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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!

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!

Summer at our center has brought a pause in our typically full class schedule so that all of our wonderful volunteer class leaders and
facilitators can get enjoy some well-deserved rest and rejuvenation.

We are so grateful to have such generous members to help make the teachings available to all.

Feeling a little hot lately? Our lovely flowers have also been trying to survive these sweaty days and are hanging in there due to the efforts of Joey Gooch, Michael Flaherty, and Donna Seese,  who have been watering and trying to come up with and implement new strategies to help keep our center blooming.
   Thanks so much!

   Earlier this spring, Scott Miller put a call out for some folks to be part of a team to keep our lawns looking lush and beautiful and well groomed for the coming months. 
   Meg Brown, Peter Murphy, Kevin Murphy, Paul Krebs, Bryce Arghiere, Monica Schario, Scott Dickerson, Glen Hunt, and Stephanie Smith responded and have been taking turns keeping our grounds looking sharp.
   Thanks so much for all your hard work!

    Our Spiritual Director Lama Zopa Rinpoche has advised all FPMT centers to do Sur Offering Practice daily in order to be successful. This practice
involves the mixing of ingredients and the burning of a food offering to create an aroma offering. It is possible for a student to do the practice on
behalf of an entire center and that is exactly what some dedicated volunteers have been engaged in over the last several months.
    Currently, Jeffifer Shoemaker is graciously doing this offering.
    Thank you Jeffifer!

A big thanks to all those who contributed in making our most recent retreat so beneficial. Our gratitude goes out to Geshe Gelek for teaching,
Suzanne for coordinating, Kim for feeding the gathering, Sandy, Patti and Lisa for taking care of the Sangha,  Noland for freely offering the farm as the setting, and everyone who attended, pitching in and helping as needed.

Last week’s Potluck and Celebration for Geshe Sangpo was a great success, with so many coming to share in the festivities. Thanks to Venerable Khando, Tim, Kim, Jill Marie, Patti and Hemant, Sandy and John, David and Elise, Christina, Louise, Suzanne, Dwight, Michael, Chris, Anna, Joey, Donna, Octavio and Karen, Ray, and all those who jumped in to help out where help was needed. The food was great and the company was wonderful.
   Thanks to all the old timers and the newbies for making our center such a supportive and caring environment.

   Recently, our dear Sangha blessed many statues and assorted prayer flags and malas for the benefit of some center member’s home practice. Many hands were involved to make this all come together, including Louise and Tim who organized mantra rolling, Chris for his juniper offering, Guillermo for digitalizing mantras,  Christine and Julie for preparing and serving a feast for all the participants, and all those who helped and took part in the event.       
   May all the prayers to the newly consecrated statues be of the highest benefit to all sentient beings.

Our gardens are ready for summer blooms, with new plantings of zinnias, marigolds, asters and other pretties. Check out the hostas and hellebores  lining the north side of the building, creating more beauty for all to enjoy, and notice the nicely pruned bushes by the prayer wheels!
   Big thanks to Joey Gooch and Christine Wiecek for lots of advance prep work as well as work on the day, and to Mike Flaherty, Glen Hunt, Paul Krebs, Julie Quetel, Donna Seese, Elise Strevel and Bill Sweet for their labors of love.

     One of the highlights of Sunday’s teachings is the enthusiastic presence of our youngest generation. The smiles and happy voices joining in to sing
mantras bring many of us great delight. This growing program is staffed by very generous adults who give so freely of themselves to allow parents to participate in the teachings and to provide a Buddhist framework to help the children navigate through their young lives.
     Thanks to Linda Saah for leading a special, all-ages class this past Sunday. She read one of our favorite jataka tales about a turtle who gets into trouble when he talks instead of keeping quiet, and brought live turtles for fun and education, including caring for our animal friends.
     Thanks to Vincent Batts and Shannon Blackwood for caring for our younger friends during this time and helping six of our preschoolers enjoy class with Linda. Thanks to Virginia Maier, Jennifer Sanford-Johnson, Sue Stern, and David Kiker who all assisted with our very full class, ensuring a delightful morning.      
A big thanks to everyone connected to our wonderful children’s program!                                                                                                                        

Our Spiritual Director Lama Zopa Rinpoche has advised all FPMT centers to do Sur Offering Practice daily in order to be successful. This practice involves the mixing of ingredients and the burning of a food offering to create an aroma offering. It is possible for a student to do the practice on behalf of an entire center and that is exactly what some dedicated volunteers have been engaged in over the  last several months. Currently, Louise Miller is graciously doing this offering.
   Thank you Louise!

   Recently, Geshe Gelek led a Chenrezig Mani Retreat at the center, during which, more than twenty-three participants recited over 111,413 mantras together while thinking positive thoughts.
   Geshe-la said that there's no doubt that because we did these mantras, it will definitely help our community and Kadampa Center - when people practice and attend the center, it for sure makes a positive difference.
   Geshe-la hopes we will do another Mani retreat next year, and make this a regular practice to help our center.
   Thanks so much to all who participated and to those who helped organize and run this wonderful retreat, including Tim Powell for
organizing the potluck, Brian Dyer for media and water bowls, and Sarah Brooks for coordinating.

   A big thanks this week to our accountant, Christine Allen, for balancing our books, paying our bills, reimbursing our members, and working diligently with others to bring the Center up to date with some new programs that will be very helpful in the long run.
   Thanks Christine for putting your heart into all you do!

   On a recent Saturday night, our center was filled with wonderful sounds and deep feelings of goodwill, as an interfaith group supporting Habitat for Humanity came together to raise funds and awareness for building projects in Wake County. So much goes into putting on a show like this, both behind the scenes and on the stage and we would like to thank all of those who had a part, big or small, in sharing this with us.
   Thanks to Elise and David Strevel, Sandy and John Carlson, Suzi Boehm, Pat Long, Michael Flaherty, Joey Gooch, Sarah Brooks, Robbie Watkins, Dan McFarland, Renee Revaz, Triangle Alliance Choir, One Human Family, Mary Callan Kelso & Michael Raul Perez from Liz LaBelle’s Music Studio, and everyone who came out to take part in our second annual Harmony for  Habitat event.

   A big thanks to Kim Lillig, our Membership Team Leader, for all of her efforts, including the production of a beautiful, updated Membership Handout.

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