SER CHÖ ÖSEL LING - Kagyu Changchub Chuling
SER CHÖ ÖSEL LING
A Kagyu Changchub Chuling Project
THE SEALING OF SCOL’S FIRST THREE YEAR RETREAT
CummingsJS MAY: CAMPAIGN
CONSULTANT, GENEROUS DONOR,
On April 4th, Kagyu Changchub Chuling celebrated a
momentous occasion with the sealing of its first three year
After nearly a dozen years, his knowledge,
retreat at Ser Chö Ösel Ling — The Land of Clear Light
steady advice, unﬂagging optimism and
Golden Dharma. Seated in the lava rocks and ponderosa
encouragement reinforce KCC’s lengthy
pines of Goldendale, Washington, the retreat sealing was
path to a completed long retreat center.
an event more than 15 years in the making.
Recently JS spoke about his relationship
came from as near as Hood River and as far as
South America to give farewell wishes to the eleven
Q: You came to KCC in 2001 as consultant
retreatants: Kathleen Benz, Julia King Tamang, Hanna
representing Metropolitan Group (MG). You’ve
Karlin, Lois Beran, Susan Gladstone, Jane Harden,
worked with all sizes and sorts of organizations.
Galen Doucette, Liza Baer, Maggie Snee, Wendi Wood,
What stood out about KCC’s project and made
and Susan Morgan.
you believe it could be accomplished?
Retreatant Lois Beran receives a kata from Lama Tsang Tsing.
Lama Tsang Tsing then guided the audience through the
Lama Michael Conklin
agement and supportFire
Puja in the bright sunlight just outside the shrine
The thoroughness with which KCC
approached the project—deep research on
the land purchase, stewardship of the land, great support
from the sangha, and its positioning of the project for gifts
from outside the sangha. In fact, the 3 largest gifts have come
as serendipity from outside the sangha.
Q: After the initial years of the campaign, you decided to continue
your relationship with KCC as a pro bono advisor beginning in
2006. Do you often offer this type of continuing service? What
inspired you to stay with KCC?
Like many professional fundraisers I occasionally offer pro
bono counsel. By the time I left MG, I was a donor to KCC
cloister, led by Venerable Lama Tsang Tsing of
Kagyu Dakshang Chuling in Eugene, OR who served as
outset. He would Lama
play a major
Lama Yangchen, and Ani Kunzang who were all on three
head of any
of the theis three
KCC’s Lama Michael Conklin and Lama Tara Goforth of
is true Columbia.
“sense of joy” filling
the air as the community came together to support retreatMichael is a force for good and a pleasure to work with. My
ants in doing “what they feel so passionate about doing.”
life is blessed because our paths have intertwined.
He noted the exceptional amount of time, prayers, people-hours
Q: With less
a year to that
SCOL and the three year retreat.
room. Through the translation of Ani Kunzang, Lama
to be raised,
can all the
so hard do to bring this effort to a successful conclusion?
is realized from actual practice,” and encouraged the reMake thistohappen
his lifetime—so he
can teach at SCOL. He was asked by Bokar Rinpoche to lead
cameto build these long-term retreat facilities. We are so
close. (Only a bit less than $400,000). Your contributions will
mem- in your own life and in the lives of others. This
so in mine.
a donor of time, talent and money what makes you feel as
your time and money are well invested?
My time and money has been very well spent. I feel lucky to
the retreathave been part of KCC in my own small way.
smiles, KCC feels “lucky” too. As one who has worked
hand with JS, Lama Michael reﬂected on his contributions
to KCC’s successes thus far:
“JS has beenAand
to be lunch
His conﬁdence and patience have bolstered and shaped myand
standing of fundraising;
it was entirely
new to me. I had no idea
how to play my part. I treasure our personal relationship as well,
Following lunch, the sealing ceremony for the retreat
and will always be grateful to JS for his professional help and also
began. Lama Tsang Tsing led retreatants in a circumamas a reliable and consistent friend. Currently he is a very busy and
bulation of the north and south cloisters. The appropriate
successful Director of Development for the Portland Art Museum.
blessings and rituals were offered and white kata given to
His time continues to be precious, and we are fortunate that he
each retreatant. The retreatants then filed into the cloisters,
continues to share it with us.”
and the gates were shut — the retreat was sealed.
