I used to work on a switchboard like this in my college dorm, connecting calls with student rooms. This post is kind of like that… relaying announcements and messages that I’ve gotten via this blog recently:
- From Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi: “Please make it a point to come to Washington DC on October 6th. This is our chance to change the direction of this country, and thus the world. Especially our Buddhists: Exclusive ‘inner peace’ is no solution for a world burning with the fires of greed, violence, exploitation, poverty, and injustice. Put your peace and compassion into action and help uplift those who weep with misery and despair.”
- From Jennifer of Nyingma Trust: “I am a volunteer for Tibetan Aid Project and Nyingma Trust in Berkeley, CA. Buddha’s Englightenment (Saga Dawa Duchen) on June 15th is coming up, and I’m trying to get the word out there for folks to send in prayer requests. All energy and intentions are magnified 10 million times during the Tibetan Saga Dawa, and we want to help others by praying for their intentions and needs. See: http://nyingmatrust.org/NyingmaTrustWalks/trustWalk.html“
- P. Delaney of Dublin, Ireland, reports that Buddhist scholar and author Ken Jones will be featured at an event titled “What has Buddhism got to offer in relation to the global crisis of capital?” on June 24, as well as leading a workshop titled “Transforming self – transforming society” on June 25, both in Dublin. See the Calendar for more details.
- Paul of Joplin, MO, left a comment on this post about ways to help in the aftermath of the tornado that hit that part of the U.S. last month. He writes: “I am a resident of Joplin. It would be great to talk with other Buddhists in the area but this is more bible country. Any suggestions? Anyone know of any Buddhist groups which may be in the area?” If you want to connect with Paul, leave a comment below and I’ll point him in your direction.
And finally, I am deeply grateful to everyone who responded to my last post, a letter inviting support for The Jizo Chronicles. I am very moved by your generosity, and I look forward to making a donation of 10% of those proceeds to the Cambodia AIDS Project, a very very worthy cause.
To Paul – Atlanta Soto Zen Center? Hopefully there are some closer places, but you may be too busy to hunt them down.
Paul, I also found this listing of MO meditation groups — not sure if any of them are near you: http://www.midamericadharma.org/groups.html#missouri
Thank you so much. I had no Idea I had gotten responses until just now. I have a question. It seems that western Buddhism is main focus is money. After the storm last year, my Wife and I moved up to KC to stay with my sister. While there, we sought out Buddhist centers. The Temple Buddhist Center left us feeling very uncomfortable. It was astonishing to me how little we were greeted or even acknowledged and there was very little background for what was going on. We went to one meditation group only to feel more uncomfortable than I ever have in my life and I emailed them to let them know it. The Rime Buddhist Center seems to charge for enlightenment. Perhaps this is because of my western christianized thinking, but when I was younger and involved with my church I never had to pay for a bible study or anything else for that matter. I don’t believe I have actually had a conversation with anyone experienced in Buddhist practices and beliefs I seem to have to find all the info on my own. Forcing people to pay for spirituality is wrong yet I see that even from so called spiritual leaders as Eckhart Tolle who has obviously sold out. Where do I find true guidance? Do I really have to discover this on my own.
I understand your concerns. When I began study at Minnesota Zen Center in 1983, nobody asked me to join or volunteer for over a year – and sesshin fees were $15/day for nonmembers. This was made possible by some very dedicated people including the teacher. Class fees were minimal and scholarships were easy to get. With my current teacher, scholarships are still easy but there’s always a feeling of money stress. Returning to Minnesota (and just beginning to teach soon), I aspire to the open hand that I experienced in my own beginning.
The society has changed.