The Sydney sangha don’t need any help with fundraising. In October they set about redeveloping and refurbishing their Buddhist Centre, starting with a fundraising project - the “Buddha Blitz” - which closed after little more than a month, having raised AUD 31000 (GBP 16,824/USD 26,510/EUR 21,215) – more than half of this on the first day!
Bodhidasa writes from Australia: “When a spiritual community unites, anything is possible. The Buddha Blitz is using volunteers from the Order and Sydney’s thriving Young Triratna Group and a crowdfunding engine called StartSomeGood to revamp the Centre’s aesthetics.
Our building, known as The Chancery, home of the Sydney Buddhist Centre since late 1999, has a fascinating past. The road outside follows the line of an ancient Aboriginal track used by the Cadigal people before colonisation in 1788. In the 1880s the building was one of the first prestigious two-storey houses in the area, built for dentist Samuel Chaim. From the 1930s it was a funeral home and mortuary; our main shrine room was the storage and preparation room for the deceased. In 2003 our then newly renovated shrine room was ritually cleansed with an indigenous “smoking ceremony”, as well as a Buddhist dedication.
Eleven years on, we’re tackling problems with drainage, lighting, bathrooms, furniture and limited kitchen facilities. In the main shrine room, we’ll relocate the shrine and create an inspiring and uplifting place of transformation.
We launched the Buddha Blitz with an open day on Saturday 11th October. This allowed us to welcome the local community to see the potential in what we had created and the urgent need for improvement. Within 24 hours, we had raised AUD19,500 and hundreds of people had come through our doors, many for the first time.
Dharmananda spoke about the history of Triratna in Australia and linked our project with the pioneering renovation of the London Buddhist Centre in the late 1970s. Shubhavyuha spoke about generosity as a spiritual practice.
We’re holding our week of renovations in early December, when Work Zone Teams, a Sustenance Team and a Dharma Activities team will transform Sydney Buddhist Centre into an even more beautiful space for practice.”