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Update on the Financial Situation of Zen Community of Oregon

Greetings Sangha,

Our beloved dharma teacher, Fuho, recently asked, “How can we find refuge during this period, when it is inconceivable to see what lies before us?” And then he answered, “In the darkness, your light shines brighter.”

As you may have heard, due to the health emergency, we have had to close Great Vow monastery and Heart of Wisdom to the public. The Zen Community of Oregon has traditionally supported itself by offering retreat practice. There is a very real possibility that the temple and monastery will not be open as usual for 12-18 months due to the pandemic. Without the ability to offer retreats for the duration of the emergency, we face a potential shortfall of over $200,000 in 2020.

Left unaddressed, this shortfall could cause great disruption, reduction in services, and perhaps even closure. However, we believe this is not a time to scale back. We offer a way forward through compassion, sangha, and training the mind in non-reactivity. We are an essential service. Therefore, we are determined to fully fund the ZCO this year, by taking the following actions:

1. We are creating on-line retreats and events – a sesshin via Zoom and
online Inner Critic retreats are scheduled in April.
2. We are applying for forgivable loan through the federal emergency
response package.
3. We have requested a deferment on our mortgage.

And, most crucially, we will be connecting with you, someone who treasures the work of the Great Vow monastery and the Heart of Wisdom temple, and ask you for dana, financial generosity. A member of the leadership will be in touch with you soon.

Thank you for being part of our sangha, and the work of the bodhisattva.

In the Dharma,

Kisei Amy Costenbader
Zen Community of Oregon Board President

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