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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!

Our delightful kitchen at the center is a happening place for us all, and this week it was given a vast amount of love and attention by Arlene Van Ryckeghem, our wonderful new volunteer kitchen fairy. Arlene will utilize her organizational skills to make sure the kitchen is nice and tidy for us all each week. How wonderful! Thank you, Arlene for your hard work, we will all benefit!

Every aspect of the Annual Appeal is the result of the joyful efforts of many dedicated and hard working helpers. This week, our lovely volunteers folded many wish lists and stuffed many envelopes, with Suzanne Wiegand as fearless leader! We thank them for their tremendous contributions of time and effort. Donna Seese, Joey Gooch, Jill Marie, Laura Carballo, Julia McCollum, Cherie Sutorus, Kim Lillig, Diane Meyer, Lee Clark, Christine Weicek, Rene LaReau, Michael Flarehty, Meagan (a visitor!), Elisa and David Strevel, Matilda Parker, Pat Long, Jeff Suss, Bob Brown, and Jaya Reddy.  There is an abundance of gratitude for you all!

Many thanks go out to our Dharma Sowers Group, who spent their time and joyful effort last Saturday sewing fabric backs to hold prayer books for the new chairs in the gompa. Not only are the new chairs spiffy, they are functional too! We all appreciate the hard work and dedication our fabulous volunteers put in. Thank you to Venerable Tendron, Kim Lillig, Joanna Smith and Jill Marie for all of your awesome work!

Our Center was buzzing with activity on Lha Bab Duchen, from the taking of the Eight Mahayana Precepts before dawn to     celebrating Shakyamuni Buddha puja in the evening.  These   practices can only happen with the help of volunteers who    provide breakfast after precepts, set up the gompa and offerings for puja and then take it all down afterward.  Special thanks also to Patrick McGinity, our wonderful holy days coordinator!

We are so thankful to Elise Strevel for her kind donation of a Keurig machine. Now Robbie gets his cup of coffee lickety split when he walks in Sunday morning. It's easy to make a hot beverage and is a wonderful addition to our Kadampa Cafe.Thanks Elise!

Thanks go out to Joey Gooch and Peter Murphy for their joyful effort in procuring and delivering our new chairs for the gompa! Their hard work and dedication in traveling to pick up the chairs and deliver them back to the center will be enjoyed by the many sentient beings that benefit from our teachings in the gompa. Thank you both!

Our popular introductory classes, Buddhism in a Nutshell and Meditation 101, couldn't happen without the vital support of our program assistants, who open the building and prepare the gompa for class, provide whatever assistance the teacher needs, and secure the Center after class. Big thanks to Jeff Suss and Christopher Currie for helping with this fall's classes!
The crew dug up and replanted perennials, planted bulbs, mums and pansies for winter and spring blooms, and placed bricks in front of the prayer wheels to prevent mud on rainy days.

Big thanks to our wonderful members who support retreats from behind the scenes. Suzanne Weigand is the master of logistics, keeping tabs on all that needs doing, while Sandy Carlson and Lisa James keep Geshe Gelek's rooms clean and prepare meals for him. Thanks also to Noland Thuss for offering his beautiful farm, so conducive to contemplation! Thanks to all!

Big heartfelt thanks to Joey Gooch and Patrick McGinity for their work on our new pergola! 

The Sunday morning teen class can now enjoy the fresh air with a roof over their head. The first phase is complete and the second phase, over the Buddha, is to begin mid October. Thanks for the hard labor guys!

From Your Saturday Cleaning Leader:

We had an amazing cleaning crew of 5 today. They worked so hard that I thought they were double the number of people. 

Ashlee Williams came after her night shift at the hospital and started at the top and went to the bottom. She worked on the bookstore, front desk, library and shoe area dusting near the ceiling and washing walls. Ashlee went on to dust the bookstore and library as well as clean the entire shoe area and front desk. I’m sure that I missed some of what she did because I was in the gompa.

Bob Brown was a whirlwind of activity the entire time. He came to clean the center in lieu of his yoga class and got quite a workout. He swept, vacuumed and mopped the front desk area, library, bookstore, children’s room and shoe area and totally cleaned both bathrooms. In between all that he did some other tasks, but I couldn’t keep up. 

David Strevel came to take pictures of the workers and stayed to brush off the cushions in the gompa as well. He got some action shots too.

Joanna Smith came out of the blue and worked in the gompa with me (Suzy Boehm). We each saved at least one sentient being from death-by-cleaning. I swept and mopped the stage and cleaned the front area and altar rug before Joanna arrived. We both took off in a literal cloud of dust moving cushions and furniture, sweeping, mopping (Joanna did most of that), and straightening and cleaning the pews. As icing on the cake, Joanna moved all the tray tables and mopped under them.

