A Next Chapter for NYC Dhamma House

Since the closure of the NYC Dhamma House in March, due to COVID-19, the New York Vipassana Association’s expenses have consistently exceeded donations by an average of $3,000 monthly. Fortunately, we have had the resources to cover these deficits. However, with the Dhamma House likely to remain closed for months, or open in some limited capacity, continuing to pay rent for underutilized space is not the best use of our resources. 

Therefore, we are beginning a search to find prospective tenants to take over our lease, or to sublet part or all of the space. Would you like to help us in this search? Are you or is someone you know interested in Manhattan office space with an unique meditative atmosphere? Could you help us advertise the space on social media? Please email dhamma-service@ny.us.dhamma.org for more information, or see below for a text you can use to help get the word out. 

We do not take this decision lightly. Since March, we have done everything possible to reduce expenses, including requesting and receiving significant discounts on rent. We have been in frequent communication with our landlord. We have studied our lease for possible exits before it expires in February 2022. We have observed and learned from other centers and trusts, as they responded to the pandemic. We have tested a pilot program to allow old students to meditate individually at the Dhamma House.

Many, many servers contributed hard work and tender care to establish the NYC Dhamma House, to cultivate this special oasis in the midst of midtown Manhattan. On the shoulders of their service, New York Vipassana Association has grown, and grown strong in Dhamma. So with determination, we are able to move forward, to respond appropriately to ever changing circumstances, to start again. We have kept an eye on commercial real estate in New York City, and see that now may be the time to explore our options and start envisioning a next chapter for the NYC Dhamma House . . . a future that might include an even better space at an even better price.

A committee is forming to take on this work, with a focus on Manhattan and on rural locations that can host large residential courses, once COVID has passed. While we don’t anticipate immediately making any new commitments, given the continued uncertainties of COVID, we think it is important to begin this search now. If you are interested in joining the search committee, please email dhamma-service@ny.us.dhamma.org.

We will continue to keep you informed about the NYC Dhamma House, and all NYVA’s activities. If you would like to support NYVA at this time, please use the donate page on our website or email admin@ny.us.dhamma.org. The monthly trust minutes have additional financial details for interested old students.

 

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[Text people may use to spread the word on social media re: Dhamma House rental]

The New York Vipassana Association is looking for someone to take over the lease for its office space at 247 West 38 Street. The space enjoys excellent subway, bus, and rail connections. Since 2012, it has served primarily as a meditation space, a Dhamma house for a community of meditators practicing Vipassana meditation, as taught by S.N. Goenka in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin. Its atmosphere is unique, a peaceful oasis within Manhattan’s Garment District.

The 10th floor office space in the unattended 3-elevator Nelson Building is about 722 square feet, a long rectangle with three north-facing windows opening onto a courtyard. Three bathrooms are shared among the other offices on the floor. Our monthly rent in 2021 will be $3,107, which includes electricity. We are interested in people to take over the lease, or to sublet part or all of the space. To start a conversation, please email admin@ny.us.dhamma.org.

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