Protect the Jewel
PROTECT THE JEWEL / Cambridge Zen Center Needs Your Help
“….this building, the heart of our community and home to so much personal transformation, needs a transformation of its own”
There are three precious elements to the Buddhist path, known as the Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. The Sangha is our spiritual community, those who aid us in our inner work, those who are with us through times of sorrow and times of joy, and those who help to keep us on the path. For 34 years, 199 Auburn Street has been at the heart of the Cambridge Zen Center Sangha.
In 1973, the Cambridge Zen Center was founded under the direction of Zen Master Seung Sahn. The small group of devoted students first took up residence in a small building in Allston but soon outgrew the space. After months of searching, they found the building in Central Square. It was dilapidated and worn down. The building was under rent control and the owners were trying to force the last of the residents out, going so far as to starting fires in the building in hopes of making it inhospitable. In 1982, after much negotiation, CZC purchased the building, and the long road of restoration began.
Since its opening in 1984, this building has been home to many on the path. It has been the roof over our heads as we've laughed, cried, and fallen in love. Together, we have faced our inner fears, faced death and contemplated the big questions. People have stayed for a night, for a month or for decades. Here we've learned to work as a community and soften our hearts in difficult relationships. Just as the stones in a river rub against each other in the flow, our rough edges are smoothed. The Cambridge Zen Center has been the site of much human transformation and it now needs a transformation of its own.
Our building is in need of a complete overhaul of its exteriors as it has been become worn and rotten and will not last much longer in its current condition. Please help us in caring for this wonderful place which has been home to our sangha for all this time. Your support means so much to us and will ensure the building can continue to hold our community for years to come.