Deer Park Monastery, in California, is asking for help to upgrade its dormitories – most of which are now repurposed storage sheds and swimming pool changing rooms. When it was established in 2000, in the order of Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, the founders repurposed old recreational buildings for accommodations. In a campaign on Indiegogo, the monastery is asking for help to replace these buildings with new environmentally-friendly ones:
The campaign aims to raise $50,000 to build and finish at least two straw bale dormitories. In “Peace in Every Step,” the Shambhala Sun’s profile of Thich Nhat Hanh, Andrea Miller writes about the founding of Deer Park:
In 2000, Thich Nhat Hanh’s sangha established its first monastery in the United States: Deer Park. The compound in Escondido, California, had a history: it had been a detox center, a nudist resort, housing for prisoners, and a marksmanship training center for police officers. At the time that the sangha bought the property, the buildings—many of them barracks—were dilapidated and full of bullets and trash, but it was surrounded by a wooded glen of lilacs and sagebrush. In her book Learning True Love, Sister Chan Khong says, “I knew that we could take these ugly barracks and make them beautiful as we had done at Plum Village.” And, of course, she was right.