THE AUSTRALIAN SANGHA WELFARE FUND
FPMT National Office Australia are pleased to announce the creation of an Australian Sangha Welfare Fund. The centres, services and projects of FPMT in Australia have for a long time voiced their strong desire to support our nuns and monks in practical ways.
We recognise that, nuns and monks are often uneasy or unable to ask for things for themselves. This might include help for their health or other specific welfare needs. It is therefore up to us to ensure that we support them.
The core aim of the Australian FPMT Sangha Welfare Fund will be to support Australian FPMT sangha’s health and welfare, including through future fund-raising. Australian FPMT centres, services and projects will all be involved in developing a register of helpers so that our precious sangha can get practical help when they need it.
NATIONAL MEDICINE BUDDHA PUJA SATURDAY 14TH SEPTEMBER
On Saturday 14th September, FPMT centres and study groups around Australia will hold Medicine Buddha pujas. We aim to raise sponsorship for our Australian FPMT nuns and monks through this meritorious activity. This activity reminds us of all that our sangha do for us, which includes the undertaking of pujas and prayers. Please contact your centre or study group for details.
Students can make donations by Netbank transfer at the following bank.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
A/c Name: FPMTA Donations
A/c No: 1049 0133
Donations can be made any time.
WHAT OUR NUNS AND MONKS DO FOR US
Our Australian nuns and monks teach the Dharma, help people with Compassionate Dying, hold classes on meditation, provide spiritual guidance, do social outreach, organise spiritual programs, events and rituals, lead pujas and retreats and provde care and support. A number of them undertake solitary retreat for the benefit of us all. If you speak to the students who are helped by their activities, many times they will express their appreciation and desire to give back to the sangha. Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche speaks for all of us when he says:
‘From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank very much all the sangha who for so many years, not only living in, guarding, your vows, but able to benefit others – doing retreat continuously for many years or doing social service, doing hard work at the centre, doing service to sentient beings and teachings of the Buddha, which is service to our guru, His Holiness Dalai Lama.’
Lama Zopa Rinpoche
An opportunity has now arisen to provide ongoingly for the health and welfare of our Australian FPMT sangha by donating to the Australian Sangha Welfare Fund. The Fund will be administered by a panel made up of members of the FPMTA Ltd Board plus senior sangha in Australia.
OUR FIRST GENEROUS OFFERING!
Already, our first generous benefactor has stepped forward. This benefactor wishes their $5,500 donation to be made anonymously, but says:
“I wanted to contribute to the Australian Sangha fund to help ensure that our Sangha are well looked after for the very important work that they are doing. I have heard that it is very difficult for Sangha in the west and sometimes it can feel that there is no support, so with this donation, I hoped that they feel loved, cared for and appreciated.
Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche has said that in order for Dharma to have roots in the West, that we westerners need to have realisations. To me, this means that it is even more important to make sure that we take care of our Sangha to enable these conditions. Here’s to the flourishing of Dharma in Australia!”
DEVELOPING A REGISTER OF HELPERS
While raising money for our sangha is an important focus for the years ahead, there are other ways in which people can contribute right now. Across the country there will be members and students who have skills or resources that could be of great help to our sangha.
This could range from legal, financial and health care services to offering transportation, and assistance with home care, gardening and shopping. We are compiling a national directory of resources that have been freely offered to FPMT Australian nuns and monks.
Do you have students who might be retirred or who work part-time, who would be available to volunteer? Of course, even those who work full time might wish to provide practical help from time to time. We encourage you to consider this and to make enquiries.
John Waite, director of Hayagriva Centre, Perth, is coordinating this list. Please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org with your information or for any queries.