Almost 50 years after the founding of Dai Bosatsu Zendo, age has taken its toll on the building, which was modeled on Tofukuji, a renowned temple in Kyoto, Japan. Antiquated heating and essential freshwater systems are in urgent need of upgrades. The patio flagstone and masonry entry stairs in the main entrance are cracking. The cedar-shingled roof and gutters are well past their replacement date. The wood support for the big temple bell is deteriorating. The entire facility is in need of repair and renovation. Professional restoration is a pressing necessity to ensure that this unique and precious resource will continue for future generations of practitioners.
In 2022, the ZSS Board contracted with an engineering firm to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the Dai Bosatsu monastery. The review identified numerous items, known and new, for updating, including antiquated key mechanicals and structural repairs. In addition, as part of our commitment to the care of the earth, a solar array installation is underway to reduce DBZ’s reliance on outside electricity by at least 50 percent.
We are announcing a $1.5 million campaign to Restore the Monastery and uphold our remarkable heritage with a prioritized list of projects:
Heating Systems ($505,575)
Install heat pumps with supporting ductwork and zoned thermostats in Zendo, Dharma Hall, first and second-floor guest rooms, Abbot’s quarters, library and calligraphy room.
Weatherstrip, insulate and repair seals in the sliding glass and wooden entry doors.
Solar Array ($155,000)
Prepare site and install a solar array to provide sustainable energy.
Water Systems ($170,000)
Repair the two wells that feed the domestic water system; upgrade water piping and valves; install a new filtration system.
Install a dehumidification system in the first-floor utility areas and food pantry.
Renovate bathrooms and ventilation systems.
Replace the 13 unique handmade oak doors.
Repaint interior spaces.
Restore the patio and masonry entry stairs.
Repair the deteriorating stone retaining walls.
Restore leaking copper roof saddles.
Treat the damaging moss on the roof.
Repair fascia and rafter tails along the roof.
Fix stairs and railings to resident quarters.
Replace beams holding the bonsho.
Repaint the entire monastery building’s exterior.
Construct space for equipment and vehicles.
Renovate garage and woodshed.
This restoration is also a preventive measure to avoid future damage and recoup costs over time. In addition to replacing the outdated equipment that requires urgent attention, this initiative allows us to create a more sustainable facility, reducing our environmental impact and carbon footprint.
With a daily schedule that includes temple caretaking, those of us who practice at Dai Bosatsu Zendo share the embodied experience that our spiritual growth is not separate from the building that offers the space for practice. We are now called to extend our care to the practice of dana (generosity), so that we and future practitioners can continue coming home to this monastery for the next 50 years.
Contributions to restore and preserve our shared precious resource can be made online or by check to the Zen Studies Society. When sending a check, please write “Monastery Restoration” on the memo line and send it to:
The Zen Studies Society
PO Box 1821
New York NY 10021
If you’re 70 1/2 or older, you can make tax-free, qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) from your IRA accounts directly to the Zen Studies Society of up to $100,000 per year. Starting at age 73, you must take required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your IRAs. You can fulfill that requirement by designating those RMDs as qualified charitable distributions to the Zen Studies Society, and avoid paying taxes on those gifts.
To learn more about the project and support the Zen Studies Society in this essential effort, please email RestoreDBZ@zenstudies.org or call Jikan Lucy Brusini at (201) 618-7896. Join us on a journey through the DBZ Monastery Video Series (Part 1 and Part 2) and explore the Monastery Restoration Brochure.
With deep bows of gratitude.