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October Benefit Update

A hearty thank you!    

Luang Por dousing SakulaSaturday October 12 brought Ajahn Pasanno and the monastics of the Pacific Hermitage to Portland for a wonderful celebration and fundraiser. We started the day by taking the precepts, followed by a meditation, and together, we listened to kind and encouraging words from the abbots of Dharma Rain Zen Center. We shared a lovely potluck meal with the Thai community, after which we watched The Buddha Comes to Sussex, a documentary about the Ajahn Chah lineage taking hold in England. In the afternoon, members of Portland Friends of the Dhamma offered reflections of gratitude, and Ajhan Pasanno offered his reflections on our community’s journey to purchase our own home. He and the other monks performed a traditional blessing, tossing holy water on everything in sight. Sakula go particularly soaked!

We raised $4,161.25 that day and the previous evening, and drew close as a community. A hearty thank you to all who participated and volunteered! Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhu.

A Home of Our Own   

Lay folks in anjaliWhen the Dharma Rain Zendo came available for sale, the wondered how will we know the answer to some basic questions:

  • Can PFOD afford it?
  • Does the community support this?

A simple measurement was devised. If community members would pledge regular donations that amounted to $4,000 per month for one year, PFOD would have the income and the sense of community “thumbs up” that made moving forward doable. Of course, one-time donations are vital for the down payment, but it seemed the main hurdle would be getting those regular donations. The pledge campaign was born.

The campaign was kicked off with Ajahn Pasanno’s first visit in June, strengthened when some anchor donors sent out this letter to others in the community, and furthered by another visit by Ajahn Pasanno  in October. Hundreds of community members have heard about the potential purchase and who knows how many people beyond them.

It is wonderful to go to the dana bowl or PO box and receive people’s generosity. Opening a pledge and seeing another person commit to this center having a home is a lovely feeling. Often a pledge comes with words sharing the reason someone is committing to PFOD:

  • For my wellbeing & for the well being of others
  • My life has been enhanced and blessed by the community and the Dhamma. I feel very welcomed, supported and dedicated to continuing my practice and understanding the Dhamma. Thank you!
  • This will help the center to provide programs that are supportive to the community. Thank you!!
  • Associating with the wise, hearing the Dhamma frequently taught, the deep integrity of PFOD, community with spiritual friends
  • I really enjoy the programs I have had the opportunity to experience, and find it inspires me to deepen my practice.

So how are we doing? After four months we have 45 folks pledging everything from $5 per month to $500 per month for a total of $2,925 a month. That is $73% of the goal. Each new pledge that comes in has moved our thinking from “we wonder if this could happen…”, and then to “maybe this could happen…”, and finally, “this is happening!”

Drawing Near to the Source

Ajahn Jayasaro 2009Ajahn Jayasaro visits Portland Friends of the Dhamma and White Salmon

Tuesday, Oct. 22. Hosted by PFOD at Dharma Rain Zendo
5:30 – 6:40 pm:
Casual Tea and conversation with Ajahn Jayasaro and the monastics of the Pacific Heritage. Please note that Ajahn will be picked up at the airport and brought directly to Dharma Rain, so tea time may start late.
7:00 – 9:00 pm: Meditation, Dhamma talk by Ajahn Jayasaro

Wednesday, Oct. 23rd: Hosted by Pacific Hermitage in White Salmon at Yoga Samadhi

NOTE: Tuesday night meditation at Yoga Samadhi (White Salmon) is cancled due to Ajahn’s Portland visit, and is rescheduled to Wednesday.

NOTE: There is no Friday Night Dhamma at the Dharma Rain Zendo on October 25th.