Message from the EHZC Board of Directors


Post resolution update and more

Dear Empty Hand Sangha,

It was truly gratifying to see how many people participated in the special, members only vote held on August 10th, either by proxy or by attending the meeting itself.  The first half hour of the meeting was a discussion of the resolution authorizing the Board of Directors to take all necessary steps to sell our building if our cash reserves fall below $60,000.  This does not mean that the Board would immediately commence the sale process, but that the Board would have the authority to respond quickly if our financial situation continues to deteriorate.  The final vote was 25 to 1 in favor of the resolution. This means that over three quarters of the members voted. After the vote, there was a short discussion of next steps, such as a Board review of input provided by potential realtors and the need for building maintenance and improvements.


On Tuesday night, August 22nd, the Board held an open meeting to discuss the issues confronting us at this time.  Many Empty Hand practitioners attended.


We agreed on a new weekly calendar for the zendo.  The zendo will be closed, as usual, for the Labor Day weekend.  Beginning after Labor Day, early morning sits are suspended.  We will continue with Sunday mornings, and Monday and Wednesday evenings led by our priest, Deb, as well as senior members of our sangha.  In the future, look for additional calendar items posted in the zendo and on the website.


Paula and Jeff will work on setting up guidelines for members to propose zendo events that they would like to lead. Sharon Mosley suggested an online form for people to fill out if they wish to stage an event. Sharon has run several reiki share groups on Saturday mornings and these groups make donations to Empty Hand. In addition, Caroline Reddy put together a Spoken Word night for August 29th, with the assistance of Board member, Frank Raddock. It's their hope that this event will raise funds and introduce new people to Empty Hand. George Deane, Judie Eisenberg, and others have also made suggestions for events.  

Thank you to all for showing initiative.


In addition, Paula, Elena, Frank and Jeff will be involved with communications, advertising and fundraising.  We have already put an ad into the 2017-2018 Community Guide.  We will be looking at other publications as well. We want to increase awareness of Empty Hand in the community in order to attract new members and spread the Dharma.  Elena and Frank will also work on a vision statement for Empty Hand to help us go forward in a more clear and purposeful manner which would also increase participation, in every way, at Empty Hand.  Elena is also exploring the possibility of bringing in professional help with the Board's work on a vision.


Great gratitude to Konin - even as she prepares to leave, she continues to help our sangha.  She reported on her search for part-time teacher candidates and recommended three people.  Deb will be contacting them to arrange visits for sits, service and dharma talks.


Finally, Frank reported on three excellent realtors' evaluations of our building.   Many thanks to Frank, and especially his wife, Mary, a real estate agent herself, for their efforts.  At this time, the Board has decided to begin working with Anna and Thomas Ralph of the Thomas Ralph Agency in New Rochelle.  Anna has been sitting with us for several months, and has developed a connection to Empty Hand. Because of this, the Ralph Agency is willing to help us with selling the building if the need should arise, or assist us with other options, such as renting the upstairs apartment if that makes sense.  They will also work with us to make sure our building meets building code requirements.  The Board will be meeting with them soon; the date of this meeting will be announced.


We have been writing and speaking a great deal recently about sangha participation.  We want to thank one of our members, Loretta Lombardo, for heeding that call.  She has been taking care of our garden for quite awhile now, cleaning it up, rearranging things, and planting new flowers and herbs. You have already received a request from Loretta for help with the garden.  In case you haven't yet read her letter in the weekly newsletter, Loretta will soon be away for a short while, and, even when she returns, she will need more help. In addition, if there is someone who would like to underwrite some or all of the costs of making improvements in the garden, please let a Board member or Loretta ( know. Again, thank you Loretta for all your work.


If you feel you can be helpful and would like to volunteer, please let the Board know.  We need help in all the areas mentioned - communication, advertising, fundraising, writing a vision statement.  In addition, if you are handy with tools or a paintbrush, please contact Deb to let her know.  Elena would like to train someone to handle our finances.  If you are familiar with housing law, we could use your help.  If you want to make a contribution to help with a particular problem or improvement, let us know.  Please don't be shy, contact a Board member.  We welcome your participation.


We believe that, with everyone's participation, we can maintain and even grow our sangha and advance the dharma into the world.


In gassho,

Empty Hand Zen Center Board of Directors 

Jeffrey Silver - Chairman -
Elena Falcone - Treasurer -
Chris Dee - Secretary -
Deb Wood - Head Priest
Frank Raddock -
Paula Borsody -