Amanda Karg reflects on giving while faced with the impermance of life:
Dear Venerable Chodron & Sravasti Abbey residents,
I first heard Lamrim teachings a little over two years ago when I discovered your website and podcasts. It had a profound life-changing effect on my mind and helped me immensely when I was undergoing treatment for melanoma.
The teachings on karma and rebirth really hit home in particular because of the challenges I had to face that summer. I was so fortunate to have been diagnosed and treated at a time just before things would have been really bad. I’ve had the opportunity to learn how to purify and live my life in a way where I will be able to die without the heavy guilt and regret I experienced when I first realized that I can die at any moment.
It is this month, two years ago that I got the “clear for now” from the oncologist, so it is naturally a time when I am reflecting on that period and how much I’ve changed since then. If it were not for all of those teachings online, I would have never been able to transform that experience in the way that I did and would probably be well on my way back to the lower realms.
I frequently think, “Someday I will have more money and then I’m going to make a really nice offering to Sravasti Abbey.” But that day has yet to arrive; in fact I just keep becoming poorer. During a teaching I just received, the Geshe encouraged us to make offerings no matter how small, whenever we have the opportunity. He reminded us that although we might like to do something more, we can die before that day ever comes. In that case, we will die without having done anything.
Thank you so much for your tireless efforts to make the Dharma available to everyone and keeping monastic vows in a time and place where living that kind of life might sound completely crazy to most people.
I am still to this day so inspired by what I experienced during my stay at Sravasti Abbey, and I hope I have the opportunity to visit again or do a retreat with you.