In our Zen tradition, the temple is seen as the body of the Buddha, and we try to take good care of it. The full-time residents maintain the building and grounds on a daily basis to the best of their ability, and all other temple members who attend the training programme join their efforts by offering a surprising variety of expertise in many different areas. It feels like we often turn out to have exactly the right people at the right time for all the jobs that need doing.
But some maintenance and renovation projects require special attention and need to be executed by highly-skilled professionals. And these projects usually have financial consequences that our regular budget is unable to cover. That is why we organize an annual fundraiser, usually in November. Last year’s fundraiser was to help keep our window-renovation project going, and it was a great success. Two big and two small windows that were old and decrepit were replaced by double-glazed windows last month.
This year, we have an ambitious plan to install solar panels on the roof of the old wing. This is a project we have been contemplating for several years and now seems to be the time. Clearly, the greener the energy source the better for all of us and for the planet, and solar panels are as green as we can go right now. It is also a wise investment as we will save about €3,000 on our annual electricity bill.
The latest investigation showed that the south-facing roof of the old wing is the best place for solar panels and that there is room for forty-four of them. Altogether, these will provide almost all the electricity we need. The price tag is quite substantial, a total of €23,000. But—as well as funds already received from the NAM (the Dutch gas company) and the Dutch government to restore the earthquake damage caused by gas extraction in the area—we can expect an additional small government subsidy meant as a general compensation for the nuisance created by those earthquakes. We plan to use that extra subsidy to kick-start our solar-panel project. We hope that this year’s fundraiser will take care of the rest. All contributions, great and small, are highly appreciated.
Many thanks in advance,
Bank: IBAN NL72 TRIO 0212 4970 30 // BIC-SWIFT: TRIONL2U
Account name: ‘Zen River’ // Bank address: Triodos Bank N.V. Nieuweroordweg 1 // 3704 EC Zeist // The Netherlands
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