As most if not all of our current members know by now, the Zen Center of Denver temple building is currently under contract to be sold, and our move-out date, August 31, is quickly approaching.
The sale may, of course, come as some surprise to the many friends of the Center who are not currently members. For those, please know that the decision was not lightly taken. It was the result of many months of sangha meetings, careful examination, debate and soul-searching. The decision has many facets, but we trust now that moving will open up new practice opportunities and lead to a more sustainable outlook.
We are pleased to report that the building sale is moving along smoothly, and we owe a deep-seated bow of gratitude to those people who have helped in this complex process. Temple items are being inventoried, boxes are being packed and various other items are either being sold or given to charity. Although we will be saddened to be leaving this wonderful practice space, we are also certain it is possible to bring our love for Zen into a new practice space.
In that regard, we have identified two new temporary practice sites. The first, the Mayu Sanctuary, is located at 1804 S. Pearl Street and has a welcoming practice atmosphere. Karin Sensei and Peggy Sensei will be holding dokusan at Mayu on Tuesday evenings and Friday mornings. We can also go out for coffee across the street on Friday morning after the sitting. The second new practice space is the Rocky Mountain Miracle Center, located at 1939 S Monroe St, off Buchtel Ave. between University and Colorado Blvds. The RMMC has a beautiful large room for us to hold our Sunday morning sittings. Ken Sensei will be holding dokusan at RMMC on Wednesday mornings and Thursday evenings. In addition, we may have Sunday brunch every so often at a vegan restaurant (Native Foods) near RMMC.
In the meantime, we still have a lot of work to do at our current location. There is an upcoming zazenkai this Sunday, July 19. We also have a few more workdays scheduled this month and next. Then on August 23, we will have our last Sunday together at the temple, in which we will be holding a combined Jukai/farewell ceremony.
Finally, we will very soon be sending out a survey regarding sesshin. We will most likely have an early December Rohatsu sesshin, and so far two locations – the Franciscan Retreat Center in Colorado Springs and Shambhala Mountain Center at Red Feather Lake – appear able to accommodate us. Both are located in beautiful settings, and due to the higher cost of room and board, the ZCD will be subsidizing part of the cost of attendance. However, participants will need to commit to attendance earlier than usual so we can reserve the space.
We will be doing our best to keep everyone informed during this period of transition. Please feel free to communicate your questions or concerns to us. We realize the transition will be challenging, but it is also an opportunity to re-energize our practice, bring new life to our sangha and introduce new people to Zen.