In a health crisis that is leaving no part of our world untouched, our worldwide sangha is coming together online to meditate and share their practice with each other.
Thank you. If you give to FutureDharma you are making this possible. £60,000 goes to the Buddhist Centre Online each year. You are making it possible for them to do their work and support us all, just when we need them most.
On Monday morning I put my laptop on my shrine, clicked the Buddhist Centre Online Toolkit link and joined over 120 of our sangha for morning meditation. The screen filled with people smiling into the camera, typing messages to say hello, fiddling with computer settings. It was deeply moving to see people’s faces, and behind them, glimpses into their homes.
Five screenfuls of faces showed we were all doing the same things – waving, smiling, settling down to practice. Sadayasihi rang the bell and we sat together for 45 minutes. It was beautiful. I recognised friends from the UK, Australia and Norway, and there were folk from Romania, Italy, and Poland too. This is what our online connection meant to three of them:
“I was very moved by the list of all the different time zones we span as a community … Spotting folk I knew was a delight – and I got a message from a friend after who’d seen me… I loved the bit at the end when people each said ‘bye’ before they left… “ – Satyalila, Bristol, UK
“I was crying before we even started – just seeing everyone… hilariously my laptop powered down at some point, so I’ve only just stopped meditating!” – Diana, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
“I want to take part to strengthen the sangha. I feel that I am not alone.” – Dennis, Oslo, Norway
These online meditations will run twice a day for as long as we need them. Just go to the Dharma Toolkit for Uncertain Times for these, as well as inspiring Podcasts.
Coronavirus changes everything. All of us are adjusting as best as we can. Our Triratna centres are closing their doors and going online.
Classes are cancelled and the dana bowls sit empty. With rent or mortgages to pay and little reserves, some centres are facing financial hardship.
At FutureDharma we’re already responding to the challenges our precious movement will meet in the coming weeks and months.
At short notice we hired Kusaladevi, an experienced fundraiser, to train Triratna centre teams in how to raise money effectively online. Keep an eye on the sikkha.online website (100% funded by FutureDharma donors) for more on this, as well as some of the latest and best thinking on how to teach the Dharma and create sangha on the web.
Stay safe, stay connected, and continue to look after each other.
Liz and all of us at FutureDharma
Ps – If you’d like to receive our newsletters, sign up here.