When we moved to this location in 1989, it was apparent that a larger meditation hall would help our temple. In the years the temple has been here, various ideas have come up and been discarded about how to expand the usable space of the temple and, during the past year, in discussion with the Priory council, we decided that it would be good to go ahead with the project of adding a new meditation hall.
- A new meditation hall would expand our capacity for sitting meditation and ceremonial in the hall.
- It would allow us to use the former meditation hall room for meetings and to house our library.
- The new, more spacious, hall and layout would make the temple more retreat friendly.
- We plan to make access to the temple ADA compliant with a new ramp and wheelchair accessible restroom facilities. (Our current ramp is not ADA compliant.)
- A big advantage of this renovation would be to put all of the public spaces of the temple on one accessible level.
From the beginning, starting and running this temple has been an act of faith: faith that the practice handed down to us through Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett will continue to benefit beings. Taking this next step, then, is also taking a step in faith and confidence in that practice and in those who will follow us.
While this project springs from the practical experience of living in this house and making it work for our needs – and really, it has served us very well – we also do our best to bring the project to the mind of practice. This involves working on letting go of greed: that desire for the latest shiny new whats-it, frustration: why can’t it go faster, and delusion: I’m sure a new meditation hall will solve all of our dissatisfaction.
Bringing the project to the practice also means taking refuge in the Sangha about the various stages of the project. As we go forward, we are sure we will have much discussion about the issues surrounding an undertaking like this. Please do let us know if you have input or ideas you would like to share.
Our Design Plan
After much discussion about design and work-load considerations with our local Sangha and the wider Sangha of monks and lay practitioners, we have come up with a basic provisional design. Having this design on paper is helpful in sorting out zoning issues and in getting general estimates for building costs. As we go forward, we will revise our design idea as new input comes in.
(You can see larger pdf versions of these images by clicking on the pictures)
Our Next Step
A local builder gave us a rough estimate for the cost of our proposed design at between $250,000 and $350,000 and our next step is to begin raising this money. Because of the nature of how our finances are structured, we would find it very difficult to get bank financing – although our income is thankfully stable, since we don’t have regular pledges, we would not be able to guarantee income to repay a bank loan.
Also, while Rev. Leon and other Priory members have a fair bit of building experience, because of the local code requirements, we will not be able to do a substantial amount of the work and will need to hire a builder.
Any donations you might give, dedicated to our building fund, will go to this project. Because we have no way of predicting what our income will be in a given year and because our first responsibility is keeping the temple running, we reserve the option to use building fund moneys to cover our basic operational costs. In the event that we are unable to cover our basic operational costs for a given year, our intention is to use building fund money after our general savings has been depleted.
How To Give
Your donations and support of the temple and this project are gratefully received! Giving for this project is as simple as making a donation in the usual way and marking it “Building Fund.” For ideas about methods of making offerings, go here.