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Update on the Financial Situation of Zen Community of Oregon: Shine Your Light Brighter Campaign

The Zen Community of Oregon has been closed to the public now for over six weeks. We have continued full-time around-the-clock monastic practice at Great Vow. We have twenty residents living at the monastery. As many of you know, we are live-streaming our zazen periods in the morning and evening, as well as our Sunday Public Program. Heart of Wisdom’s daily meditation gatherings went online within hours of closing our doors. You can join a zoom meditation gathering every night of the week!

A few weeks ago, I sent out an email with information regarding the finances of closure. In it I detailed our plan to account for the projected $250K shortfall if we need to remain closed for the duration of 2020. In April, we met some early successes. We were approved for the Small Business Loan through the Emergency Relief Package passed by the Federal government.

We launched our first two online retreats in April - an online daylong Inner Critic Retreat and a 5-day Sesshin - and asked for donations for attendance. We were surprised to have 75 people attend the Inner Critic Retreat and 65 attend Sesshin. This is far greater attendance than we usually have for workshops and retreats in April. We have more online workshops, daylong retreats, and weeklong retreats scheduled for May and June, and we look forward to refining our offerings to best meet the needs of the Sangha at this time.

Many Sangha members have come forward with active generosity. We have received $30K in donations since April 1st. The membership and fundraising committees are working hard to keep our Sangha connected and financially stable during this time. We are kicking off the Shine Your Light Brighter Fundraising Campaign. Thank you to all who have made a major gift and to all those who have joined as members or increased their membership dues. It takes all of our lights to shine through the darkness. May we work together for the benefit of all beings!

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