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Merit Makers

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.

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.

Lots of folks joined in at our Spring Merit Mashup, beautifying the center both inside and out. Our gang weeded, planted and moved flowers, prepared ground around the stupa for seeding, cleaned inside and topped off the morning with a pizza lunch.

Noland’s farm provides a wonderful environment in the country for our weekend retreats, but there’s still a lot of work to create a pleasant, clean environment for peaceful transformation. Many thanks to this spring’s team  of volunteers who headed out a week in advance to clean, move furniture and make the place beautiful: Ven.

Our summer garden is on the way to being a reality, thanks to all who came out Saturday to dig, transplant and move things around.

Many people are involved in making a retreat successful — our Spiritual Program Coordinator, who works with Geshe Gelek to design the program, a fabulous cooking team to provide meals for the retreatants, our web team to set up the registration page, the bookkeeping team to process payments, and the retreatants themselves  who come to take advantage of the opportunity to do deep practice.

Over the past few weeks during the final push to complete the stupa, many hands have come out to help get the work done.  It’s hungry work, but Richard Potter has ensured that no one need work on an empty belly. Day after day he has  provided delicious homemade lunches to our stupa volunteers.

Thank you, Richard!


It’s so welcoming to come into a space that’s clean and orderly. We have many volunteers who help clean our center on a weekly basis, and last weekend a special team came in to do seasonal deep cleaning. Many thanks to  Kim Goll, Susan Boehm, Peter Cranford, Sylvia Hill, Erin Sloan, Patrick McGinity, Ven. Choekyi, Denise Flora, Caeman Toombs and Deann Washington.

Our bookstore offers not only Dharma books but also a wide range of   items such as malas, shawls, monastery bags and greeting cards. Kolleen Mitchell, who has recently joined the bookstore team, brings a spark of fun to the store and works to keep the displays lively, creative and welcoming.

Thank you, Kolleen!

Construction of our beautiful stupa and the meditation garden surrounding it has flourished under the drive and guidance of Patrick McGinity and David Strevel.  Over the past two years, they have worked with Jampel on engineering designs, obtained building permits, coordinated volunteers, raised and deconstructed scaffolding, and fine-tuned plans for the circumambulation path around the stupa.

It's very inspiring to see a clean and shiny altar, and cleaning is a wonderful offering to the Buddhas and the center.

Thanks to Traci and Guillermo Haas-Thompson, Carol Vogel, Susan Boehm, Joey Gooch, and Marita Schlesser for spending a Saturday afternoon cleaning our altar and polishing statues to golden brilliance.

Thank you, all!

Our children have the benefit of a rich curriculum that exposes them to the basic concepts of Buddhism as well as the traditions of our own Gelugpa lineage.  
Coordinating both our Sunday programs and other activities for children, Erin Sloan works hard, with a strong corps of volunteers, to develop learning opportunities for our children.  
Thank you, Erin!

Every month we receive numerous requests from students wanting to visit the center or speak with someone so they can learn more about Buddhism for a school project or paper.  Elise Strevel coordinates our response to student requests, working hard to accommodate their needs.

Thank you, Elise!

Most of the prayers and practices we use at Kadampa Center are from the FPMT and need to printed or copied. David Machles and Karen Mastroianni generously have donated the use of their printer over a long period of time to make these copies available to us.

Thank you, David and Karen!

As Jampel worked on the final concrete ornaments for the stupa, Jill Medford stepped in and offered invaluable help, making decorative molds and helping all around. She jumped in at a moment’s notice, and worked cheerfully in the cold and the rain, helping to complete this phase of the stupa. 

Thank you, Jill!

A wonderful team of folks dived into action the first week in December and put together our delightful Season of Giving holiday party. On very short notice, these big-hearted folks organized a tree, ornaments, age-appropriate gifts, financial sponsorship, a potluck lunch, and a giant helping of holiday spirit.

We decorated the Center for the holidays on Lama Tsongkhapa Day, making light offerings at the entry to the parking lot and the building with luminarias.  A crew of young people created the luminarias — decorating the bags, filling them with sand, adding candles, and setting them in place.