A little over one year ago, Tahn Pamutto set off for the woods of Western Massachusetts with the hope of developing resources and community from scratch. There was no temple to go to, nor kitchen to supply daily alms-food. There wasn’t even a place to store extra gear out of the rain. But there was a vast network of kind friends and supporters and plenty of people thirsty for dhamma. Though it might take years, Tahn decided the best way to gather momentum would be to be on the ground practicing, teaching, and connecting.
We can never know how things will turn out, so it was with a vague notion of what was possible and needed that Upavana set the first fundraising goal at $5000, considered enough to support a monastic teacher for several months in a rented apartment or office. Though summer came before the funds arrived, a camper was purchased to shelter in, a pair of grassy fields were offered to camp on, and a steady stream of generosity kept not one but three monastics fed, clothed, and bathed through a long, hot, rainy summer.
Now, after a year, that first fundraising goal has been met! It came not through one act of giving but from dozens of sources all over the world, the majority though coming from people right in the local area supporting their neighborhood buddhist group. Anumodana to all our friends in the dhamma!
Through faith and practice, the shelter this goal was meant to provide has come by other means, meaning much of the funds are still available to keep moving forward with programs and are ready to support ongoing projects and growth. Because in dhamma-practice success is often a function of being able to meet opportunities when and where they arise, there’s no way of knowing what the next fundraising goal will be. Stay tuned, as there are bound to be plenty more opportunities to practice and grow this summer!