NEW BEGINNINGS AT SCOL
by Jake and Abby Cummings
The staff quarters at SCOL have reached completion,
marking the end of KCC’s initial construction goals, and
giving way to a time of new beginnings at Ser Chö Ösel
Ling. Newly-hung prayer flags flap in the wind. With
the turning of spring, the grasses are green, the ground is
defrosting, and the three year retreat has begun.
During the months leading up to the retreat sealing, hired
contractors and sangha volunteers put in an incredible
amount of work. The fruits of these efforts are seen in the
great accomplishment of the residence building and in
many other details around the cloisters.
In the new building, residents all have separate apartments with kitchen and bath that are well sound-proofed
for privacy. On the way to each unit is a communal living
room, providing the opportunity for staff socializing.
Down some steps is a shared meditation room. Of the
room’s placement, sangha volunteer Jef Gunn says, “You
don’t pass it on the way to somewhere else; you go there
to go there.” The layout and design of staff quarters is
meant to support a contemplative lifestyle and provide a
sense of home. Windows in the building regard calming
scenes like Mt. Hood, oaks and pines.
In addition to preparing the new quarters, many other
projects have been needed around the cloister in recent
months. Volunteers organized and deep-cleaned the
cabins, touched up paint, and laid down gravel on the
cloister paths. Around the perimeter of the cloisters, they
worked on the fire break designed to stop or slow the
advancement of fires.
Among the final details added to the cloister before the
retreat sealing, outside the door of each cabin in both
cloisters hangs one of the eight auspicious signs. Sangha
member and graphic artist Tara Sullivan designed the
plaques several years
ago, and, with the help of
master woodworker Steve
Parker and the painting
of Betta Ledbetter, they
were finished and installed
during SCOL’s February
work party. In addition,
paintings of the Heavenly
Kings of the four cardinal
directions which are now
mounted outside the gates
of the cloisters. Images of
the Four Kings were traditionally placed on retreat gates to
invoke protection from malicious forces. Sullivan’s paintings include elements that she came upon while researching 16th century thanka paintings, including rainbows and
After the many months and years of bustle leading up to
this time, resident staff and volunteers now turn their focus to supporting retreat. The road to the center is quieter,
the coming and going has slowed. Retreatants are inside
practicing with guidance from the retreat lamas. Away
from the land, sangha members practice with them, united
in a wish to benefit all beings.
CONTRIBUTING TO SER CHÖ ÖSEL LING
This incredible milestone would not have happened without
your generous support. As construction wraps up, we are
calculating the final cost of all of our building at SCOL.
Donations can still be made to the Capital Campaign to cover
any remainder. Additionally, if you wish to contribute
specifically to the upkeep of Ser Chö Ösel Ling, please
designate gifts to the Cloister Fund, which go toward retreat
expenses not covered by retreat fees and will pay for SCOL
Join our e-newsletter at www.kcc.org/form/join-our-e-maillists for more updates about KCC, and to be in touch with the
goings on at our urban center.
Checks can be sent to KCC:
73 NE Monroe Street, Portland, OR, 97212
Or you may donate on our web site at www.kcc.org
KCC streams morning meditation and Q & A most Sundays at
9:00 a.m. See www.kcc.org under “Connect” on the homepage.
Kagyu Changchub Chuling
Ser Chö Ösel Ling
73 NE Monroe St.
96 Horse Ranch Rd.
Portland, OR 97212
Goldendale, WA 98620
To receive this publication electronically, go to www.kcc.org