The dream of a dedicated Dharma Center in Sacramento came closer to reality today! Sacramento Dharma Center has entered into escrow on a lovely property in the bucolic College Greens neighborhood off Folsom Boulevard near Watt Avenue.
It’s an important step in a process that was begun in the winter of 2011 when the Sacramento Buddhist Meditation Group, Sacramento Insight Meditation and Valley Streams Zen Sangha joined forces. The vision was to create a sanctuary and community practice center where Buddhist meditation groups can practice, following their diverse traditions, and offer programs, classes and retreats for the community under one roof.
The building, at 3111 Wissemann Drive, is easily accessed by freeway and light rail and offers ample parking. Original hopes to locate a Dharma Center in central Sacramento shifted when the cost of such a building with adequate parking and grounds for walking meditation proved to be prohibitively expensive.
Airy and full of natural light, the building on Wissemann Drive was built in 1982, and has been home to a credit union. SDC and Sangha board members who have visited, believe it can easily be transformed into a dedicated refuge for the three Sustaining Sanghas, all of whom are currently renting space in and around Sacramento.
The 7,900 square-foot building, situated on 1.7 acres, features two large rooms with vaulted ceilings and expansive windows that open onto a spacious lawn with trees. The building has two kitchens, several offices and small meeting rooms as well. Requiring few immediate renovations, the property appears to be move-in ready and can accommodate 48 cars on site with additional street parking available.
While negotiating for the purchase of this building we have had positive meetings with the nearby neighborhood association, with city officials who are handling the City Permit application process, and with lenders.
While financing has been pre-approved through the Center’s credit union, to achieve an affordable monthly payment, we will be launching a full-court press to raise additional funds for the initial down-payment and necessary improvements. To that end, we have been working these last few weeks with a fund-raising consultant, whose services were donated by a generous benefactor. On the consultant’s recommendation a variety of fund-raising strategies are under consideration, and more information will be shared with the participating Sanghas soon.
The tentative date for an open house is March 5th from noon to 2pm – Stay tuned here for confirmation and details. In the meantime, you can drive by and take a look. Our Board will proceed with thorough inspections of the roof, air conditioning and heating systems, plumbing and electrical services at the site, to ensure all is well before closing the purchase.
It is important for us all to continue to remember that we are still in the process of purchasing this property and have many hoops and inspections to get through in the 90 day escrow period. Surprises can happen! Sacramento Dharma Center Board invites you to join us in guarding your hearts by practicing the Lojong phrase ‘Abandon all hope of fruition’.And you are invited to join us in visualizing moving in, with prayer flags flying.