Skip directly to content

Merit Makers

Every week, there are seen and unseen heroes that help keep Kadampa Center running.
Here are just a few!

Cleaning our shared space at Kadampa Center is a twofer -- purification practice while serving others! Our rockin' crew came to clean every nook and cranny
before Venerable René's visit, singing, smiling and shining every surface.
   BIG thanks to:  Peter Cranford, Michele Matich, Lindsey Street, Lisa Besso, Kim   Lillig, Jen Sanford-Johnson and of course Jill Marie!
Thank you all!

During our weekend of statue filling and blessing, our team of volunteers worked long, hungry hours. Christy Batts came to the rescue, cooking a delicious and healthy meal for 15 people who came to help fill the statues for blessing. She managed to create a gorgeous lunch with special diets, no allergens and no black foods - now that's talent!
  Thank you, Christy! 

Our thriving community enjoys so many wonderful classes and resources -- and those resources are here for us in part because of the dedicated work of our bookkeeper, Joanna Smith.  Joanna keeps on top of paying our bills, reconciling bank accounts, and making sure everything is in order financially.  We couldn't do what we do without her cheerfully offered work.
Thank you, Joanna!

Tim Powell and Carol Laing for coordinating logistics on Sunday mornings - every session they provide much needed assistance making the programs run smoothly and helping our teachers. We are very grateful!
Thanks Tim and Carol!

Some of the most important work supporting our community goes on quietly in the office, in the mundane tasks of bookkeeping. For many years, Cherie Sutorus has helped make deposits, track credit card payments and organize our records, always with a happy spirit.
Thank you, Cherie!

     For more than a decade, Robbie Watkins has served our community as our Kadampa Center Director. Drawing on his many years of Dharma practice, Robbie works with a light touch, welcoming all and always guiding us with an eye to serving the wishes of our teachers, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Geshe Gelek, and to benefiting all sentient beings.

Thank you, Robbie!

Our Kadampa Center bookstore has expanded its offerings in the past year, thanks to Kolleen Mitchell, our retail sales manager for the store. Under

Kolleen’s enthusiastic guidance, the store’s selections have grown to include an altar and practice section, a section of items for animal welfare, T-shirts and  shoulder bags, and much more.

 Thank you, Kolleen!


Geshe Gelek often mentions that practicing together in a group increases the merit — each of us benefits from the merit and experience of those sharing the practice. We provide a daily opportunity for shared meditation practice at 7:30 a.m., thanks to the kindness of our meditation leaders: Kathleen Newport, who coordinates the meditation leaders, and Adam Atri, Barb Baranski, Colin Eckhart, Rosemary O'Day, Jill Marie, Richard Potter, Royden Saah, Andre Smith, Carol Vogel and Heidi Von Ludewig. Thank you all!

Over the course of several months, our kitchen has slowly started to look and function better, with the addition of ’new’ cabinets, sinks and countertops. Many thanks to David and Elise Strevel and Donna for donating gently used cabinets, and to Patrick McGinity, Joey Gooch, Susan Daniel, Kim Goll, Kim Lillig and Jampel for much work installing everything.

 Thank you, all!


We have a well-stocked library with a variety of texts, video and audio  covering a wide range of Dharma and related topics. Our library is coordinated by Liz Rourke, who makes its rich resources available to our members.  
 Thank you, Liz!

We use dried and ground cedar and juniper trees to fill holy objects such as statues. A couple of cedar trees recently came our way, and Noah Wright and Chris Baranski put in many hours of work chopping and drying them for future use.

Thank you, Noah and Chris!

In the midst of a tropical storm and torrential rains, Kadampa Center held our first offsite Family Camp at Noland’s farm this month. Everyone had a fabulous time, and it all arose in dependence on the kindness of many volunteers. While many parents had official roles,  all the parents helped out in many ways! 

    Big thanks to: Kara Weilding — coordinator, Lee Clark — kitchen cleanup,  Sarah Wright — art, Valerie Jones — coordinator,  Rob Warren — cook, Keith Ferreira — drama,  Vincent Batts — meditation,  Brian Wright — meditation,  Don Brown - parent

  All the parents are very thankful for our non-camper adult helpers and special visitors. We couldn't have done it without  Geshe Gelek, Geshe Sangpo,   Venerable Choekyi, Venerable Lhamo — discussion, Joey Gooch — nature, Elise Strevel — planning and cook, Sandy Carlson and Sarah Brooks — Saturday activities,   Barb Baranski, Chris Baranski — cooks for taco night! and Suzanne Weigand — orientation and cleanup.

Big thanks to all!


     The summer gardens got a facelift at the June garden work day. Helping to weed, put down weed cloth, mulch the gardens, and plant a few more summer bulbs were Karma Lhundup, Kevin Murphy, Kim Goll, and Carol Vogel.

Thank you all!

Our Kadampa Café had been dormant for several years when, this past winter, Siddhi Shonibare took on the task of reviving it.  Siddhi envisioned a  vibrant enterprise that would offer delicious goodies to our members while also providing income to support our center.  She recruited a great team of volunteer bakers to provide a consistent stream of delightful delicacies.  With the Café now on a firm foundation, Siddhi is turning her energies to  other activities.

Thank you, Siddhi!

Our recent Inside Happiness event was a great success, thanks to the hard work of many volunteers who organized a venue, tickets, publicity, a raffle  and Kadampa Café baked goodies for folks to buy.  Many thanks to Venerable Choekyi, Steep Smith, Sandy Carlson, Elise Strevel, Julie Cox, Jim Barnes, Jeffifer Shoemaker, Barb and Chris Baranski, Louise Miller, Marianne Hartman, Christy Batts, Traci and Guillermo Haas-Thompson, Karen Mastroianni, and Becky                                       

Thank you all!

The first step before we sit down to practice is to create a clean environment.
Every week, Suzy Boehm comes and cleans our gompa; mopping the floors, vacuuming the cushions, tidying the prayer books and creating a clean, welcoming place for our community to practice and hear teachings.
Thank you, Suzy!

Much is happening in our gardens and grounds this spring, thanks to our garden team. This dedicated crew of green thumbs has planted our summer flower beds, weeded and watered, begun landscaping around the stupa and prepared beds in the gravel are for future plantings. In addition, they are working on a master plan for the gardens and grounds. Many thanks to team coordinators Jacqui Harris, Carol Vogel and Kim Goll and all the volunteers who help weed, water, dig, plant and nurture our gardens. Thank you all!

When we consecrate our stupa this Saturday, we can thank numberless beings who contributed to its creation — from the many volunteers who labored to build and paint it to the makers of bricks, concrete, wheelbarrows, the paper the mantras are printed on, and so on. We could not have built the stupa without the kindness of all these numberless beings. Thanks to all!

Our lawns stay trim and neat with the help of Kadampa Center’s mighty mowing team. Many thanks to our mowers, Josh, Zak and Scott Dickerson, Marianne Hartman, Monica Schario, Al Maginnes, Keith Ferreira, Lisa Matthews, Matilda Parker, Noah Wright and our mower coordinator, Scott Miller. Thank you all!

Our children have their part in beautifying the grounds around Kadampa Center.  At the last family fun day, the children created stepping stones for the gardens. Many thanks to Monica and Greg Schario for providing concrete and forms and to Erin Sloan and Chantel Smith for hosting the day and providing decorative elements for the stones. Last, thanks to the children and their parents for their energy and creativity.

Thank you all!