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Merit Makers

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

Many of us get our first taste of the Dharma through one of our introductory courses — Meditation 101 and Buddhism in a Nutshell. A wonderful group of senior students leads these courses, helping to open the door to the Buddha’s teachings. We’re so grateful to them! Our big thanks to Ven. Lhamo, Ven. Khando, Ven. Choekyi, Sandy Carlson, Karen Mastroianni, Elise Strevel, David Machles, Scott Miller and Hemant Pandya.

Thanks go out this week to our former bookstore manger Cherie Sutorus. Cherie has decided to step down as manager after many years of volunteering in our fabulous bookstore. She oversaw the relocation and design of it's beautiful current location as well as the procedural changes of a new register and it's helpful ease of use. Cherie supports and manages a volunteer staff of 7 comprised of 2 managers for merchandise and books, Kolleen and Dan, plus 5 check out staff. Of utmost wonder is how Cherie managed this year's LOP retreat with sales that support our ability to fulfill Lama Zopa Rinpoche's wishes.
Thank you for your loving years of service to the Center Cherie!

Thanks go out this week to Erin Sloan for kitchen magic! From time to time kitchen cabinets bust at the seams and need to be culled out. Erin took on this task with gusto and is making our KC kitchen more functional and user friendly. She has worked many hours during the day and after classes at night. Thank you Erin for all your hard work behind the scenes!

Thanks go out this week for a behind the scenes helper, Michael Flaherty. Most of you would never know the wonderful things that Michael does at the Center since he has a "call when you need me" approach. He has opened, picked up, dropped off, repaired, moved, touched up and driven whenever we ask. "Happy to do" is reflected in Michael's smile. If you want to catch him to say thanks, drop in any weekday at 8 am when he opens the door for our morning meditators. Thanks Michael!

How lovely to come back into our gompa after the Light of the Path retreat and see the face-lift that our altar received. The beautiful blue background gives the illusion of clear sky beyond, and opens up the whole room.
Many thanks to Joan Lacey and her husband for painting the altar wall!

We were blessed last month with a visit from Lama Zopa Rinpoche for a day of teachings here in Raleigh and a two-week retreat in Black Mountain. Dozens of committed Dharmateers pitched in to make these amazing events possible. People helped in so many ways — greeting folks at the door, setting up and cleaning up, packing and moving a truckload of materials to the retreat, providing food, offering flowers, planning details, renting chairs — and much, much more! Every offering of service was essential to the whole, and every moment of service is deeply appreciated!

Thanks to all in our community who helped to make it happen!

The Light of the Path retreat is truly a dependent arising and could only exist through the efforts of many, many people. While dozens of people contributed to the success of this year’s retreat, special thanks go to the core group of planners who gave countless hours of joyful effort, beginning eight to ten months in advance, to creating a retreat that was truly an offering to Lama Zopa Rinpoche and our fellow FPMT students.
Big thanks to Joanna Smith, Cherie Sutorus, and Karen Edwards for their dedication and hard work!

Thanks go to those who stayed in Raleigh during the Light of the Path retreat to keep things moving along. You helped those who were away to have a peaceful mind by your offering of service. It takes the whole team to make our Center thrive, so thank you for your team effort!

There are so many people to thank for the preparation of Lama Zopa Rinpoche's visit and for Light of the Path retreat in Black Mountain that we couldn't fit them in this note! So thank you, thank you, thank you to all y'all. You are very appreciated. May your merit expand exponentially!

Thanks to all the gardeners that helped get the Center gardens clean, tidy and weed free! You are lovingly appreciated. Without helpful people like you, the Center wouldn't nearly be as beautiful as it is for the arrival of Rinpoche. Gardening hats off to you!

Lama Zopa Rinpoche will be teaching right here Saturday — how amazing! Untold hours of planning, organizing, getting supplies, recruiting volunteers, and attending to countless details are going into this rare visit by our teacher. Huge thanks go out to Kim Lillig and Susan Potter, who have been working since February to make his visit a success. And big thanks to the dozens of volunteers helping Kim and Susan. Our success depends on all of you — Thanks!

Thanks go out this week to a group of heroes that withstood the astounding heat in the education building when the AC went out. We're sorry for the uncomfortable situation and praise you for a great job in giving kids mindful meditations on temporal conditions.
Sue Stern, Maya McElrath, Jorie Walker, Vincent Batts and Joey Gooch. Thank you for you mindful calm resilience in the face of drenching heat last Sunday!

A very special thanks goes out this week to Joanna Smith. Among the many tasks Joanna takes care of for us at the Center, she has done an A+ job as a Program Assistant during the 2 year Discovering Buddhism course. Joanna not only filled the needs of the students with materials, communication and explanations, she assisted the teachers in what ever was required to make their class go smoothly. Thank you Joanna for your tireless service towards the Discovering Buddhism Program and for fulfilling the wishes of FPMT and our precious Teachers. The graduates thank you, the teachers thank you and the Center thanks you!

This week we'd like to thank David Strevel for his untiring effort to help the office prepare to transition towards a new operating system. For many months, David has researched, discussed and helped our Center Manager make sure "Realm" is the perfect fit for our organization. He even traveled with Amanda and Jill to Baltimore where they attended a painstakingly detailed conference to learn about Realm. This new system will allow our members and guests to update their own financial and personal data as well as promote connections via communications and socialization. Realm's intuitive system will save time and money on many fronts. We know the Center, it's members and the office will benefit from this harmonious, financially responsible decision. Thank you David for all your effort toward this goal.

We can start sending our altruistic wishes spinning through the universe as we enter the gompa now, thanks to the prayer wheels by the door. Many thanks to Patrick McGinity for building the case to hold them and installing it on the wall! Remember to dedicate for the benefit of others when you spin them. Thank you, Patrick!

Here's a shout out to all of you who help without being asked and work diligently with no title or position to keep the Center thriving. We know you pick up trash in the parking lot, wash the dishes, empty and fill the water bowls, drive people who need rides, tidy up the cushions, return a bulletin to the stack, benefit the Center by circumambulating and a million more ways. Little things go unnoticed and we want you to thank you for every 'little' thing you do!

This week we want to honor and thank Shankha Mitra for his 8 years of dedication to the Board of Directors. Shankha brought his business and logical skills to the Board every month even serving as President for awhile. Thank you for your joyful effort and patience through the years Shankha. You will be missed at the board meetings!

We couldn't have visiting teachers without the help of our wonderful volunteers, who do all the hidden work behind the scenes. Big thanks to Suzy Boehm, Venerable Khando, Elise and David Strevel, Chris Baranski, Brian Dyer, Karen Mastroianni, David Machles, Joan Lacey, Sandy Carlson, Karen Edwards, Bob Brown and Jill Marie. Thanks to you all!

An enormous thanks goes out to the Family Dharma Camp volunteers! This year's camp was amazing and we couldn't have done it without the loving support of our Families that attended. Thank you to all the Sangha who came in support of the program and the leaders in our community that pitched in where need be.
There is no way this could have happened without the enormous amount of work, hours and labor of love that Karen Edwards and Christy Batts put into this year's successful camp. Thanks to all of you!

What a wonderful visit we had last week from the monks of Sera Mey Monastery, who performed a magnificent Medicine Buddha Puja and offered wisdom about the seven Medicine Buddhas on Sunday! Many thanks to all who helped make it happen: rearranging the gompa, setting up and taking down offerings, helping with their little shop. Our amazing efforts support the education of monks in their debate court, helping to keep the Dharma alive!

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