For those so inclined, this looks like a good cause. You can read more about Blue Mountain Zendo hereTemple Heating Repairs
Created October 15, 2015
*Blue Mountain Zendo is a small Buddhist Temple located in the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania. Blue Mountain has one resident monk, and two residents. Blue Mountain Zendo is committed to offering traditional Rinzai Zen Buddhism (contemplative practices), as well as social programs which benefit those in need. Over the past sixteen years, Blue Mountain Zendo has continued to been a supportive and open sanctuary for all those seeking to explore the spiritual conduit that is Zen Meditation, and contemplative prayer. This spiritual exploration inevitably leads to compassion, a greater sense of social, and environmental responsibility, and a deep love for all sentient beings. These attributes perpetuate a natural desire to initiate and create supportive actions which foster positive change. The sangha (congregation) of Blue mountain Zendo are a group of men and women, who strive to create this positive change in the world by offering; weekly services, meditation retreats, weddings, funerals, hospice visits, workshops, environmental clean-ups, housing for those in need, intake services for addicts, and a police chaplaincy program. The temple, and its programs, are the organic results of years of efforts, made by the men and women of Blue Mountain Zendo, and its supporters. With one heart, we come together and create change.
Winter is coming, and the temple sits on the upper north side of the Blue Mountain (Appalachian Mountain) which exposes it to the cold winter winds, and makes efficient heating vitally important. Last year it remained at -15f, with the wind chill, for almost two months straight. We tried to heat the temple the best we could, however, it was difficult. The temple is primarily heated by two wood fireplaces, with a few small baseboard heaters for supplemental heat. Last year was our first winter in our new space, and with our electric and wood cost combined, we spent almost $800 a month, and only heated one floor FT. Our fireplaces are our central source of heat and they must remain burning 24/7 from November to April to heat the temple to around 62-65. The one fireplace has a wood stove insert, and the other does not. For those people who have a fireplace, you will understand that almost all of the heat from the fire goes up through the chimney and is wasted. A wood stove creates a smaller and more efficient environment for the fire to burn in, and radiates the heat outward with fans, versus allowing the heat to escape through the chimney. To simplify, an insert makes heating much cheaper and efficient.
Blue Mountain Zendo is a registered non-profit, and has always operated on the charity of others, including its monks. We have never denied any type of service, or activity based on the financial constraints of the member or person. We take what is offered, and try to make it work. Only twice in the sixteen years have we reached out to the broader community to ask for support, this letter is the second time. We desperately need your help to make much needed improvements to the temple fireplaces before the winter chill arrives. We need $3,000 to make the repairs and modifications required to adequately and safely heat the center. Due to a chimney fire we had last year, there is some damage to the chimney liner which needs to be repaired, and we also need a second wood stove, so that we can efficiently heat our first floor (sanctuary area). We thank you for taking the time to read our appeal, and hope it is within your means to help us. If not, we hope one day you come and visit us, up on the mountain.
With Blessings and Nen,
Blue Mountain Zendo – Koryu-ji
Practitioners who cultivate the personal realization of buddha knowledge dwell in the bliss of whatever is present and do not abandon their practice.
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They're right about the fireplace insert stoves. A few years ago I added one at home, and it makes a great difference. I now heat the entire house with one wood stove, and use hardly any of the utility-based central-heating. Of course, the desert Winter is pretty mild even at this half-mile-high altitude in the desert of Arizona. And as a woodworker, I'm fortunate to have (usually free-of-charge) sources of wood to burn, and can "source" it myself.
The woodstove fireplace insert is EPA approved, and its purchase came with a large Federal tax-credit that year. It has an afterburner provision which mixes the combustion gases (flames) with yet more fresh air, and burns the gases again
to extract yet more heat, and to reduce particulate-emission to near zero (the chimney never "smokes", except briefly, a little at start-up when the stove and afterburner-surfaces are still cold).
It's sometimes hard to burn certain pieces of wood, though, as sometimes they show potential to be made into something useful or nice, or both. That too is a "plus" -- I'm never at a loss for "projects".
The winter supply of wood is already collected, cut to stove-length, split, and seasoned here, ready to burn (most of it), ...and to inspire (some of it).
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