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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!

Sometimes illness or a hectic schedule keeps us from attending a class — or the class is so profound we want to hear Geshe Gelek again. Thanks to our media master Chris Baranski, all classes are recorded and made available for download from the computer in our lobby area. Thanks also to the many volunteers, especially Ven. Lhamo, Ven. Choekyi and Sarah Brooks—but many others! — who make sure each class is recorded.

Thank you all!


A big round of applause for Kara Weilding for lending her experience and expertise to last week’s performance of Prince Siddhartha. She transformed a few words on a page into a script with acts and scenes, and transformed a group of kids into a cast of characters. And a huge thank you to the Mitra family for providing costumes and stepping in last-minute to fill important roles.

Thank you all!

We celebrated Compassion Day — His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s birthday — this year with art projects for the children and kata offerings in the gompa. Many thanks to David Strevel, Julia McCollum and Erda Estremera for documenting the festivities in photos.

Thank you all!


Our kitchen sink has a new faucet with a spray hose and a water purifying filter. Many thanks Kevin Shanahan for installing the new fixtures so we can offer the purest water on our altar.

Thank you, Kevin!


   Our stupa pinnacle is now gilded in gold, thanks to the kindness of Troy and Mer Stafford (and their daughters Maddy, Maude and Mia), who came down from Maine and volunteered their expertise in the process. They also very kindly opened the offerings to all of us, so that anyone who had sponsored a sheet of gold leaf could make the offering hands-on and establish a close karmic connection with the stupa. Many thanks also to Sarah Brooks for opening her home to the Stafford family, and to Jill Marie and David and Elise Strevel for entertaining their younger daughters during some work days.

Thank you all!


Ever since moving into their home a couple of years ago, Geshe Gelek and Geshe Sangpo have received the loving care of their “Mom” Cherie Sutorus. Cherie helps with appointments, travel reservations, taxes, working with  various bureaucracies and every kind of little errand and assistance they need. Her support allows them to dedicate their time and energy to the Dharma.

Thank you, Cherie!


Our bookstore offers a rich variety of materials for students of Buddhism, from basic introductory texts to detailed discourses on the lamrim. There are books by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche as well as many contemporary Buddhist scholars in other lineages. The store also provide books that complement current classes or visiting teachers. Overseeing this wealth of wisdom is our long-time bookstore manager, Dan Brooks.

Thank you, Dan!


When you arrive at Kadampa Center on a Sunday morning, there’s someone there to greet you with a bulletin. If you’re new and want to learn more, or if you want to join Kadampa Center, there’s an orientation to help you. Want to meet others? There’s a social event such as a movie. Got a question, there’s someone who knows the answers. One person may not do all of this, but one person — Sandy Carlson, our membership coordinator — organizes and over-sees all that goes into making Kadampa Center a warm and welcoming place.

Thank you, Sandy!

Several times a week, Julie Cox has been tutoring Geshe Sangpo and two Taiwanese college students who are friends of his, helping them learn English.
Thank you, Julie!

After discovering that a pipe had leaked at Geshe Gelek's house, Stephanie Smith and Son Pham rolled up their sleeves and did a long, messy cleanup.
Thank you, Steep and Son!

When you arrive at Kadampa Center on Sunday mornings, you’ll likely get a cheerful smile from the youngest of our greeters, Layla, who is on hand to give you a bulletin,  get answers to your questions, and help you feel at home.


Recently the Center's flowering plant beds (which add to the offerings in the gompa) have been kindly tended through separate efforts by Traci Haas-Thompson and Jeannette White. We rejoice in the beauty that these efforts yield!

Thank you, Traci and Jeannette!

With at least one video camera (often more) at the ready, Sandy and John Carlson document many of Kadamp Center's events for future reference. This great kindness helps not only our current members but also our future Kadampa community. Thank you John and Sandy!

The wonderful job of filling and blessing the Stupa was also hot and hungry-making work – but thanks to Elise Strevel and Barb Baranski, there was plenty of delicious food and refreshing drinks to replenish all who came to help.

Our dear Venerable Tendron has served Kadampa Center in so many ways these past five years — as Spiritual Program Coordinator, teacher, board and management team member, bookkeeper, counselor, Dharma friend. She expanded our schedule of classes, organized the Light of the Path retreat at Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s request and assisted Geshe Gelek. Now she heads to Chenrezig Institute in Australia to continue her studies. We wish her well!

Once a month we gather for shared food -- always a delicious mix of savory dishes! -- and socializing at our potluck lunches. For more than a year, Trilby Berger has coordinated our potlucks, organizing sponsors, helping with setup and cleanup, and getting the word out for all to come.

As our stupa gets closer to completion, the cedar and juniper team continues to gather fragrant branches to grind and bake for filling the stupa. On a recent weekday, Jeannette White, Patrick McGinity, Scott Miller and Chris Baranski tootled out to Noland’s farm to disassemble and bag up collect 40 pounds of eastern red cedar donated by Noland.

It took a lot of scrubbing and elbow grease, but with many willing hands we cleaned and polished the prayer wheels recently donated to the Center. Many thanks to Geshe Gelek, Geshe Sangpo, Ven. Tendron, Ven. Lhamo, Ven. Choekyi, Susan Boehm, Sarah Brooks, Mona Samet, Paul Pierce, Yuhuei Pierce, Kim Goll, Cherie Sutorus, Scott Miller, Tom Aldi, Sherri Harmon, Liz Rourke and Elise Strevel.

Planting time has arrived for our veggie garden, and this year we have four raised beds full of rich, loamy soil, thanks to the generous donation of time and materials from Joey Gooch and Brenda Hollifield. On Sunday, Joey and his class of students planted cucumbers, yellow squash, tomatoes and sunflowers -- including some plants donated by Kim Goll and Kim Lillig --  as well as some pest-repelling flowers. We look forward to a wonderful bounty for the hungry!

Thank you, Joey, Brenda and our students!

Our High School Youth Group meets on a Sunday afternoon every month for pizza, talk and camaraderie. Many thanks to Venerabl Choekyi and David Machles, who coordinate the meetings and make this social event possible for our teens.