Dana to Zenbudhistiska Samfundet
An anonymous donor has recently offered to help the teachers and our Sangha both by giving dana directly to the teachers, and by making substantial contributions to help us get our mortgage paid off. The donor (and the Board) ask, and hope very much, that our Sangha will join in the effort. The plan is to get the debt fully repaid by January 2019. I do hope that as many Sangha members as possible will take the opportunity to contribute. All donations, small or large, will be very welcome. If you would like to donate, you can do so by depositing the funds in Samfundet's account with the reference "mortgage fund."
For those of you who don’t know so much about the mortgage, here is a summary of the history and current situation. When we bought Zengården way back in 1991, we took a mortgage from a Swedish bank for one million crowns. But then the Swedish banking crisis struck and the government’s rescue package for the banks somehow meant that we were forced to find a way to pay off the bank. So we turned to Rochester Zen Center, which took over the mortgage. It was a lifesaver at the time, of course. But the loan is in US dollars, and over the years, the exchange rate has not been good to us, costing us about 250.000kr. That, together with the interest and the repayments of principal, have eaten up about three quarters of our operating surplus since 1995. This has been a big reason why we haven’t been able to afford so many of the big projects that Zengården needs, like the very overdue roof repairs which we finally got to this year, with the help of donations from the Sangha (and thank you to everyone who contributed!).
The current balance of the mortgage is about $58.000 (about 480.000kr) and the interest rate is 4%. The exchange rate right now is 8:1, lower than it has been for most of the last 20 years, so now is a really good time to get this problem solved.