Step by step, we’re making efforts to improve the living quarters at Crestone Mountain Zen Center. We want everyone’s basic needs to be met and create a feeling that CMZC can be your other home – your “dharma home.”
Most importantly and quite urgently, we need to add space for long-term residents. They are the essential ingredient that make CMZC work on a day-to-day basis for all of us. Often, during the summer Guest Season, when we need every bed on campus for large groups, residents have to move – into the Zendo or into a tent. That works short-term, but it isn’t a long-term solution.
Two years ago, as part of our energy efficiency campaign, we made the Studio dormitory more versatile by partitioning it into four individual rooms. The building received new windows and wall insulation, and the heating systems were electrified to be compatible with our our conversion to solar energy. A year later, we installed a new metal roof and added insulation above the ceilings, which save energy in the winter and keeps the rooms cooler in the summer.
Right now, a construction crew is working on adding three bathrooms to the Studio, each with a sink, shower, and toilet. We are confident they will be in operation for the April Sesshin. Two bathrooms will be accessible from the hallway for everyone occupying Studio Rooms 1-4. The third one will be a private bathroom for the Skylight Room. Until now, residents and guests staying in the Studio had to cross the yard to use the bathrooms in the Guest House.
Looking further ahead, our dharma friend Jason Ruby, who is an architect, has begun working on a floor plan design for a 350 square foot “Dharma Cabin.” We are envisioning four of those sprinkled across the east side of the campus to be used for guests and/or long-term residents.
In addition, we’re dreaming of converting the current Woodshop, which shares a roof with the Studio, into three additional rooms for residents and work students. We hope to begin this remodel in early 2021. As a first step in that direction, we need to move the Woodshop into a new building. This will have the added benefit of removing power tool noise from the residential and guest quarters.
As you can see, a lot has happened already, some construction is going on right now, and more plans are in the works. Stay tuned… or better: come stay at CMZC and see for yourself.