From Storms to a Record Breaking Year

From Storms to a Record Breaking Year

Dear Community Member,

First of all, thank you for taking the time to look at this Annual Report. Thank you for caring.

If there is a word that summarizes 2017, it would be: ‘Caring’. Depending on when you joined the community, you are probably already aware of the dramatic events that punctuated our year. It started with a violently destructive storm season that wreaked havoc on the land and forced the last minute cancellation of several major retreats. Then, just months later, a local fire triggered the evacuation of our largest retreat group of the year mid-way through the event.

Despite all the drama, no one was harmed. And the community rallied in unprecedented ways. The donations you made helped us break the million dollar mark, making it a record year in our 40-plus year history. We collectively raised $1,080,000 comprising myriad donations, large and small. Together we made it a milestone year for the Institute.

Rob Preece working

Rob Preece, Feb 2017

Thanks to your generosity, we were able to repair a lot of the storm-related damage, in many cases improving what was there before. We undertook the first phase of an ambitious infrastructure upgrade including the laying of over five miles of conduits for power, water, communications and gas, all underground. A mile and a half of trenches were dug in difficult mountainous terrain. In total the storm repairs, infrastructure upgrades and completion of the design phase orf our prayer wheel, amounted to an investment of $575,000. (NB: Doesn’t include the income loss from the retreat cancellations and construction shut-down.)

The second half of the storm repairs, infrastructure upgrade and prayer wheel foundation are scheduled for Spring/Summer 2018. The expenditure for this phase is expected to total $710,000.

2017 was also a year of staff impermanence. Staff comings and goings are part of our ongoing reality and after years of relative stability, 2017 was a time of fresh renewal. We thank Brian Kranisch, Catherine Slocock, Christina Cardenas, Eryn Bordes, Glen Miller, Karl Noonan, Kelsey Grimley, Venerable Kosho, Russ Bryan, Ruth Saro, Steve Utziz, Thania Parry and Theresa Neyer. At the same time we welcome with open arms a whole new set of community pillars: Andy McNeal, Brad Jones, Frankie Santos, Venerable John Diedrich, Koji Dreher, Louie Markowits, Rowdy Scarlett, Shankha Mitra and Zully Albornoz.

Sean and Elaine

Sean Brunelle with Elaine Jackson

It’s wonderful to recognise the beautifully symbiotic nature of the relationship between the Institute and its staff. While the Institute benefits from the staff’s skill and hard work, team members are nourished and held by a loving container dedicated to the welfare of all beings. As one of our land caretakers, Sean, commented : “This is such a wonderful place to work. I have learned a lot in the last couple of years, and 2018 will be another opportunity for me to grow physically, spiritually and mentally.”

With deep appreciation for all that you are, and for all of your caring. And with much rejoicing in our shared connection.

Big Love,


– Fabienne Pradelle, Executive Director


PS: Last October we announced I will be stepping down in 2018. We will soon be announcing a wonderful new leadership team that will soon to take up the baton.