or weeks, or months, or years, and do nothing all day, every day, but meditate. They are typically attached to an organization that provides the one meal a day monks get.

It won’t happen soon, because I will be too busy building the Vihara, but once I get it up and running, I hope to undertake a one month, or three month, retreat in a kuti. Spend that amount of time doing nothing but meditating all day, every day. No phone, no computer, no external entertainment of any sort.

If that sounds appealing, a kuti behind a large building with a meditation hall, a big kitchen and dining hall, a big veranda, and rooms for nuns, monks, and visitors, you can help make it happen.

I’m up to 1,356 followers. I have said that, if each of you donated $500, I’d have over $500,000 to get started with. I don’t really expect that to happen. If each of you gave $100, then I’d have $100,000, which would be enough to get the project off of the ground. I could buy a professional web site and improve my fundraising operation, move to Woodbury and start looking for a location.

It will work out one way or another. In the meantime, I do appreciate any donation anyone gives. I will again state my gratitude to anyone who has already donated. Thank you.

The donation link is here.

William B. Turner

Uppity gay, Buddhist, author, historian.