Building the House of Jizo

· Photos ·

After more than a year of planning and fundraising, the humble and well-worn cottage across from the garden was torn down on June 18 to make way for a new Jizo House. That same week, another team successfully installed a lift in our main building. As part of a broader vision towards accessibility and inclusivity, these are long held dreams coming to fruition.

The new Jizo House will greatly enhance our facilities in a number of important ways. Visit to see renderings, plans and testimonials from some of the many bodhisattvas who have stepped forward to support this important initiative.

Below you’ll find an ongoing, regularly updated collection of photos from the building site. Though the Monastery is closed at this time to visitors, we are pleased to share this with you in the hopes that we can officially invite our maha-sangha for the grand opening, whenever that might be.

The original Jizo House. c. 1929 – 2020
The Jizo House served as the parsonage for Msgr. Joseph Scully who founded the original Christian retreat center (and later summer camp) on the Monastery grounds. Daido Roshi and his family moved in with their belongings in 1980 upon founding ZMM before we purchased a log cabin around the corner for the Abbacy. The cottage later provided office space, a location for our store, and accommodations for retreatants. We believe the Jizo House was built during the Great Depression, at the same time as our main house.
After excavating the foundation, a team moved in to begin anew.
June 25—Residents passing by the construction site as the new foundation is created.
July 16—Covering the basement (future dye studio and statuary) with sub-floor.
July 17—Our fantastic contractor crew, led by the formidable Nick Formont (at left).
July 23—Outside kinhin during July’s Interdependence Sesshin.
July 31—The first floor comes into view.
August 10—Roof joints through the apple trees.
August 12—Moving right along.
August 17—The exposed 2nd floor, just before sheeting was added.
August 22—The “front” of the Jizo House faces the Monastery’s main building. On the right hand side you’ll see doors that enter into a living room style common space.
August 28—Dormers on the north and south sides will add even more light and space to the second floor.
September 5—On the inside, looking north.
September 21—More lumber going up and in. Plus a sealed roof.
October 5—Window installation.
October 6—Door installation.
November 7—All enclosed with electricity connected. Just in time for the colder, wetter weather.
November 27—The application of wood panels, designed to match the Monastery’s main building, are bringing the Jizo House’s exterior design into full view.
December 3—Mn. Gokan, who oversees many of the Monastery’s construction projects, checks in with head contractor Nick Formont.
December 8—A new parking area will serve those retreatants staying at the Jizo House.
December 20—Jizo’s first real snow.
January 2, 2021—A view from Plank Road.
February 27—With help from a few residents, Monastic Rakusan Ricci has been working on new beds for the Jizo House.
March 12—With the winter snows melted, the crew finally had a chance to shingle the roof with tiles that match the main building.
July 3—After a year of construction, the Jizo House is completed! Its first guests slept here 2 weeks ago during Summer Solstice Sesshin and were delighted with the experience. Since then the sidewalk leading from the main building has been completed and the grounds surrounding the house have been seeded with hay for new grass.
July 3—Looking through the trees you can see the walkway that surrounds the house. Next up we’ll be working on some more landscaping around the exterior and making the Jizo house common room cozy and inviting.
Click here to watch a video of the dedication event we held on July 25th.
Read more

Building Plans

· Sangha News · ,

Thanks to the generous support of the Sangha, the Jizo Project is close to being fully funded, though we do still have a little ways to go. If we do pass our target of $1.2 million, any further donations will go towards Phase II plans in our ongoing effort to make Zen Mountain Monastery more accommodating and welcoming for all who wish to practice here.

Read more