Keep up to date on what's happening on the land. The upcoming events, how you can help, and our future plans.
Some background: In May of 2018, the Zen Center purchased a ~7-acre parcel of land just North of The Harbor School at 15816 Vashon Highway SW. We continue to hold most of our services at the Havurat Ee Shalom, 15401 Westside Highway, and look forward to developing this land in the future.
Currently the land has a white tent structure in the front clearing area, a forest shelter for meditation in a grove, and a 1/3 mile loop trail through the woods on the East end of the property. We hold meditation services in the grove every Saturday morning at 8, including a walking meditation loop on the forest trail.
Some words from Koshin our Abbot on the land purchase:
Buying land separately from a building allows us to proceed more quietly and steadily, and to fundraise over a period of years.
In the pause between buying the land and building a zendo, we can cultivate the land, build trails, plant a garden, have picnics and moonlight sits. It is my hope that we will be able to continue to use the beautiful practice space of the Havurah, generously rented to us by the island’s Jewish community, as our Zen Center’s home for a number of years to come.
I am under no illusions about the work it will take to build on this island. The work may indeed take many years. When, some years from now, it’s time to build, we will need to have a big capital campaign. We’ll ask for the sangha’s help in many ways. It will be hard work.
On the other hand, we will be doing this hard work together as a sangha. I take great satisfaction in working together on projects with sangha members and feel that this hard work will strengthen us as a sangha, as well as challenge us.
When we build our own Zen Center, we build an opportunity for Zen practice to continue on Vashon long after we’re gone. We build a place where people we haven’t met yet; who might not even have been born yet; can come to discover the beauty and quiet of this ancient tradition.
I’m excited about the possibility of these next few years of dreaming, working, practicing, and building together.
Join us on the land Saturday mornings, year-round. Saturday morning outdoor sits (8-9:30AM) continue on the land just north of the Harbor School that the Zen Center recently purchased. Please join us. Enter the driveway located just north of the Harbor School on Vashon Highway and park in the parking area to the left. Meet at the trailhead area, past the white tent in the clearing. Bring your own cushions (optional tarp or plastic for underneath) or camp chair. There are two periods of sitting plus a walk on the trail.
January 2019 Property Committee News: We’ve obtained a temporary address for the land: 15816 Vashon Highway SW. In December, a representative of the Department of Revenue came to the land to evaluate our suitability for a property tax exemption. As a “church” or “future church”, it’s possible that up to 5 acres worth of the property taxation on our land may be exempted. We’re awaiting a decision. A 30×40 tarp was put over the white tent in the clearing in December for additional weather protection, and further strengthening/weatherproofing efforts will continue on the tent. A large hemlock fell on the trail in December and was cleared.
Donation request-we’re looking for some indoor-outdoor carpeting to put in the 20×20 foot area of the white tent. We probably won’t put it into place until spring but thought we’d get the request out there!