LETTER TO OUR COMMUNITY: SHANTIDEVA CENTER, A BRIGHT AND SHINING JEWEL
Hello, dear Shantideva friends,
Welcome to the neighborhood! I’m so glad you are here….
When Shantideva Center opened its doors in Brooklyn this past summer, I could not have felt more fortunate. I’d been seeking a place to ground my Dharma practice for a couple of years when this bright and shining jewel manifested on the corner of 6th Ave and 9th St. I immediately knew I wanted to do whatever I could to engage and support the center, and I hope you will join me with a gift, large or small, to help Shantideva grow and flourish in its new home.
When I was asked to write a letter to support the annual appeal, I admit I struggled a bit—thinking it quite self-cherishing. After all, I receive so many benefits as a local practitioner. But as a new volunteer and regular participant I have also had the good fortune to watch this thoughtful and kind community settle into its new home and to hear about many ambitious plans for 2019 and beyond. To support the vision of Shantideva Center, now blossoming in (conditioned) reality, please give what you can.
I was grateful to join you at teachings throughout 2018 (Dagri Rinpoche! Geshe Khedup! Venerable Samten, Venerable Amy, Professor Willis!) and I can’t wait (practicing patience!) for 2019’s lineup—including Ling Rinpoche, Geshe Khedup, Geshe Sherab, Venerable Sangye Khadro (Kathleen McDonald), Venerable Robina, Venerable Fedor, and Carmen Mensink, so far. I have plunged into Discovering Buddhism and also get to watch new practitioners and families encountering Buddhist practice for the first time at Living a Happy Life, Ready, Set, Happy, Buddhism in a Nutshell, and Meditation 101. To continue making these unique and ongoing commitments possible, I urge you to make a generous offering.
Since Shantideva opened, I’ve had the joy of meeting the many good folks who work so hard keep it all running. I see the (joyous) effort of the center’s volunteers, managers, and directors as they handle daily logistics, juggling multiple events, and deliver extensive programming to address the Dharma needs of each level of practitioner. I see the good work required to coordinate with our kind partners at Yogis & Yoginis and to liaise with FPMT and the brilliant teachers we’ve been honored to host. I see the tremendous time, effort, and contributions to cover expenses, make regular offerings to our teachers, lead pujas, manage and stock the bookstore, greet each practitioner at registration, promote the center’s programming, keep the website running, and yes, the tea box full, the toilet paper rolling, and the rent paid. To help support the many day-to-day activities that make Shantideva a truly hospitable space for Dharma study and community, please donate generously.
In short, I feel so fortunate that SC chose to open its doors here and I can see how much the community has blossomed from at last having a space to call their own. To help maintain and build the strong foundations for a sustainable home for SC and all practitioners, please, please donate whatever you can.
Thank you for coming to the neighborhood. I look forward to seeing you all soon!