An action that brings joy.
Every life is comprised of hundreds of thousands of actions.
Of all the actions I have done, the ones I feel most certain about—where I feel no doubt—are the acts of generosity that support the Dharma, especially supporting the Dharma in its monastic form.
Whether it’s my financial contributions, the time I spend helping to clear the forest, washing dishes, or even my own practice, I always feel a sense of joy and lightness.
Acts of Dharma Joy
Their very presence offers you and me an opportunity for generosity—the opportunity to support the growth of goodness in the world.
You can support this in many ways: doing your practice (the foundation of dana or generosity), giving your time and skills, offering food for the Abbey, and, of course, financial support.
I am especially writing to invite your financial support as Sravasti Abbey celebrates its 20th anniversary.
The need is real, and your giving and sharing sustain the Buddha’s teachings by supporting a vibrant monastic community.
This Gift is Our Gift
The Abbey is in the final stages of creating a much-needed Buddha Hall. It will become the spiritual center of the community.
The Buddha Hall is a gift to all of us, allowing countless people to find peace through daily meditation practice, courses, and retreats.
The gift of the Buddha Hall is our gift—to the Abbey and to each other as Dharma friends.
I feel it in my heart when I offer support. It is not a matter of “me” supporting “them.” Rather, it’s support for the Dharma. Therein lies the joy.
Once, working in the woods in the winter with Ven. Losang, I noticed that his boots were leaky and had very little “bootness” left to them. We offered a new pair.
He paused, looked down, and said, “These still have some life left in them. Maybe in a year.”
I tell this simple story to illustrate how remarkably frugal the monastics are. Whatever you give, it is magically stretched.
Here’s another: For several years a friend served as the volunteer treasurer, keeping the Abbey’s books.
She tells how Ven. Thubten Chodron pays attention to literally every cent. Knowing that every resource has been generously offered, she believes the monastics have a sacred duty to use those resources wisely with a Dharma motivation. There is no carelessness.
Share in the Wonder
Finally, I invite you to share in the wonder of giving. When I am at the Abbey clearing forests, painting buildings, cooking, and (my favorite) washing endless dishes, it’s a joy to be with spiritual friends. This service increases my ease and happiness. It is one of the greatest sources of gratitude in my life.
And so I invite you to share in the joy—with your gifts of time, talent, practice, and resources.
On this 20th anniversary, let’s help Sravasti Abbey finish the Buddha Hall and support the community for the long-term benefit they bring to thousands of beings now and in the future.
The fifth remembrance in the Upajjhatthana Sutta (Sutta of the Subjects for Contemplation) encourages us to reflect on the truth, “My actions are my only true belongings…My actions are the ground upon which I stand.”
Generosity is the heart of the practice. It is the ground upon which we stand. Please stand with me.
You can make your special anniversary offering online via credit card or Paypal.
Let’s help finish the Buddha Hall together!