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.
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.
July 2019 Property Committee News:
The Zen Center’s land, just North of The Harbor School, at 15816 Vashon Highway SW, is looking lush and beautiful thanks to the work of the Property committee, especially the Fitterer Family, the Steel Family, John Sweetman, Karen Hedlund, Chris Ezzell, and Koshin. There is now a large mowed grassy area and a number of freshly cleared walking trails. Please come out and enjoy this beautiful place. Walking, picnicking and ad hoc meditating are encouraged. Bring your friends and family.
As regards to our communication with King County-We were unaware that several of the things we did on the land last fall and winter required a permit. These things included: holding more than two events per year on the land, having a canvas tent on the land, tilling the clearing in preparation for grass seeding, and blackberries having been removed prior to our ownership.
We’ve settled up with the county on everything except the last two points, and are in the process of doing so now. We are asking to be granted some leniency with regard to fines and permit fees, especially since our action of planting grass on an already-cleared area has arguably increased erosion control and suitable drainage on the land.
The land is zoned ‘residential.’ Consequently, the Zen Center is only allowed to hold two events on the land per year. One such event will happen next month, on August 18, when we hold a Sunday service, a potluck and a work party on the land. See here for details.
For more information, please email email@example.com.