The Jizo Project comes to life

· Sangha News · ,

Some time during the 1930s at the Mount Tremper Catholic retreat center built by Father Scully a parsonage was constructed by the north gate. This small cottage eventually served as a caretakers house, and before the property was purchased by Daido Roshi in 1980, very likely a summer camp director’s residence.

The Jizo House, as it came to be called, was the Monastery’s first abbacy and eventually became Dharma Communications world headquarters, packed with desks and residential staff, photography and graphics equipment, zafus and zabutons, and lots of books. When the current DC office building was constructed in 2000, the Jizo House became a dorm cabin as well as housing the Monastery Store. Currently it houses retreat dorms and the natural dye studio for the Monastery’s Tenkozan textiles.

The MRO Board of Governors has planned for years to renovate or rebuild the Jizo House. Discussions have gone through many phases to land at the current plan, one which is responsive to the needs of the Monastery community for Zen Buddhist practice and day-to-day living. Accessibility for people with needs not currently met by our existing facilities are a key component of the Jizo House plans and have been developed in conjunction with extensive accessibility improvements for the main building, including ramps and a lift from the ground floor to the zendo.

Building plans and a fund raising campaign have been under development for close to a year now and the committee involved is brimming with excitement to share details with the broader sangha. To that end, on Sunday June 9, 2019, all are invited to gather at the Monastery’s Sangha House for a presentation by Shugen Roshi and key members of the planning and fundraising team. Architectural renderings will be shared along with reminiscences of the current Jizo House’s many uses over the years. We’ll also learn about the process of developing the current vision, which includes rebuilding the Jizo House from the ground up, and how this fits with a broader agenda of investing in our sangha’s longevity.

An early rendering of plans for a newly constructed Jizo House with two floors and expanded amenities.

If you’re not available to join us in person on June 9, consider joining us online. The whole event will be Livestreamed and archived for viewing that day or at a later time. Click here for details.

And stay tuned for an interactive web portal that will allow you to track progress of the Jizo Project, learn key details about the plans, and donate to the fundraising campaign.

Daido Roshi in front of the Jizo House in the late 1980s, when it still served as the Abbacy.

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