Annual Message from The Board of Directors and Rev. Kotoku Crivello

A Message from Our Board of Directors

November 16, 2016

Dear Extended Sangha – Friends and Members,

The Zen Center of Pittsburgh has undergone a significant transition over the past year. The founding priest, Rev. Kyoki Roberts, retired and moved to Omaha to be with her family. The Rev. Kotoku Crivello has assumed responsibility as the new Head Priest. Kotoku, his wife Colleen have taken up residence at the Zen Center, where they provide a strong and welcoming presence. This is no less than a landmark transition between our founders and future generations.

This remarkable time of change calls on each of us to reflect on and honor the efforts of those whose extraordinary efforts have brought us to this present moment. Yet, there is still much to do if we are to assure the future of this uniquely beautiful place and Soto Zen practice community.

While we are blessed with a historic building in a 14-acre setting unparalleled in western Pennsylvania, this unique resource brings challenges in its upkeep and maintenance. Also, great potential exists to explore and establish some new directions as a Zen Center.

Each year around this time we ask for your financial support. As in the past, the funds raised through the annual campaign will go directly to support the day-to-day operations of ZCP; to engage and support the Sangha; and to offer a Soto Zen presence to the larger Pittsburgh community. Essentially, your generosity makes this all possible.

In the coming year, our goal is to build upon your generous foundation of support and move to a more self­ sustaining position. It is also our intent to keep you posted going forward as we care for Zen Center’s daily needs and actively take steps for the future – guided by the teachings of the Buddha and the practice of Zazen.

On behalf of the Board of Directors charged with leading this community, I wish to express our profound gratitude for the support you have provided in the past and for any support you are able to offer this year. What matters most is not the size of the donation, rather, it is the gift of one’s opening heart, and for the compassion that flows from this Deep Spring.

“May this merit extend universally to all, so that we together with all beings, realize the Buddha Way.”

In gratitude,

Steve Kifer, President
ZCP Board of Directors


A Message from Kotoku

November, 2016

Dear Dhanna Friend:

I am writing on this beautiful Fall day at Deep Spring Temple to express my gratitude to you, my Dharm.a family , friends, teachers and benefactors for the selfless generosity extended by so many of you in support of Pittsburgh Zen Center. Your donations of money, time, energy, as well as goods and services has proven an immeasurable benefit to the Sangha. If generosity is, as Buddha taught, the entry way into the Dharma then I have seen many a Bodhisattava enter this past year.

Generous support has not only allowed us to negotiate a year of transition with a heightened sense of well-being but to see tangible results not only in completing critical physical improvements but in Sangha growth as well. Your contributions allowed us to complete the work to replace the deteriorated Community Room flooring with a new a concrete pad and soon carpet will be installed. Donations also helped refurnish our guest/student rooms to better allow for overnight stays. Our Main entrance signage was showing its’ age and with overgrowth of landscaping, difficult to see from the main road, so volunteer efforts refurbished and relocated the sign and beautified the area around it. A Building and Grounds Committee was formed to better identify and prioritize the work required to ensure that ZCP continues to be a place where the Three Refuges are a tangible reality for everyone.

Here is a good story:
During one of our Sunday programs a group of people attended from a small town about 20 miles from ZCP. As it turned out they were shop keepers who would not be able to attend regularly because Sunday is an important business day for them. They asked if we could come to their town on a Monday evening, their day off. We agreed to do so if they could find a suitable place. Well they did and in large part because of the generosity of ZCP supports we had plenty of Zafus and Zabutons to set up a “satellite” Zazen group. Now some 15 people gather in the town once a month for Zazen and Dharma discussion and are now supporters of Deep Spring Temple. The town appropriately enough is called Harmony and the building we practice in is an old “opera” house called The Center of Harmony.

We continue to offer the Dharma in the greater Pittsburgh Community and have taught Zen in High schools, Libraries and Universities and with your support will continue to do so.

Buddha taught people to work on the harmony of body, mind and spirit and to extend this work to each other and then our communities; to this end our doors and schedule are now open to included Yoga and Tai Chi
We hope to continue and expand on these efforts.

Buddha’s way is the working of correct living guided by compassion and insight shaped by generosity. There is still much critical work required to maintain and improve the Center and grounds.

I hope we can count on your continued support. Please give what you can.
In gratitude, Kotoku

Rev. Kotoku Crivello
Zen Center of Pittsburgh, Deep Spring Temple