Thanksgiving and Renewal

Posted on Nov 29, 2014

Baner WZC Letter 2014

A Time of Thanksgiving and Renewal

November 29, 2014

Dear Friends and Sangha,

What an amazing fall we’ve had in these ancient mountains! So many golden days, with the woods surrounding Windhorse overflowing with the gorgeous colors of autumn. Now it’s growing colder and the mountains whiter – the time each year when we turn to you, members and friends of Windhorse, to thank you for all the help you’ve given this dharma community, and to ask for your continued support.

This year is no exception. What is exceptional is that a couple of months ago we received a special ‘bequest’ connected with the estate of Margaret Sachter, Lawson’s mother. Thanks to this gift we’re now well into the final phase of our long-lived construction project.

We’ve already passed all ‘rough-in’ inspections, soundproofed the sleeping areas, insulated the entire building and completed the dry wall work. Painting is scheduled for next week. We’re really getting there! With even a modestly successful fundraising effort we’ll be able to get our Certificate of Occupancy, that elusive piece of paper that finally allows us to start using this space. With some additional support we’ll actually be able to complete the trim and tile work, too.

As many people know, the past years, and especially the past 18 months, have been a time of unusually slow donations for many not-for-profits. Windhorse is no exception, and we’ve also been saddled with some major expenses, including the need to replace our primary heating and cooling system, and making major repairs to our over-used septic field. As a result we felt we had no choice but to shift our focus and resources away from the building project.

Building WZC 2014


12/22/14 – Interior walls finished and painted, woohoo!

Looking Ahead

Now there’s fresh momentum! If we can actually get this C of O, the new retreat lodge will provide us with much needed room for our own sesshins and workshops, while opening up a range of other training and income-generating possibilities. We’re already getting significant help from friends in planning retreats and workshops, in yoga, contemplative photography, and psychodynamic work. Our hope is for Windhorse to become more self-supporting while providing a beautiful resource to the broader community. Of course, none of these things will be possible until the building is finished.

Filmmaker Ken Burns has noted that not so long ago he used to spend 25% of his time fundraising and 75% producing documentaries. Now, he says, it’s just the reverse. We obviously didn’t take up this dharma work to spend our time trying to be fundraisers and building project managers. Something else moved us – a vision that continues to inspire and sustain our efforts. If you share this vision of dharma practice and community, please consider making a gift to Windhorse this year. In this time of renewal, your support can really help make so many things possible.

With hands palm-to-palm,

Lawson and Sunya

Woods WZC 2014

Letter to download in pdf version

Check or money order donations may be mailed to:
Windhorse Zen Community
580 Panther Branch Road
Alexander, NC 28701

For donations through Paypal or credit card click Here

For information about transferring stocks and bonds, please contact Lawson directly by phone: 828 – 273 – 6700 or by email:

We are most grateful for donations of any amount and we welcome donations in the form of monthly or quarterly pledges. To make a monthly or quarterly pledge click Here

Donations may be earmarked either Building Fund or General Purpose Fund.