A Gift of Dharma for 6.16.11

Today’s quote is from our friend and four-time past interviewee Bhikkhu Bodhi, whom I previously wrote a short biography for in this post. This is it:

The key to development along the Buddhist path is repetitive routine guided by inspirational vision. It is the insight into final freedom — the peace and purity of a liberated mind — that uplifts us and impels us to overcome our limits. But it is by repetition — the methodical cultivation of wholesome practices — that we cover the distance separating us from the goal and draw ever closer to deliverance.

Season’s Greetings from Buddhist Global Relief

BGR Logo

This from Executive Director Kim Behan at Buddhist Global Relief:

Dear Friend,

As the New Year approaches, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the tremendous progress that Buddhist Global Relief has made in 2010 and to give thanks to donors and supporters like you who have made our success possible.

BGR recently completed its second year of service, and we have already launched 20 projects around the world. In Cambodia, we have provided seeds and farming tools to help poor families generate income. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, we have helped to build schools and to educate children in remote mountain villages. In South Africa, we have supplied emergency food parcels to a rural community devastated by AIDS and poverty. And through our first project in the United States, we have sponsored the distribution of organic produce to emergency food agencies that feed the hungry.

To learn about all of our projects, please visit our website.

At BGR, we are very mindful of the fact that what has enabled our organization to progress so swiftly is the generosity of our donors.

On behalf of everyone at BGR, I offer our heartfelt thanks for your support. Your assistance has been absolutely critical to everything we do.

In 2011, we plan to renew our current projects as well as to launch several new ones, and we will need your help once again. With your support, we can continue to feed the hungry, to educate the children of the poor, to provide vocational training and job opportunities for disenfranchised women—indeed, to serve the poor of the world with dignity, respect, and love.

Please remember that BGR is an all-volunteer organization, which enables us to keep our administration expenses very low and to direct a larger portion of the funds we receive to the projects we support. Over the past year, 95% of every dollar we received went directly to finance our projects.

So won’t you please join us?

With the end of the year fast approaching, I invite you to make a donation now to support the work of BGR in 2011.

To make a secure donation online via PayPal, please go to the donation page on our website at: http://www.buddhistglobalrelief.org/active/donation.php. Alternatively, checks can be mailed to BGR at: Buddhist Global Relief, PO Box 1611, Sparta, New Jersey 07871, USA

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On behalf of all of us at BGR, thank you once again for your ongoing support, and our best wishes to you and your loved ones for a joyous holiday season and a happy and prosperous New Year.

Happy holidays,

Kim Behan's signature

Kim Behan
Executive Director
Buddhist Global Relief

Buddhist Global Relief is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
Gifts are deductible to the full extent allowable under IRS regulations.

Buddhist Global Relief’s 2009 Annual Report

BGR Annual ReportBuddhist Global Relief has just announced the publication of Buddhist Global Relief’s 2009 Annual Report.

2009 was BGR’s first year of operation, and it was an outstanding beginning for our organization. The annual report details the many projects we have undertaken to help the poor and needy throughout the world.

Download the report in PDF form here.

“You Speak, Bhante…” – My Latest Interview with the Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi for MahaSangha News

Please check out a recap of Buddhist Global Relief’s participation at the latest Center for Interfaith Action on Global Poverty (CIFA) by the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi — the well-known and prodigious translator of Pali Buddhist texts into English, and founder of Buddhist Global Relief — for MahaSangha News.  Here’s a snippet:

The first part of the meeting was devoted to an overview of the draft, followed by a lengthy discussion of the document among the participants. Kim and I kept silent during the early part of the discussion, regarding this as an opportunity to listen and learn. But after most members had spoken, the executive director of CIFA, Jean Duff, looked up at Kim and me and said: “I would like to hear what our representatives from Buddhist Global Relief have to say.” Kim turned to me and said to me: “You speak, bhante.” I rose to my feet, a bit apprehensive about speaking before people who knew much more about this field than I do. But, screwing up my courage, I called attention to something I could not find in the draft but which I know from our BGR work is critical in helping impoverished communities emerge from poverty.

Read the whole thing here.

“From Dropout to Aspiring Doctor”

Long Rina
"Rina and her mother receive their monthly rice supply."

This via Buddhist Global Relief:

Rina Long, a bright high school student, almost dropped out of school in order to help her mom raise her younger siblings after her dad passed away. Rina almost left for Korea to work where she would have most likely been forced to work in the sex trade. Lotus Outreach International (LOI), BGR’s partner in Cambodia, intervened and convinced Rina to stay in school.

Through the BGR-LOI project, Rina’s family is able to receive rice every month during the school year so that she can complete her education. Today Rina aspires to become a doctor who can benefit her society. There are many girls like Rina, who without outside help, would be compelled to leave school in order to work. It is BGR’s critical rice support that is keeping these girls in school.

It just costs $23 to provide enough rice, the main meal, for Rina’s family for an entire month! By making a donation today to Buddhist Global Relief, you help make heartwarming stories like this unfold through hunger relief projects in Asia, Africa, and the U.S.

Donate Now

A Message from Sharon Salzberg

Sharon SalzbergThis via Buddhist Global Relief:

The Buddha said that no true spiritual life is possible without a generous heart, and the cultivation of that strength. Generosity is the very first quality of an awakened mind. Unhindered delight flows freely when we genuinely practice generosity. If we cultivate a generous heart through acts of giving, we experience the fruit of that in our ability to let go, to relinquish, to open. There’s a sense of courage, strength, and brightness that grows within us as we learn to give. More and more we can accept the truth of the present moment.

Part of that truth is seeing how interconnected all of our lives are. What matters to someone else matters for us as well. Generosity sets the stage for greater insight, insight further opens our hearts so that generosity and compassion are natural responses to how we see the world.

Please open your hearts to this great cause by contributing to BGR’s efforts to help feed the hungry on World Food Day, October 16th.

Sharon Salzberg
Meditation teacher, author
BGR Adviser

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A Gift of Dharma for 10.10.10

Today’s quote is another from our friend the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi. This is it — from my interview with him for elephantjournal.com:

I lived in Sri Lanka for about twenty-three years. There I observed that the Buddhist temple is the social and cultural hub of the community, and the resident monks are the ones who take the initiative in looking after the well-being of the people, regardless of religion and ethnicity. But as Buddhism is rooting itself in the U.S., I see a danger that it might become an elitist methodology for discovering inner peace, or for living happily in the here and now, at the cost of its capacity for transforming broader systemic causes of suffering. It seems to me that both the ultimate liberative goal of the Buddha’s teaching, and the active compassionate application of the Dharma to the alleviation of socially caused suffering, are at risk of being pushed to the sidelines in favor of a “feel good about yourself” version of Buddhism, or a Buddhism that functions as a mere existential psychotherapy. This risk is especially serious as Buddhism becomes integrated into mainstream American culture. Buddhist Global Relief aims to provoke a sense of what I call “conscientious compassion,” the attempt to give active expression to compassion through concrete measures aimed at alleviating real human suffering even of the most demeaning kind.

Can’t Walk with Buddhist Global Relief? A Donation Can Help…

This from our friends at Buddhist Global Relief:

Can’t walk with us?
A small donation can go a long way!

$10 can provide vitamin A capsules for 10 malnourished Nigerian children for a full year

$57 can provide emergency food supplies for one month for a hungry South African family

$72 can provide 500 meals to unfed hospital patients
in Vietnam