Summer Fundraising 2017

Donate Now! We depend on the generosity of all of you to continue our work. Support us in our efforts to continue to offer the Dharma.

“It is the heart that does the giving; the fingers only let go.” -Nigerian Proverb



Sweetwater Zen Center’s mission is to offer Zen meditation instruction and practice to the public. We promote meditation as a way everyone can experience the oneness of all things. This experience helps to cultivate harmony within the great diversity of life. Today we are faced with growing division and malice throughout the world, and we find that this practice of oneness is a wonderfully effective medicine for the subsequent spiritual and emotional suffering.

However, the experience of oneness is not yet enough. It is important to embody the wisdom we encounter in meditation and cultivate that wisdom within the context of our rich and dynamic lives. With an urban and primarily lay membership, SWZC cares deeply about family practice and community building.

Meditation naturally initiates a desire to give help to those who need it and to make the world a better place. So in addition to creating a space for practice with our families and community of friends, we are also dedicated to serving the marginalized. We participate in programs that support the incarcerated, the elderly, and the many people in our extended neighborhood affected by border politics.

As a non-profit, we depend on the generosity of our members, friends, and supporters to continue this work. At this time, we are particularly looking to raise funds to help maintain our physical property. Below is the letter that was sent to the members. Please join the members in considering what you can do to support the advancement of oneness and compassion.


Dear Sweetwater Members and Friends,

We hope you are enjoying the start of summer. Our 90-day Ango (intensive practice) is well underway and our head trainee, Jill Siejo Schlesinger is holding down the schedule with style and grace. While the theme of any Ango is intensive practice, we’ve decided on a sub-theme for this year of self- care. With a Silver Dragon head trainee, an injured Doshin (priest/senior) and a heavy lay practitioner constituency with busy work and family lives, we’re staying focused on being aware of our limitations and being compassionate to ourselves amidst the challenging demands of an intensive practice schedule.

Accordingly, we would like to kick-off this year’s fundraising efforts by focusing on the self-care of our beautiful center. We’ve been fortunate enough to get a lot of work done, and complete some major projects around the campus already this year– new doors and roofing, for example. But we still have a lot of sprucing up that needs to be addressed. The power of attention to detail can have dramatic effects on the maintenance of a space and its community. Replacing old outdoor tables and chairs, restoring our water feature in the Quan Yin Garden, and installing clear and helpful signage around the center are just a few of the sprucing up projects on our list that could really help to revitalize and strengthen the container of our practice.

The functioning of Sweetwater is made possible by your generosity

We are so grateful to have such a generous, caring membership and network. And of course, as a non-profit organization, we will always need help to continue our efforts. We have set a goal of raising $8,000 dollars for our sprucing up efforts this year. And we ask for 100% participation from all of our members, practitioners, and friends in reflecting on the role of SWZC in their lives, and considering how crucial every last ounce of generosity is to its thriving. One dollar, one thousand dollars. The effort of giving is itself the power that drives Sweetwater, so we hope you’ll take a minute to think about how you can be a part of our efforts to grow.

Check donations can be sent to Sweetwater Zen Center, 2727 Highland Avenue, National City, CA, 91950. You can also donate by using the PayPal button below.

Deep gassho, in gratitude,
SWZC Fundraising Circle (Lisa Beiser, Anne Seisen Saunders (steward), Roosevelt Roshin Ulloa, Anne Myo-On Wayman, Robert Chowa Werner and Nathan Doshin Woods)