The Dana Group Newsletter
Committed to the Paramita of Generosity
The essence of generosity is letting go. Pain is always a sign that we are holding on to something – usually ourselves. When we feel unhappy, when we feel inadequate, we get stingy; we hold on tight. Generosity is an activity that loosens us up. By offering whatever we can – a dollar, a flower, a word of encouragement – we are training in letting go. -Pema Chodron, from Comfortable with Uncertainty
Shambhala is free of operating debt.
How did this happen?
by Larry Teitelbaum
Reversing the curse
The Dana Group was formed in the spring of 2007 to inspire the view of giving in the community generally and assist and facilitate giving activities specifically. Our immediate challenge...reverse the curse of the 'black hole'... reverse the view that Shambhala did not know how to manage itself financially and that any money gifted to it fell into the 'blackhole of Calcutta' never to see the light of the Great Eastern Sun.
Lodro's Magic Trick
During the Dzogchen retreat at KCL in June 2007, Lodro Rinzler demonstrated the magic of turning the image of the black hole of Calcutta into the unified self-existing mandala possessing confidence and richness. For a start, all we needed was a shift in view.
Our first newsletter was published in late summer to introduce ourselves. We also took on the immediate challenge of reducing the operating debt of Shambhala (formerly known as Shambhala International). The original method was to visit Shambhala Centres and make the case for each member contributing as little as $10/month to Shambhala.
Matching gift mojo
Just before the Harvest of Peace, Jeff Waltcher, inspired by this vision, presented the Dana group with a donor who would create a matching gift. He (Gregg Campbell) would give $250,000 toward debt reduction if we could raise the equivalent by Shambhala Day through a combination of monthly and one time gifts.
Out of the Bardo
As we approached Shambhala Day 2008, we were closing in on goal. We were then informed that an anonymous donor, who had passed away in 2005, had granted in their will close to $1,000,000 to Shambhala. The auspicious coincidence of this bequest coming at the end of our campaign propelled us well beyond our immediate goal reducing Shambhala's central operating debt to zero. (And paying down half of the mortgage on the Sakyong's residence in Halifax).
Relaxing with Generosity
Stay tuned and relax into generosity along with us.