Thursday, 22 July 2010

Increasing - the Bucket Analogy


In general fundraising helps an organisation grow & flourish. But in certain circumstances the emphasis on fundraising can become too big. This is an obstacle because then people say 'its all about money' or 'they only want me for my money'.

Money comes from residents living in centres. Although now alternative sources are being tested such as offering B&B as well as hotels & cafes, these are nonetheless still an income source solely from residents. This is because these facilities are run by residents of Dharma centres. Therefore at all points increasing can only come with residents.

Understanding this, if one studies Buddhas teachings, one sees that if you assemble the causes the effect will come. If the effect is not coming it is because you haven't assembled the correct causes. What are the causes that are being forgotten?

The cause of the amount of residents increasing, is that the quality of life of a resident is very good, they are fulfilled & achieving their goals. If the residents are neglected or unhappy they will not stay & the community will not increase and may start decreasing. So someone who is genuinely interested in successful fundraising & healthy financial position of the communities will have welfare & well being of long term devotees as a top priority. If the residents were cared for and attended to with the same dedication as the visitors are, most of the community obstacles would disappear. Communities would be larger and there would be a greater pool of volunteers to call upon for assistance.

Therefore from my own perspective I have concluded that the well being & happiness of residents of a Dharma community must be the number one priority. A person must be cared for from the moment they decide to give their time & life to the causes of Buddhism until their life is over. Such a person is human & will have good and bad periods in their life. Its unreasonable to demand (for example) perfection, plus 35 hours work a week and attendance of an 8 hour a week study program until death, with no flexibility at all. That is slavery & residential life will not be appealing nor will many people do it for long for the simple fact that it is not enjoyable. Increasing the quality of experience of community life is crucial because it is the fundamental source of volunteers, funds, teachers and successful role models for the future. If people find community life a gruelling slog then ultimately there will be few long term experienced people. What is the point of putting so much energy & work into training someone if they are just going to end up leaving because they are exhausted & unhappy. It is like pouring water into a bucket with a hole in. Increasing can only happen if resources are not being needlessly lost. The holes need to be repaired & the bucket cared for.

Geshe-la teaches over & over that everything comes from living beings. Food, clothes, houses etc. If living beings are not cared for nothing will increase. The visitors are very well cared for. Now is the time to put equal effort into caring for residents

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