Dana Wiki: Helping Buddhist Organizations Get Involved in Social Service

Dana Wiki's logThree years ago I started Dana Wiki, a website to help Buddhist organizations get involved in social service. On Dana Wiki, you can learn how to start and lead a small volunteer group in your Buddhist center or meditation group; get information on different types of social service; read Buddhist reflections on social service; learn about Buddhist teachers and organizations that are involved in social service; and find places to volunteer. The best part is that Dana Wiki is a wiki, which means that anyone, anywhere can contribute to and edit it.

Back in November I did an interview about Dana Wiki and American Buddhism in general with Rev. Danny Fisher for Shambhala SunSpace,Dana Wiki and the Future of American Buddhism: Danny Fisher interviews Joshua Eaton.”

I hope that Dana Wiki will become a hub where Buddhists involved in social service can share what’s working for them, get help with what isn’t, find material for Buddhist reflections on service, and connect with others. I also hope it will be a place where we can learn from religious traditions with a longer history in America about how to do more effective service work. Please join us!

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Support Bone Marrow Donation

Dear Friends, Jeana Teiju Moore, a good friend and a founding member of the Zen Peacemaker Circles, has been walking across the country to raise awareness for the need for bone marrow donors, under the auspices of the Jada Bascom Foundation. Her infant granddaughter was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia at birth and is now thriving, thanks to a donation of bone marrow from a young man in Germany. You can see the story on the website www.stepstomarrow.

Both she and the Jada Bascom Foundation have been nominated for awards through the Classy Awards. The nomination and becoming a finalist for the awards were based on merit, but whether they get the award or not depends on how many votes they get.

The voting will take place until Oct. 22 (and began Oct. 9). The way it works is that people can vote daily, in each of the two categories.
So I’m asking you as a friend and supporter of Jeana and the Jada Bascom Foundation, to look at her website and decide for yourself if you’d like to engage in this process of voting for her and the foundation.

To do so you need to:
1. Go to the Classy Awards website, stayclassy.org.
2. Scroll down to near the bottom of the page on the left and click on Nominations.
3. Then click the LA tab (back at the top) and look for the Volunteer category. Please vote for Jeana if you think she is the best candidate.
4. You will then need to register so you can get back in easily daily.
5. Vote again, this time clicking on the NY tab. This time you will be looking for the Small Category of the Year category.
(You may need to exit the site and then re-enter in order to cast this second vote. At least I did need to do it this way this morning).

Thanks for your attention. If they win in either of these categories it will catapult their foundation’s work to the national stage, which will increase donors for more people in Jada’s situation.

If you’d like to pass this on to people in your network, and suggest that they also pass on the info, that would also help the cause a lot.
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Photos: Patch of Grass to Abundant Harvest!

Deerfield Academy’s boys lacrosse team helping set the garden fence posts.

On Earth Day April 2010, we broke ground on a 1/4 acre garden at the Montague Farm. Now in September we are harvesting and serving organic vegetables every week to 60-70 people at our Montague Farm cafe free community meals.

This garden was created by many people: Karen Idoine, Ike Eichenlaub, Laurie Smith, Tim Raines, Doug Donnell, Janice Frey, Bonnie Bloom, Dan Smith, Charlie Kerrigan, Henry Marshall, Kanji Ruhl, and the Greenfield Farmers Co-operative Exchange. The fabulous Big Brothers/Big Sisters crew (Ashley, Brooke, and Rachel) and the Deerfield Academy lacrosse team and their coach Jan Flaska have been instrumental. Rosalind Jiko McIntosh has coordinated nurturing of the garden since June.

Cucumbers, zucchini, basil, cilantro and carrots being harvested right now. Volunteers to maintain the garden and process the harvest are very welcome.

A plot of grass transformed into the Montague Farm Zen House garden

Tim Raines on the first round with the rototiller in April.
After the Deerfield Academy lacrosse team helped dig a fence trench and set the poles.
Karen Idoine and the chicken wire fence in mid May.
At last, early plantings in June!

Abundant Crops
Abundance in August!

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Sit-For-Change on September 18.

This one is from our friends at the Buddhist Peace Fellowship:

September 18th is quickly approaching and Sit-for-Change is gaining momentum!

Sit-for-Change is an innovative event weaving together contemplative practice and fund-raising – both of which are important parts of creating a stable, dynamic, and powerful movement for social change.

Sit-for-Change is like a walk-a-thon… you can help us raise funds by getting people to pledge you to do contemplative practice for 108 minutes on September 18th.  You can also support this event by pledging one of us!

Come sit with us!

The BPF community will sit together in Berkeley, and around the country, to care for ourselves while caring for the world.

It’s a day for you to practice mindfulness and awareness, while supporting the work of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, and our event partner, Center for Transformative Change.

On September 18th, spend 108 minutes in practice – sitting with us in Berkeley or on your own, practicing yoga or walking meditation, or whatever activity nourishes you – and invite your friends and family to participate and/or to sponsor your activity.

You can also support BPF Community Sit for Change by pledging for one of our staff members or friends. Or you can simply make a donation to support BPF.

sit for change logo

Thank you again for all that you do, and for being a part of our community.

with deep bows,
Sarah Weintraub

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New Book on Bearing Witness in Rwanda

Listening to Rwanda
This new book made by Fleet Maull and Peter Cunningham recounts their experiences at the first Bearing Witness Retreat in Rwanda.

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Sign the Charter for Compassion!

Learn more and sign the charter

The Charter for Compassion

The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.

It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.

We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies.

We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensible to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.

Learn more and sign the charter

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