Sustainability has been a passion for us since the Zen Monastery Peace Center began. Key awareness phrases such as "leave not a trace," "not to lead a harmful life," and "not to take that which is not given" are interwoven throughout our days. When meditation is over, we leave our sitting place pristine, as if we had never been there. We take only the amount of food we know we can comfortably eat so that we don't waste any of what so many have given so much to make available to us. This is the attitude of mind that we attempt to bring to every aspect of our lives.

Read an issue of In Our Practice newsletter focusing on sustainability. Read more.

Sustainability Goals

New charge controller
We will increase the power our solar system generates by 15% - 25% by installing a new device that more efficiently manages the energy harvested from our solar panels.

Cost= $500

New water pumping system
We have replaced our current well pump with a high-efficiency pump designed for use with alternative energy systems. We have posted information and pictures about the project. The pump is wired to six new solar panels, allowing us to pump water whenever the sun shines. Replacing the pump and adding the solar panels has drastically reduced our consumption of fossil fuel. We are no longer required to run our generator to pump water.

Cost= $2000 for the pump, electrical gizmos and wire
$2400 for the solar panels.

Wind generator
The addition of wind power will complement our existing solar power. In the summer we have a lot of sun, and in the winter we have a lot of wind. One wind generator at its maximum capacity will generate 1/5th of the power of our entire solar system at its maximum capacity. In other words, if we had five wind generators they would generate the same amount of power as our current system, whenever the wind blew. We are eager to wake up to full batteries instead of empty ones after a stormy night.

Cost = $1000 for the turbine, the tower, and the wire to hook one wind generator up.

Preheated water
There are often times when our batteries cannot accept all of the power being generated by our solar panels. We are adding two hot water tanks to our system to utilize this extra power, which otherwise would be lost. Whenever we have extra power, we will use it to heat water for the kitchen and bathrooms, ending the need to heat it with propane.

Cost=$500, for two tanks, and a few dollars for wire.

New offices
We are creating a new office on the Monastery property that will be completely powered by our alternative energy system and will have high-speed internet access. This will allow us to move from our current offices in town, saving countless gallons of gasoline, wear and tear on vehicles and monks, office rent, and many working hours wasted on the drive back and forth.

New meditation hall
The largest project on our horizon is the construction of a new meditation hall on the hill above the main Monastery compound. We will make every effort to have the hall be a model of sustainable building, with conscious attention applied to every aspect of its impact on the planet. We plan to break ground early this spring in preparation for our month-long building retreat. Please join us for all or part of the retreat.


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