Ananda Kanan Renovations and Fundraising

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We are always trying to upgrade our Ananda Kanan facilities. The Ananda Kanan White House is the organizational quarters; the other facilities are the kitchen, dining hall, Baba’s quarter, dormitories, and cabins.

In 2019, we built a large greenhouse. We are now developing the greenhouse garden and the outside garden – Inside for all year and outside for summer.

Margiis are welcome to visit us and rent out the cabins for personal visits and, if available, during the retreats. The dormitories are also available for visitors.

Some of the future projects we are planning are adding solar power for the water pump and a water storage tank. We are working according to the availability of funds. From the donations from last summer retreat, we had to put about a thousand dollars for propane and more for regular utility bills, repairs, and maintenance work. For example, we had flooding in the lake cabin and hired a contractor to make a trench drain on the cabin’s hillside.

If you would like to support Ananda Kanan, please scroll to the bottom of this post for details how to donate.

Greenhouse Work

We got a whole load of rough-cut lumber from a farmer that had a sawmill and had decided to close it. These were real old-style 2 inches by 12 inches maple boards. We took a trailer over and got all the wood for 40 – 50 dollars. We took all of that, and Dada Gunatmananda and Brother Sudhiira built 20 or 30 raised beds. Then we got cardboards and put them under to keep the weeds away.

Dada Gunatmananda filling the raised beds with compost soil.
Sudhiira loading the wheelbarrows with compost for the raised beds

We also had a lot of wood chips donated and turkey dung. That was blended and composted and ready for use. Dada Gunatmananda and Dada Krsnabuddhyananda dumped that into the raised beds. It is now curing in the greenhouse and waiting for planting in the spring.

Another piece of good news. One of the guests that came last summer was a young couple in their twenties. They really liked the place and recently moved into the lake cabin long-term. They also wanted to learn meditation. The husband is a permaculture expert and will donate seeds from his company and give us training in gardening.

Our neighbors also donated another dump truck load of woodchips and turkey dung for the gardening. Baba is giving us help from so many sides.

The White House Entrance Area

Dada Gunatmananda came for a visit in October 2020. That week was heavy rain. The roof was leaking, and the wood stove was about to fall through the floor due to rot under it. Winter was coming, and we had to repair the floor and get the wood stove into working condition again. Dada Gunatmananda helped us and removed the floorboards and joists under the woodstove. There is always humidity coming from the basement, so we put pressure-treated wood for the floor’s joists under the stove. Then we put 1′ by 12″ pine boards on the joists, then plywood, then plastic, and finally concrete patio pavers under the stove for heat insulation. Then we put concrete sealer on the pavers so that it is easy to clean. Then we put HardyBacker® cement boards around so that the heat around the stove will not burn the walls. Then we painted them green and put a nice trim around. The local flooring store gave us a donation of linoleum flooring to put on the entry hall where we take off our outdoor shoes. It looks like stone, but it is linoleum. Now it looks so beautiful! The donated linoleum was also enough to cover the laundry room and bathroom.

The floor was rotten due to water leak.

Finding the source of the leak
Dada fixing the ceiling above the wood stove.
Dada removing the old floor boards.

Repairs of the entrance area underway.
Entrance Area of the White House completed and the wood stove back in place

The Ananda Kanan Rector Room needed new floor material, and there is a small room with an entrance from the Rector Room that we usually call the Swami Room. We took out everything from the Swami room to replace the carpet with linoleum and found a lot of rot in the wall.

Dada removing damaged drywall from the Swami Room.
Swami Room with new floor

We took out all the floor materials and found that there was dry rot in the floor joists all the way from the ceiling to the basement. We had to rip up the floor and replaced it. We put plywood and linoleum on top of that. Now that room is useable. The next step will be to add a small window in the Swami Room (there is no window there now.) It will be a small guest room there for visiting Acaryas. Dada Gunatmananda did a fantastic job there.

The Back Area Bathroom and Laundry Room

This bathroom had originally been poorly constructed, and the joists and the floor were rotting. The floor around the toilet was in such a bad shape that it was sinking into the floor. The floor was like a sponge, giving way under its weight. Brother Yatimana had come earlier from Louisville and fixed the plumbing. Dada Gunatmananda removed everything out of the bathroom, tore out the old joist, reinforced the wall joist, and replaced the floor joists. He then rebuilt it with pressure-treated wood, with a stronger spacing of 12 inches (before 24 inches spacing). Now it is strong enough to dance Tandava on it! We used 1″ by 12″ pine boards on the joists, then a ¼ inch smooth plywood for underlayer under the linoleum. The local flooring store donated the linoleum. Then Dada built new support under the sink, a small platform, and at the end of the bathtub, we have a small closet for storage space.

Dada had to remove all the old bathroom floor and part of the wall.
The new bathroom floor has 12 inches joist span and is very strong
New floor is strong enough for Tandava!
Newly renovated bathroom at Ananda Kanan

Kitchen Countertop

Rabi came by and saw all the work that Dada was doing. He wanted to replace the kitchen counter as it was all rotting away. It was expensive to replace the whole counter. We had a piece that was wide enough to replace the piece that was under the sink. So, we cut out that section that was more rotten and replaced it. Then the subfloor was also rotting under the sink. The groundhogs were coming into the kitchen there and mice. We sealed it all up. Now it is all cleaned up with new plumbing and working well.

Internet and Summer Conference

We may want to have the Summer Conference this summer, partly in-person and partly online. We have found a way to speed up our internet to levels that we can use for Zoom broadcasting.

Next Plans for the Ananda Kanan White House

The Phase one plan is to put a floor in the back corner room and fix the wall adjacent to the bathroom. We can then have three beds there for visiting WT workers.

The second phase would be to put a hallway from the white house entrance room into the middle room, bathroom, and backroom. The hallway will create a middle room with more privacy quieter for overnight stays.

The floorboards in the middle room are also all rotting away. We will need to replace the floor in the middle room. The electricity also needs an upgrade. We will line the interior walls with stone wool for sound and heat insulation. Then there will be better soundproofing in the bedrooms.

Text and images by Dada Krsnabuddhyananda. Editing by Dada Diiptimanananda.

Fundraising

The renovations this winter have exceeded the available funds and we currently have a negative balance with the local hardware store and need to raise about $4000.00 for paying up the debt and continuing the maintenance and utility payments. The budget is roughly as:
$1800 Hardware Store (outstanding balance)
$1200 Utilities until next Summer Conference
$500 Window for the Swami Room
$700 Wood and floor materials for the corner room

Please consider donating to Ananda Kanan. Please mention that your donation is for Ananda Kanan. 

1. Online through Zelle bank electronic transfer to eventregistration@anandamarga.us (Only available for online banking in the USA)

2. PayPal: Please use the PayPal Button here below to make a one time or recurring donation. You can also log into your PayPal account and send to eventregistration@anandamarga.us (please use “family/friend” so AM does not incur the transfer fee)



3. By check via postal mail payable to, and sent to

Ananda Marga, Inc.,
2005 Wheaton Haven Ct,
Silver Spring, MD 20902 United States