Throughout the fall, you’ve been hearing about investigations to obtain a building for our Founding Sanghas to call home and it’s high time we updated you on where we are looking, what we are looking for, and the preferences that guide our search. Based on a five-year-old survey of Sangha members’ preferences we have been searching for a space in the central Sacramento area.
While we are still searching in the central city, we’ve come to realize that focusing on this area may not meet our need for adequate parking, outdoor space, and affordability – so we are considering the pros and cons of expanding our search area.
A convenient, accessible location remains uppermost in our search. Sangha members want to be able to take a bike ride, bus, or light rail to the Dharma Center. We also consider safety, availability of amenities such as restaurants in the area, and outdoor space for walking meditation.
Our Dharma community is growing! We need to be able to accommodate the Sanghas’ expanding space needs for classes, retreats, sittings, special events, board meetings, and regular programs – this will require a space large enough for two events at the same time.
Our type of activities will require an assembly permit from the City of Sacramento and makes it difficult to locate in residential areas – a mixed use or commercial area would be easier. We have prioritized finding a property with an existing assembly permit and have found them to be few and far between.
During 2015, we reviewed over 15 properties and seriously considered 3 of them, alas, manifestation as our Dharma Center didn’t happen. The board of one property did not accept our offer and it was taken off the market; the owners of another property received a better offer before we were in contract; and a third was expensive and did not have space for walking meditation.
The shiny aspect of all our exploring is that our Board is stronger than ever; our Founding Sanghas offer us support and encouragement; and our Sangha communities have opened their pockets with funds and their hearts with hope.
2016 is the year. Our dharma center will offer sanctuary, depth of practice, and refuge. This dream is unshakable. Welcome to this New Year! Thank you for your practice.