Dear Vajra family,
We would like to share with you our experience of organizing retreats according to the principle of generosity in Kiev!
In 2015 many members of our Community participated in the retreat on Mandarava practice at Dzamling Gar organized in accordance with the principle of generosity. In their words it was an interesting experience of collaboration and organization of the retreat.
‘We were inspired by the transparent scheme of conducting the retreat – from the beginning it was very clear what the expenses were of the organizers per each participant. Besides the participants were given full information about the state of affairs so everybody felt involved in the common task and felt their own responsibility,’ Yulia Kulik, Yellow Gakyil of Tobgyalling in 2015 recalls.
When Rinpoche underlined the utmost importance ‘for practitioners of sponsoring the Dharma teachings’ we understood clearly that going to the retreat and making offerings we take responsibility not only for the retreat but for the Teaching as well.
Having returned to Kiev we saw the article on the principle of generosity in The Mirror and and Rinpoche’s attitude towards it:
‘For people who have a little possibility to offer, to be sponsors, it is also a very good way for them to become wealthy because if there is no cause, there is no fruit and the cause of becoming wealthy is generosity. Generosity towards the teaching is something very positive for this life and also for future lives. So people should try to learn and develop this. I think it is something important.’
By that time we had created our new Community web-site and decided to use its possibilities for fundraising for the upcoming SMS retreat with Alexander Gomonov.
Having created the page ‘Become a sponsor of the retreat’ we indicated the total budget of the retreat and conducted an online record of all collected funds. On the page it was possible to see the percentage of all collected and necessary funds. Besides we indicated approximate expenses per participant on the basis of our expectation about the number of participants in order that potential participants could have a general idea about expenses and correlate this with their possibilities.
By the beginning of the retreat we had collected the greater part of the necessary funds. By the end of the retreat it turned out that the offerings exceeded expenses by 47%!
It was a surprise for us because usually in the best case retreats were self-sufficient without revenue. We went on toorganized all the following retreats on Santi Maha Sangha and Yantra Yoga (except open YY courses) based on the principle of generosity which allowed us not only to cover all organizational expenses but also to contribute to the development of the Kiev Dzogchen Community. So during the retreats organized by Tobgyalling at the end of September – beginning of October with Nina Robinson on Mandarava and Chod the offerings exceeded expenses of the Community by 17%, and in the subsequent retreats with Alexander Gomonov – by 42%.
For us it became a precious experience and we are happy to share it with you.
Tobgyalling Gakyil team 2015-2016