We are having a Membership Drive from November 12 through December 17th in continuing support of our community that is growing in so many ways! Our practice is thriving at Brooklyn Zen Center as more practitioners join our community and we deepen our practice together.
Our community has always carried a deep respect for our Zen Buddhist tradition with an aim to respond to the requests of the New York community and the world as it is today. Zen has always valued a spirit of mindful spontaneity and creativity in its cultivation of compassion and wisdom. In this spirit, Brooklyn Zen Center offers an open and creative response to changing and being changed by our immediate environment and the world.
We are on the brink of financially stabilizing our community whose vision is to support Buddhist practice and our Soto Zen lineage while reaching out to the Brooklyn community and bringing meditation and mindfulness to people who might never step foot into a meditation hall. In the last two years, our larger meditation hall, the arrival of our guiding teacher and the expansion of our arts, youth outreach, and family-oriented programming along with affinity groups like LGBTQ and the 12-step sangha have allowed us to strengthen and extend this vision very tangibly.
The excellent news is that in less than two years at our Carroll Street space, our ability to cover the monthly costs of building operations has stabilized through a mix of dana, membership, program fees, rentals, large donors and grants.
Currently Brooklyn Zen Center membership covers 52% of monthly building costs while covering 17% of our overall budget. Our overall budget includes a full-time salary for our guiding teacher and a part-time salary for our director in addition to temple, kitchen, program and miscellaneous costs.
For long-term stability to be ensured, it would be more appropriate for membership’s percentage of the overall budget to be closer to 50%. Our hope is to address this disparity over the next 5 years.
Our current membership drive has the set goal of bringing membership to 22% of our overall budget by the beginning of 2012. How can we do this? Very simply! We are asking all current members who can afford to do so to increase their membership by 20% for 2012. In addition to our current member increases, we’d like to add 15 new Brooklyn Zen Center members!
So if you are not yet a member and you want to support the practice and community unfolding at Brooklyn Zen Center, please consider becoming a member!
If you are encouraged by the openness to family that we are cultivating in our community, please consider becoming a member and supporting a different kind of Zen Center!
If you feel that our work creating mindfulness and meditation groups in Brooklyn public schools for at-risk youth is a basic need for these young people, please consider becoming a member!
If you feel that the dialogue between art and Zen practice happening on our No-Eyes Viewing Wall is an important one, please consider becoming a member!
If you feel that the music and improvisation programs offered by the Jazz Mindfulness Program have enriched your life and others, please consider becoming a member!
Most importantly, if you want to support and further your own practice in a community devoted to the Buddhadharma, please further underpin the strength of the sangha by becoming a member!
We know this may ask all of us to stretch a bit. Please consider the value of supporting the practice, the sangha and the opportunity to work regularly with a dharma teacher for ourselves and our community.
To become a member, please follow this link to our online membership form! By doing so, you are making your commitment to supporting the dharma, our community and Brooklyn Zen Center programming in 2012.
Our community is very healthy, but there's still work to do to ensure long-term stability of the organization. We are building a place of practice for ourselves and for generations to come. May we all practice and wake up together so that we might live and be lived thoroughly by this precious life.
Thank you for your generosity and support!