Mebar’s Monthly Focus - Supporting the Sangha / Sangha Sustainability
I wanted to draw your attention this month to something which is possibly a concern for many of us, the increase in the overall sangha’s costs.
It’s been a challenging few years through the lockdown with the Hermitage only reopening its doors fully in 2022. People have started to come to our in-person events, which has been a joy to see, but visits to the Hermitage are still low, which in the past has contributed to the AHS’s income and with the impact of rising costs and inflation, this is being felt more acutely currently. The DHB courses and our online activities are thriving, which is contributing to our sense of connection, the need for sangha and the deepening of our practice.
But this all relies on not only ‘one off’ donations towards an event but the regularity of monthly donations. Having this regularity enables us to continue to deliver training, courses and hold events online and in person at the Hermitage. We can forward plan and provide the means for Lama Shenpen’s teachings to appear in this world, for the benefit of not only us but for those who come after us too. The running of the Hermitage, holding events (online and in-person), the courses we run, admin and IT all have a financial cost which we need to meet in order to continue delivering the AHS vision.
Talking about money isn’t always easy, but ensuring our community continues to flourish, offering teachings and events on a donation basis, requires us all to look openly at how we can make this happen.
In traditional Buddhist cultures one makes offerings to teachers and practitioners as an integral part of one's own spiritual practice. In this way our monthly donation is an expression of our generosity and commitment to each other and our teachers; it has symbolic as well as financial value. Our community wouldn’t exist without this generosity, and we wouldn’t be able to practice together, help and support the teachers and teachings. Members support the vision and activity of Lama Shenpen in order to benefit each other’s deepening practice.
With monthly membership donations staying roughly at the same amount during the past several years; which we are extremely grateful for and do recognise that it’s been financially difficult for many of us, is however unsustainable. In real terms, this is a decrease in monthly membership and if income fails to pick back up, decisions will have to be made about which aspects of the community we continue to invest in. We are asking those members who haven’t increased their membership for a while to reflect on what amount of monthly donation feels right and manageable. If you’re able to increase your donation in line with inflation or an appropriate amount for your circumstances, then this would not only support the AHS for now but also the future. Increasing your membership even by £5 per month would help with the future stability of the AHS for generations to come.
If you would like to read our statement on ‘What is a Member’ then click here.
If feel inspired and are able to increase your membership amount then contact Dawa firstname.lastname@example.org@troppus . For those who are unable to, please be reassured that your donation is significant and is contributing to creating sangha!
2024 will be a big year of revisioning, looking to the long-term future and sustainability of the sangha. I’ll be sharing more about this in the coming months and the ways you can participate and support the sangha through this period.
Warmest wishes- Mebar