What is the Kansas Zen Center?

Kansas Zen Center, founded in 1978, is a meditation center and a center for Buddhist practice. A place where you can go deep into your true self. A spiritual community with the potential to transform people’s lives.

The standard model for Buddhist groups in this region is be led by students (hopefully senior ones), with teachers flying in at most a few times a year to lead retreats. We are almost unique in the central plains in being led by local, fully authorized teachers with decades of training and experience.

We are affiliated with the Kwan Um School of Zen. And yes, we are a 501(c )(3) tax-exempt charitable organization.

Why this campaign?

Our current site has serious drawbacks: three separate buildings with separate functions, necessitating going back and forth outside no matter what the weather. Furthermore, the bathrooms and the social hall are completely inaccessible to anyone with mobility issues. Our goal is to build a functional, inviting space, from which no-one is excluded, which will allow us to expand our activities.

What will it look like?

A preliminary rendering is at the top of this prospectus. Various sketches and plans are up at on our New Building Plans page. We invite you to have a look at them.

How will this enable us to expand our offerings?

The building we are planning will allow us to hold open meditation sessions (all styles welcome); will have space for movement practices such as yoga, tai chi, qi gong; and will facilitate programs for children and families. It will be accessible to everyone, and even can be used for local community meetings. None of these things are possible where we are now. And it will permit expansion of our current schedule of Zen practice, classes, and retreats.

What will this cost and how are we paying for it?

We raised funds and paid for the land (the southwest corner of 12th and Laura) in cold, hard cash. Our architect estimates that completing the building will cost another $680,000. Our current facility should sell (conservative estimate here, as it should be) for $250,000; we will take out a construction loan for this amount, and pay it off by selling our current facility when the new one is built. In the first stages of the silent phase of fundraising, we have pledges of nearly $147,000 towards the building. Combining our pledges and the value of our current facility, we have over half of what we need. We need to raise roughly another $283,000. Money raised in excess of our construction needs will be put it into an endowment fund to cover operating expenses and provide scholarships for our programs.

How can you help?

It’s simple, really.

First, make a donation or a pledge. It is tax deductible. We have an online form that makes it easy.

Second, share this information on social media. The more we spread the word, the better our chances.

If we work together, we can make this happen.