Moulin de chaves (formerly tapovan) has been supporting dharma practice since 1995, initially in a remote valley in the french pyrenees, and since 2005 in our beautiful riverside centre in the dordogne, south west france.
We host Dharma events and retreats from various teachers and traditions. Many of our events seek to integrate silence and solitude with relationship and interaction, where deepening in meditation supports our contact with others, and at the same time, seeing how we are in relationship with others forms the basis for much of our exploration in meditation.
Le Moulin is set in beautiful surroundings,on the banks of a wide river, among bamboo groves and mature trees. Retreats benefit from the sounds of birdsong and flowing water, the beautiful Japanese style wooden meditation hall and the peaceful, natural surroundings.
All our activities are run through the Association Moulin de Chaves, a French non-profit organisation.
Tapovan was founded in 1995 by Gail and Martin Aylward, with lots of inspiration and no money. With a 1 year old daughter at the time, they found very few Dharma centres open to them, and so decided to start their own.
Tapovan was founded in 1995 by Gail and Martin Aylward, with lots of inspiration and no money. With a 1 year old daughter at the time, they found very few Dharma centres open to them, and so decided to start their own. They found a small stone house in the foothills of the French Pyrenees with no running water, no electricity, 2km from vehicle access, and opened their doors to anyone with a love of Dharma and Nature. The very first visitor, Paco, arrived in April 1995 to stay 3 days, and was there for the next 8 years.
By 2001, 8 adults and three children were living permanently at Tapovan, in addition to a flow of visitors all through the summer. Martin had begun teaching retreats around the world, and more and more people were coming to stay. Martin and Gail’s personal space was on a mezzanine just above the communal kitchen, and it was no longer possible to keep receiving visitors while also taking care of their own relationship and family life with two children.
Ian Davidson who had spent time at Tapovan and been involved in different ways in supporting activities there, proposed to Gail and Martin looking for a way to move and expand Tapovan. After six months of looking at crumbling farms all over south west France, they found the Moulin, a former zen monastery on the Auvezere river, in the Dordogne.
In early 2005 they drove up to see it in the early afternoon, and had agreed the sale by tea time. Martin and Gail, their two children Jaya and Narayan, and Ian moved in March 2005. Le Moulin was inaugurated on the May Full moon of the Buddha’s Awakening, 23rd May, 2005 – which was also Martin’s 35th birthday.
Le Moulin continues to offer space to ever more visitors, and to develop its ongoing program. The intention as ever is to support as best we possibly can, the deepening of wisdom and compassion, the profound exploration of the inestimable Dharma, the Liberation of human life.
About Association Moulin de Chaves.
Association Moulin de Chaves (formerly the Dharma Network Association – DNA) is a French Non Profit organisation (Association sans but lucratif 1901), registered no. 0112002698.
Association Moulin de Chaves manages all Dharma Events connected with the Le Moulin Meditation Centre. The officially stated aims of the Association are:
To facilitate the study and practice of the teachings of the Buddha, to bring together Dharma practitioners and to foster links and mutual support between them, for the purposes of spiritual Awakening.
Many people give time and energy to support the activities of the association. This is done as an act of love and generosity. They in turn are supported by your kindness and Dana.