End-of-Year Giving

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Dear Sangha Members and Dharma Friends,

It is because of you that we can continue our work at the Zen Center of Syracuse Hoen-ji, and we are profoundly grateful. Your support of this remarkable place makes it possible for people from all walks of life to find inner serenity, stability, and clarity. These qualities extend outward in a vast ripple effect of wisdom and compassion as we face the challenges of contemporary life, from political divisiveness and violence to economic uncertainty.

Financial concerns are being experienced at the Zen Center, too. Toku Ellen Grapensteter, who has worked tirelessly as our volunteer treasurer, cautions us: “For the first time in many years, our expenses exceed the support received. Much of the work to care for our Dharma home is done by Sangha volunteers and residents. But some things, such as utilities, insurance, office equipment, repairs to our facilities, and modest support for our teacher, must be paid for by donations from our members and friends. Your year-end gift is crucial to meeting our operating expenses.

Just twenty years ago this fall, I received Dharma Transmission. Ten years ago, I received the title of Roshi and the name Shinge (Heart/Mind Flowering). Eight years ago, I was called to take on the additional responsibility of being abbot of the Zen Studies Society. It was one of the most difficult periods of my life, but you stood by me, and I couldn’t have come through it without your loving support. We know how to be here for each other, and I am deeply grateful.

What makes the Zen Center of Syracuse so special is the heartfelt and heart-opening practice offered here, in an atmosphere that is supportive and encouraging to all, and that allows us to learn from each other and naturally respond to the needs of our own Sangha and the wider community.

We offer courses such as Deep Presence and Conscious Stress Reduction, exhibitions and workshops in the Zen arts, and weekly AA meetings. Those who cannot come to the zendo due to illness or distance can watch my live-streamed teishos on our Facebook page, and listen to podcasts on our website. We bring in such renowned guest teachers as Ven. Shunan Noritake Roshi, abbot of Reiun-in at Myoshin-ji, Kyoto, and David Loy, a renowned Dharma ecologist. In addition to leading Zen groups at area colleges and universities, and offering workshops at libraries and social service agencies, our members stand up for social justice, take part in advocacy work for the disenfranchised, and teach the transformative power of meditation to people with developmental disabilities, and to those who are incarcerated.

Knowing how much this place we’ve built together means to you, I now humbly ask you to give generously to the Zen Center. Those of us over 71 can also donate a Required Minimum Distribution, tax-free, from a retirement account. Please also consider including the Zen Center in your will, as I have.

Gratitude and blessings to you for a safe, happy, and healthy new year.

Shinge Roko Sherry Chayat


To make your contribution securely online using a credit card, simply click the following donate button:

Otherwise, please mail your contribution to:

  • Zen Center of Syracuse
  • 266 West Seneca Turnpike
  • Syracuse, NY 13207-2639
Date: 
Mon, Dec 31, 2018 - 9:00pm
Program fee: 
n/a