We may not have finished all the quarterly tasks but we accomplished more than expected given our number of cleaners.

Kind readers, please consider attending the next quarterly cleaning to build up merit and friendships. We all benefit so much from a tidy Kadampa Center.

An enormous debt of gratitude goes out to Jackie Scott for her untiring effort at investigating, researching, creating and managing Salesforce for us for the last 1 1/2 years. Her efforts were matched by her determination to help our Center become more organized and efficient. We have just begun to tap into its vast capabilities and look forward to all it has to offer in the future. Jackie has passed the baton to Sheila Parker who is serving as interim Salesforce Admin. Thank you Jackie!

Over the summer, Kadampa Center chose its first ever Center Manager, Jill Marie. Since early July, Jill has invested tirelessly in getting to know how things were working and how they could be fine tuned. She has met with many among the Kadampa Community and given them a chance to share their thoughts and feelings on how the Center could best operate for the highest benefit for all. Thanks so much to Jill for her genuine and passionate efforts to help grow a flourishing Kadampa Center.

Thanks so much to our kind and generous community for supporting the Center’s August drive to collect eyeglasses. We brought in 18 pairs of reading glasses; 6 pairs of prescription sunglasses; and 38 pairs ofprescription glasses for a  total of 62 pairs of eyeglasses!These glasses will be distributed to those who need them during a Free Health Care Day on September 19, held by The Raleigh Sai Center and Pullen Baptist Church .Thanks so much to each of you  and to our tirelessOutreach Coordinator, Elise Strevel, who inspires us with  wonderful opportunities for generosity.

Over the past two years, center members Susan and Richard Potter have  been ambassadors of generosity and hospitality, hosting and caring for our Stupa artist Jampel, as well as providing him with space to paint and helping him get visas for his family, among countless other things.                                                                                                    

Thanks to Susan and Richard for providing such  great examples of putting into practice all the wonderful teachings we receive here at our Center.

Most Sunday mornings at our Center, a thoughtful individual or two comes in a bit early to prepare to greet the crowd that arrives to hear the teachings. Lately, that team has consisted of Steve and Marian Hale, and very recently they have been joined by Miranda Benson.
Thanks so much to these kind folks for sharing their smiles andhelping both the regulars and the new arrivals to feel more comfortable.

Special thanks to Barb Baranski, Herb Cunningham, Amanda Henry, Amanda El Jaohouri, Andre Smith, Ashlee Williams, David DeSouza, David Machles, Karen Mastroianni, Kurt Latimer, Steve Magers and Steven Killion for sharing your experiences working with the Kadampa Center Prison Project in the presentation on Sunday. The positive seeds of karma planted through your time and effort make the world a little brighter for folks in really challenging environments. Truly, compassion in action!

Our Vajrasattva purification retreat was a wonderful experience away from the bustle of daily life., clearing up negative karma.

So many people made it possible, beginning with Geshe Gelek, who planted the seed with monthly Saturday teachings on Vajrasattva purification practice as well as an emphasis on purification in his other teachings this year, and who originally intended to lead the retreat.

Special thanks to Don Brown, who stepped up to lead the retreat when Geshe Gelek’s travel schedule changed. Besides leading the retreat itself, Don offered two preparation sessions ahead of time so all participants could gain the maximum benefit.

Our dear Sarah Brooks laid the organizational groundwork, consulting with Geshe-la and Don, and booking the beautiful retreat venue. Jackie Scott put in many hours behind the scenes creating and monitoring online registration.  Suzanne Weigand contributed logistical planning help.

Thanks also to Suzy Boehm, who helped bring supplies back and forth, and the many folks who came early to help with setup and those who helped pack up and then came to the center to unpack and get everything back in place.

The retreat existed in dependence on each of you!  Many thanks!

A big thanks this week to John Castelloe for donating and delivering our new Center mail boxes, and to Joey Gooch for adding the finishing touches.

Another great example of how together, we make a pretty good team!

When a visiting teacher comes to Kadampa Center, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to make sure everything goes smoothly.

The volunteers supporting Venerable Amy’s recent visit did an amazing job: cleaning the center before her arrival, opening the center and preparing the gompa for each teaching session, greeting visitors, providing food, transportation and housing for Venerable Amy, recording and streaming the teachings, setting up and then cleaning up the potluck, bringing food to share at the potluck, bringing flowers for the altar, setting up sponsorships on the website, and arranging private appointments with Venerable Amy.

What a wonderful reflection on our community, that so many lovely people gave so generously of their time to support these teachings and make them available!

Thank you, all!

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