Celebrating 2017, a year of growth


December 2017


As the Del Ray Zen Community prepares for our Rohatsu celebration of Buddha’s enlightenment, we can look back on six years of growth and transitions, capped by a very active 2017.

  • We undertook our first off-site intensive retreats, at the Farm of Peace in Pennsylvania and Akasha retreat center in Virginia. The January retreat included a visit by Nyoze Kwong, a teacher from our parent Sonoma Mountain Zen Center.
  • Our growing numbers and common desire for a settled practice space led us from a Del Ray dining room and the cluttered back room of a local restaurant into a serene, sunlit yoga and meditation studio in the heart of Del Ray.
  • Our study/discussion gatherings moved onto a regular monthly schedule, engaging in cooperative interpretation of such subjects as Dogen’s Uji (Being-time) and the Heart Sutra.
  • The relationship with Sonoma Mountain Genjo-ji grew stronger as several Del Ray members took part in retreats there, and Peter served as shuso (head student) at Genjo-ji’s four-week summer Ango.

All this reflects the organic growth of our sangha, both in numbers and in connection. Founded by Nancy and Peter in 2011 on instructions from their teacher Jakusho Kwong, DRZ has maintained itself through the efforts and gifts of volunteers. We’ve accumulated plenty of good will as well as various necessary stuff—cushions, musical instruments, a website—without a budget, only the sketchiest plans, and all decisions made by Nancy and Peter.


To preserve what’s been built, and to provide structure for deeper development, we registered as a non-profit Virginia corporation in June 2017, with a Board of Directors made up of DRZ members Jocelyn Lofstrom, Mark Cohen, Nancy Reder, Peter Pocock, and outside director Phillip St. Ours. We also requested and received tax-exempt status from the IRS, allowing us to take tax-deductible donations and grants.


Though the work of the sangha is and will continue to be done by volunteers, this welcome growth is not without cost. As the Board works on our first budget, this much is already clear: our annual fixed costs will be at least $4,100, covering rent, insurance and various fees for web hosting, corporate license, etc. Additional operating expenses (candles, incense, printing, etc.) should be minimal; as time goes on there may be capital expenses related to growth (specifically, more cushions).


To learn how to support our ongoing work, click here.



All donations by check or credit card will be verified for tax purposes by a year-end letter.