Kendal and the San Francisco Zen Center have partnered to create a new type of community, designed for individuals 55 and over who wish to live and age together in an uplifting and enriching setting, with support for wellness, active engagement with the world, safety and continued learning. The community, which will nurture the practices of meditation and mindfulness, will be part of the Kendal System, designed for a diverse population with wide-ranging needs and interests, and operated with a spirit of inclusion. A variety of wellness and fitness programs will be provided, and community members will organize virtually all aspects of social, cultural, intellectual and spiritual life.
We have explored several sites north of the Bay Area compatible with our plans to develop a community designed to meet the highest level of environmental responsibility. A team of professionals—including Greenbrier, a senior housing development company, architects, land-use experts, staff and board members from San Francisco Zen Center and Kendal, as well as financing partners—are fully engaged in developing a program that will be attractive to a diverse community.
We are pleased to report that we have secured a site that is well suited to our new senior living community in Healdsburg, in Sonoma wine country. After an intensive process of due diligence over several months, we recently signed an agreement to purchase 15 acres from the landowner, who shares our vision for the community. An application has been filed with the City of Healdsburg.
Thankfully the property was spared from the fury of the recent wildfires in Sonoma and Napa counties. Our hearts go out to all those whose lives and livelihoods have been devastated by these events, and we share in the gratitude for the dedication and amazing stamina shown by the many firefighters and volunteers who met these fires with such bravery.
Our vision has been affirmed and informed by extensive research among those who expressed an interest in moving to a Zen-inspired community. We believe this will be a “first of its kind” opportunity. Kendal and San Francisco Zen Center are committed to a community rooted in the fundamental values of kindness and compassion and to creating a special place to “live lightly on the land” in a beautiful setting.
Residents will be invited to practice meditation in the centrally located meditation hall with Senior Zen practitioners, who will be in residence. Residents will have access to classes, workshops and retreats and will have the opportunity to garden and cook together. While the community will not be strictly vegetarian, an important aspect of community life will be a dining venue inspired by Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, which was started over 40 years ago by San Francisco Zen Center.
Over the past decade, residents and staff in more than a half dozen Kendal communities have adopted a variety of mindfulness-based practices—including meditation, yoga and tai chi—to reduce stress and enhance well-being.
The community will be designed to encourage aging in place. Assisted Living and Memory Support programs will be available for residents, if needed.
We are now in the process of finalizing our plans for this community and developing informational materials. Soon we will start scheduling seminars to provide interested parties with more specifics about our plans. More information about these educational events will be available soon.
We hope to begin construction in 2020 and anticipate opening in 2022. Meanwhile, we will post news here about ongoing developments as it becomes available.
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