Dear Friend of Insight Meditation South Bay,
Here at Insight Meditation South Bay, we continue to hold our community of meditation friends close to our hearts during this difficult year. We are profoundly aware of the many challenges we face in this time of pandemic, both as individuals and as a community. We cannot meet in-person to offer each other the personal contact and support that our previous gatherings provided. Restrictions on residential retreats limit the depth and intimacy of our meditative development. Some members are suffering through illness or loneliness and the livelihoods of many, including our principal teacher, are threatened.
Yet in darkness, light shines even more brightly. In the face of loss, generosity and kindness soothe the heart. Some fortunate opportunities have arisen, and we have found many gifts during these trying times. We have created online programs to nourish mindfulness, wisdom, and tranquility, gently drawing together friends far and near to meditate and study the dharma. We are coming to understand more deeply that Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha do not depend on physical gatherings, but are commitments of our hearts and minds. We also recognize the tremendous value of our daily practice for getting us through hard times.
We know that now more than ever, these teachings, this sangha, our teachers, and our practice are precious to us. We ask, what can we do to support them? As much as we appreciate our virtual connections and are encouraged by the steady attendance at our online programs, the online events have produced far fewer contributions than what we need to sustain our organization and support our teachers. We calculate our loss of revenue for IMSB operations (not considering Teacher Dana) to be $1500 per month since the restrictions were imposed in mid-March. This is a loss of almost 30% of our monthly budget.
At the same time, our expenses continue.
- Fees for online services have increased.
- We continue to pay rent to the churches where we would normally hold our events, and where we expect to continue to meet when the pandemic subsides. These churches too are suffering from closures and loss of rental income. We feel it is right for us to share the burden and are offering 50% of our usual rent for as long as we are able.
- Dana gifts at our online sitting group have fallen to the point that we routinely augment guest teacher dana to provide a minimally appropriate dana offering.
We are seriously concerned for the financial health of our principal teacher. Residential retreats and daylongs were our teacher’s primary source of dana income. We would like to help sustain her livelihood until gatherings are permitted and these opportunities for receiving teacher dana return.
We come to you knowing that this is a challenging time for many financially, and yet our need feels more urgent than ever before. Last year you generously matched our goal of $35,000. Due to losses from the pandemic closures our needs are considerably greater this year. Our goal for this annual appeal is $54,000. We ask those of you who are able to contribute to consider making a generous, tax-deductible donation to IMSB. Your support is crucial at this time.
With your help, we will continue offering the wisdom and compassion of the Dharma online, prepare for a return of in-person events, and support the facilities and teachers that have nourished our practice in the past and stand ready to do so again as soon as the pandemic subsides. All donations, large and small are appreciated. They provide the material support and encouragement that we need to continue this work. Please help us bring the liberating teachings of the Buddha forward into whatever world awaits us.
Board of Directors, Insight Meditation South Bay
HOW TO DONATE
- Respond directly to this fundraising appeal by mailing a check to
Insight Meditation South Bay
PO Box 490
Menlo Park, CA 94026
- Make a contribution through our website.
- Pledge a recurring donation. Monthly or quarterly recurring gifts help provide a stable stream of revenue throughout the year and enable us to develop a realistic budget for our activities. Recurring donations can be set up through online banking or the donation options on the IMSB website.
- Leave a legacy to IMSB in your will. Including IMSB in your estate planning is a great way to offer a valuable gift. As a nonprofit incorporated as a church, IMSB can accept gifts of cash, stocks, and real estate properties.