Ser Chö Ösel Ling Update Spring 2014

KCC Breaks Ground on New Residence at SCOL

A major focus for the KCC community over the last fourteen years has been the completion of a long term retreat facility at SCOL. In the last couple of years, we have enjoyed having most of the pieces in place—cabins, a main building with two wings, etc. However, there was still the looming project of planning and fund­raising for the construction of a separate residence for stipend volunteers. It is therefore both exciting and relieving that, on September 24th, KCC broke ground on this final building of the retreat cloister and construction is now underway.

an early stage of construction on the new residence
An early stage of construction on the new residence

In This Issue

KCC Breaks Ground on New Residence at SCOL

SCOL Prepares for First Three Year Retreat

A Big Change for SCOL Financing

Winter Personal Retreat Season



Barbara Bell, Linda Besant,
Dean Conklin, Jessica Dennison, Barbara Miller, Marci Roth, Bill Spangle, and Rosemarie Sweet ​contributed to the production of this update.

Rural Operations Manager, Galen Doucette, commented on the decision-making process followed in developing the project. “Planning for the quarters began by identifying principles that KCC leadership agreed to about what would support stipend volunteers during the hard work of long retreats— principles like privacy, meditation, community, etc. We then worked on a design that was affordable and feasible that would support these principles. It is, more than anything, an investment in the stability of the lives of those who serve at SCOL and the hope that that will transfer into stability in the support of the retreat.”

construction of the foundationThe innovative design of the residence fits many uses into a very small footprint. In addition to three apartments, the quarters will include a meditation room and an office space, which can also be used to accommodate visitors. Although laid out as a triplex, it is the same size as an average single-family home.

Thanks to the great efforts and generosity of volunteers and donors, sufficient funds are now in hand to meet the projected costs of the project. However, the remaining $35,000 of the original $400,000 campaign goal may yet be needed should unforeseen circumstances arise during construction.

It is projected that the exterior envelope of the building will be completed by winter so that the interior work can be carried out in the spring and finished in time for the Three Year Retreat. As time for occupancy nears, opportunities to donate furnishings, supplies and financial support will be communicated through the KCC e-newsletter and on KCC’s website,

Congratulations and thank you to all who have generously supported this effort.

SCOL Prepares for First Three Year Retreat

It is a vibrant time at Ser Chö Ösel Ling. The community has been making the most of this period between the end of the One Year Retreat and the start of the Three Year Retreat in April 2015. In the last months, there have been retreats on the practices of Chenrezig, Tonglen, the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, as well as the annual North American Mahamudra Seminar led by Lama Michael Conklin and Lama Tara Goforth. There will also be an

Lama Tara and Lama Michael Conklin

opportunity for up to a month of personal practice during the Winter Retreat Season, January 17th to February 14—click the link to learn more.

Jikan Quitorio baking at SCOLTransitions are in the works as current Rural Operations Manager, Galen Doucette, prepares to step out of his role and enter the Three Year Retreat. Galen has invested his skills and energy as ROM for the last 4 years and his passionate involvement has been no small part of moving the project forward to where it is today.

KCC is now building a small community of stipend volunteers to support SCOL. Jikan Quitorio, who cooked steadfastly for the recent One Year Retreat, continues her work as retreat cook at SCOL. An exciting recent ad­dition is Peg Swift, who not only had the unique experience of participating as a retreatant in SCOL’s One Year Retreat, but has also been involved with construction and maintenance projects at SCOL for many years and knows the facilities well. Also new is Chuck Murray, who brings many skills, not least of which is familiarity with vehicles and maintenance—a necessity on a rural property with tractor, snow plow and trucks.

In this period before Ser Chö Ösel Ling’s first Three Year Retreat begins, it would be a perfect time to connect with the retreat center and land, whether through participating in the Winter Retreat Season, volunteering at a work party, or simply sending an email of good wishes to the stipend volunteers who serve SCOL or those preparing to do long retreat. Thank you, community, for making this such an exciting, fruitful time.

A Big Change for SCOL Financing

For fourteen years, gifts to the SCOL CAPITAL CAMPAIGN have been used to develop the land, repair buildings and roads, pay for construction of the cloister, offer stipends to live-in volunteers, buy and repair equipment, perform land stewardship and dig ditches. The long and wildly successful CAPITAL CAMPAIGN is nearing completion, but anyone wish­ing to make gifts for SCOL specifically to cover any remaining construction and equipment costs for the Staff Residence will be deeply appreciated. Please direct those gifts to the Windhorse Campaign.

KCC’s Board of Directors has agreed that, beginning in 2015, it is appropriate to include SCOL as a component of KCC’s ongoing services. This means that, if necessary funds are needed beyond revenue from retreats, a portion of the KCC GENERAL FUND will be used to cover expenses for maintenance and operations at SCOL to ensure adequate and timely upkeep, stipend support for volunteers, and flexibility for new programs. If needed, gifts to the GENERAL FUND may also be applied to construction.

KCC is only months away from a major milestone for any organization— accomplishing a CAPITAL CAMPAIGN and incorporating the completed facility into ongoing operations. Thank you to everyone who has been part of this remarkable achievement.

Checks can be sent to:

73 NE Monroe Street

Portland, OR, 97212

Or you may donate online by clicking on the DONATE button in this e-mail or on our web site at

Winter Personal Retreat Season

January 17 to February 15, 2015

The Winter Season Retreat provides an opportunity for individuals with prior retreat experience who can practice independently to do extended personal retreat in a supportive group environment. Individuals who wish to take part

Snowy SCOL Cabins

will need to have approval from their primary mentor and have a specific plan for retreat worked out in conjunction with their mentor. Both the length of retreat, and the specific program of practice should be agreed to in advance. As a rule of thumb we recommend that people who have not done individual retreat before limit their first personal retreat to a few days. Individuals who have done personal retreat before should consider a gradual increase to the length of retreats if they are inclined to do longer retreat.

Click to learn more about Winter Retreat Season at SCOL.

For general questions about the retreat, email Bill Spangle, or phone 503-282-2809.

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Our mailing address is:
Kagyu Changchub Chuling
73 NE Monroe Street
Portland, OR 97212
United States