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Toronto Zen Centre

A Buddhist Community

Toronto Zen Centre

Buddha Hall Renovation Project: Latest News

February 15, 2018

If you look at the west side of 33 High Park Gardens, you can see a dormer where a chimney used to be. This dormer allows hall-way entry to the 3rd floor fire escape, and while up on the roof, the workers repaired some persistent leaks. The addition of this dormer was done so skillfully that most people would assume it had been there always.

In the same way, we try to bring our practice seamlessly into our daily lives. In the early stages, it’s common to want to talk about meditation to everyone we know, and even feel special for being on a spiritual path. As we continue on the Way, there comes greater integration, and our practice is not separate from washing dishes or answering the phone. Lin Chi said “As I see it, there isn't so much to do. Just be ordinary — put on your robes, eat your food, and pass the time doing nothing."

In the midst of doing nothing, the Sangha and our friends and families have poured their hearts into our Renewing the Way project. The year-end appeal netted $ 19,957, which has helped us maintain our everyday operating expenses while we're away from the centre building and unable to mount some of our major income generating activities.

We foresee being home again in the late spring. This year’s AGM will include a tour of the temple to see how close we are to reaching our goal!

With Gassho,

The Board of Directors

November 11, 2017

In 2006, pilgrims from the Triple Sangha visited Yunju Temple near Beijing, which houses the world’s largest collection of Buddhist sutras carved into stone steles. The carving began around 611 CE under the direction of Venerable Jingwan, whose vow was to ensure future generations could encounter the Dharma. The work continued for over a thousand years.

Recently Zen Centre members had the opportunity to write sutras on the walls and studs of the new Buddha Hall. Though we used Sharpies and wrote on steel and plywood, our heartfelt wish is that our efforts will also benefit practitioners for a thousand years.

With Gassho,

The Board of Directors

September 21, 2017

The walls of the Buddha Hall extension are taking shape. The framing is steel, which in different forms has been produced for over 2500 years, and its properties (strength, toughness, ductility, weldability and durability) can be likened to what we need for successful practice.

Strength is the ability to stand up under pressure. Life can put many loads on us, and our practice gives us the tools to carry the weight. In steel this strength or hardness can cause the material to be brittle, so various alloys are added to make it tough and keep it from cracking. In the same way, we temper our strength with compassion, to give us resilience. Ductility is the ability to stretch. No question that Zen training will ask us to stretch in many ways! And what else is weldability than becoming one with every situation we encounter? Finally there is durability. When we recite the Four Vows, voicing our intention to liberate all beings without number, it’s clear that we’re in this for the long haul.

One other property of steel that can easily be seen by looking at the new walls of the Buddha Hall: it shines. And so through our efforts do we!

With Gassho,
The Board of Directors

August 18, 2017

Water in, water out! This week we continued to work on waterproofing the house. This has been one of the unforeseen benefits of our renovation project, because without removing drywall, we wouldn’t have known how extensive the water damage was in the basement.

At the same time, we are adjusting the budget to cover the extra cost of bringing a 4” water supply into the house for the sprinkler system. This was a requirement by the building department and along with the new fire exits will bring the house up to code. It does mean a larger expenditure than we originally estimated, however this will be covered by the cushion we built into the budget.

The ancients considered water to be both the softest and the strongest element in nature. It adapts to the shape of any vessel. It can flow in every direction. If it finds an opening, it will work to make it larger. And it can wear down a mountain. Let us be like water!


With Gassho,

The Board of Directors

July 26, 2017

Thanks to the energetic and sustained efforts of members and friends of the Toronto Zen Centre, the construction of our new Buddha Hall and the basement extension is well on its way. We are happy, humbled and excited that with your help a grand total of $ 843,500 has been raised since the fundraising began in 2012!

This success could only be achieved through the selfless generosity and support of individuals like you. Our hearts are brimming with gratitude that this renovation is finally taking shape. And you have played an essential part!

The piles of dirt are gone. The gaping hole has been filled with the new foundation. This is a big step forward in the construction—it’s happening! With your kind donation, you have contributed to this strong foundation. This foundation that we offer for our spiritual practice, for the community, and for all sentient beings.

With gratitude,
The Board of the Toronto Zen Centre

PS: Please do check out photos of the renovation in progress!

May 14, 2017

A member of the Centre filmed our Groundbreaking Ceremony and has shared it with us! Please watch below.

This project can only happen through the support of our Sangha and friends. If you wish to donate to this project, we would be most grateful.

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