Karuna Fundraising: Transforming Self and World

The Karuna Trust has been initiating social work and Dharma projects amongst some of India’s poorest and most disadvantaged communities since 1980. Most of £1.5 million p.a. that funds this work is donated by thousands of individuals across the UK who were introduced to Karuna on their doorsteps by volunteers from the Triratna Buddhist Community. This form of fundraising, where fundraisers meet prospective regular donors face-to-face, was pioneered by Karuna in 1982. Since then Karuna has been developing such fundraising as a context for engaged Buddhist practice. “Karuna door-to-door appeals are a very effective spiritual practice. Over the years I have seen many people change significantly as a result of taking part in them. I would therefore urge all those who have our work in India at heart to support Karuna in this way. ” Urgyen Sanghrakshita. Karuna offers three unique ways to engage in Fundraising as Spiritual Practice: Door-to-Door Appeals Volunteer fundraisers come together for 6-weeks to live, fundraise and practice together. Appeals are based around the UK. Telephone Campaigns (men and women) These campaigns are based in the Karuna office at the North London Buddhist Centre and involve calling existing Karuna supporters. Solo door-to-door fundraising as a livelihood If you have fundraised before consider fundraising for Karuna as your livelihood in your hometown. To find out more contact Nisha or Bodhketu on 0207 700 3434 or email appeals@karuna.org Visit Karuna’s website for more information about our work in... Read more

Eastern Philosophy & Western Art

In Phillippa Plock, Leeds Buddhist Centre has an Art History expert in its midsts! In this article she explores two books that have had a positive impact on her Dharma practice. For keen eyes that regularly scan the library shelves, you may have noticed recently the addition of two books in the art section: Smile of the Buddha: Eastern Philosophy and Western Art From Monet to Today by Jacquelynn Baas and The Sight of Death by T. J. Clark. I have donated these to the Centre, and I’ve also sent copies to Adhisthana for their library, and I wanted to write a short article explaining why I decided to do this. I was prompted to donate the books after reading Sangharakshita’s books The Religion of Art and In the Realm of the Lotus. Like these books, the two books I have donated have been really inspiring for me in thinking about how to bring together my love of Western art – I have been lucky enough to study art history to PhD level and continue to work with art in my job – and my Buddhist practice, and I wanted to share them with the Leeds sangha. It was my love of western art that made me receptive to Sangharakshita’s writing about the Buddha  I’ll start by explaining why I like the book by Jacquelynn Baas, The Smile of the Buddha. I found this book a couple of years ago when I was searching for books to do with how Western thinkers who had come into contact with Buddhist ideas (like Jung) may have influenced 20th century artistic culture.... Read more