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Steward Assets


Objective 1: Establish environmental health and stewardship as fundamental principles of Zen Center.


  • Utilize the work of those who have gone before us as we implement plans to achieve our goals.
  • Organize and work from baseline environmental assessments for all practice centers; establish and monitor indicators of progress towards environmental health.
  • Articulate, draft and implement environmental policies that balance resources, people, and the needs of the natural environment guided by our precepts and in compliance with government laws and regulations.
  • Ensure that environmental health is a primary value imbedded in processes for both operations and capital projects.
  • Update and distribute Zen Center environmental pamphlets at each center to inform and educate residents and guests of specific environmental practices: land, food, water, waste, energy, buildings and infrastructure.
  • Explore opportunities for infrastructure investments that create savings and, therefore, pay back the investment.
  • Integrate the Farm Plan into this overall vision (the role of farming, its sustainability in terms of practice, the environment, finances/production and people).
  • Integrate with regional planning in each locale and collaborate with wider community resources.
  • Establish guidelines at each practice center for native habitat, ornamental landscape, and agricultural and horticultural plantings.
  • Seek outside resources such as grants to fund projects that would serve as a model for other organizations and communities.
  • Establish environmental committees at each practice place.
  • Explore the creation and funding of a Zen Center-wide position of environmental oversight, research, education and outreach.


Objective 2: Stewardship of Property Assets


  • Create one baseline building and infrastructure assessment for all three centers.
  • Develop a five-year master plan for each of the properties and, in planning new construction, align with program and practice commitments, environmental principles, business goals and responsible construction management.
  • Recognize and cultivate the unique vernacular of design for each location with the goal of supporting an environment conducive to practice.
  • Understand, budget, and schedule deferred maintenance, infrastructure needs and new construction and relate these to a capital campaign.
  • Maintain, at least, minimum health and safety standards for living spaces.
  • Upgrade disability access for existing facilities and ensure it in new construction.
  • Explore specific approaches to renovation and new construction that create savings and return on investment.
  • Create process standards and allocate responsibility for evaluating future gifts of property
  • Seek outside resources for developments that benefit others as well as ourselves
  • Protect the boundaries and uphold the covenants of our properties


Objective 3: Develop personnel policies and human resources practices that support and manifest our mission.

The Vision Committee recognizes that the Personnel Committee of the Board has been hard at work to conduct a systematic review of the relationship between personnel practices, policies and laws and to understand the impact of Zen Center commitments and agreements. Our strategies indicate both acknowledgement and support of this work and assume that this work will continue.


  • Examine and clarify how people enter, move through, and leave residential practice (Paths and Gates).
  • Examine and clarify our personnel policies: SFZC Staff Policy, SFZC Pay Levels, Personnel Policy for Employees, Paths and Gates, Elder Monks Plan, and the Family Plan, in regard to:
    • 1. The law and Zen Center policies and practices
    • 2. The range of constituencies that comprise Zen Center
    • 3. Sustainability of past, present and future commitments with Zen Center's resources in mind
  • Ensure coordination across practice centers
  • Examine and clarify our premises and processes for the rotation of training positions
  • Clarify and implement central and local responsibilities (for example, through position descriptions)
  • Explore the structure of personnel administration


Objective 4: Routinely review and upgrade our technology infrastructure.