About the Pure Land Project
The Pure Land Project is an initiative of the Wheel of Life Palliative Care Support Group, which is a social outreach community service attached to the Hayagriva Buddhist Centre, 64 Banksia Terrace, Kensington, WA 6151.
The Pure Land Project is currently in the process of registering as a not-for-profit charitable organization. We have our own website and bank account. There is a Steering Committee and an Advisory Committee comprised of Buddhists and non-Buddhists. Based on our experience in the Wheel of Life Palliative Care Support Group over the last ten years, running comprehensive training courses for care of the dying, it is now our intention to create a centre for care of the dying that has a focus on emotional and spiritual care. The following points summarize our model for the Pure Land of the Indestructible Buddha (Pure Land Centre):
- The Pure Land Centre will be a facility where dying people, classified as requiring only palliative care, can die in a peaceful and virtuous environment. Such an environment will allow the person to die in what is more like a ‘sacred space’ than at home, which is often a ‘worldly place’.
- The dying person will have a well-equipped private room, and there will be adjoining rooms for their carers, who will usually be their family, to live in. The dying person’s own spiritual teachers will be invited to visit frequently to provide spiritual guidance at the most important time approaching death.
- Trained Pure Land volunteers will be on hand to provide companionship, emotional and spiritual support, to both the dying person and their carers. Other volunteers will assist with cleaning, cooking, garden, and building maintenance. A Resident Manager will live at the Centre. The family/carers will be expected to live in much of the time and to take responsibility for the nursing and medical needs of the patient.
- Some ancillary services such as laundry, cleaning and meals, will be available. A full hospice service will not be offered. The Pure Land Centre will offer accommodation, companionship, emotional and spiritual care. As with ‘home care’, nursing and medical services will be arranged by family members, and will come from organizations such as Silver Chain.
- To help meet the costs of running the Centre, the patient, and their family/carer will need to make a contribution towards expenses.
In summary, the Pure Land Centre will provide the environment for a peaceful and virtuous death, for those who wish for an emphasis on emotional and spiritual care during their last weeks. The family/carers will be expected to take responsibility for the nursing and medical needs of the patient. Visiting professionals, from organizations such as Silver Chain, will provide the requested nursing and medical care. The Centre will be run primarily by trained volunteers, with a Resident Manager. The Centre will be open to all, but the main users initially are expected to come from Buddhist groups in Perth, and their families.