Triratna News

FutureDharma: for all Triratna and the world

On Wed, 10 February, 2016 - 23:46
Munisha's picture
Munisha

The FutureDharma Fund is coming! 

FutureDharma is a significant new international Triratna fund, intended to provide greatly improved financial support for Triratna worldwide as we move into our second 50 years, at a time of real challenge for humanity and the planet.

Amalavajra is the ECA’s fundraiser. He writes: “Grounded in Bhante’s vision, FutureDharma is a collaboration between Triratna’s International Order Office, College of Public Preceptors and European Chairs’ Assembly (ECA), as well as its International Council.

The Fund will focus on developing the depth, unity and breadth Triratna needs in order to respond to the cries of the world. Initially it has nine priorities, although its scope is not restricted to them:

1.    Developing opportunities for a ‘total Dharma life’, such as collective living and working, infused with the spirit of kalyana mitrata
2.    Encouraging young people to Go For Refuge to the Three Jewels, for example, through intensive study programmes at Adhisthana
3.    Creating financial abundance through promoting a culture of giving, including a Buddhist bank
4.    Training teachers and promoting best practice and excellence at Triratna centres, mainly at Adhisthana 
5.    Enhanced online and digital Dharma to reach more people
6.    Training and financial support for those starting new centres and groups
7.    Ensuring the College of Public Preceptors is well resourced to provide leadership
8.    Creating greater capacity at Adhisthana for larger and more international gatherings 
9.    Developing and resourcing Triratna’s International Council as a co-ordinating, unifying and decision-facilitating body 

We estimate we need to raise £3-5 million in gifts and loans and £500k in annual income over the next five years. It’s my exciting task to build a Money and fundraising team to do this.

FutureDharma Fund will be officially launched later this year. Once funds begin to flow in, we will invite your project applications!

I’d like to invite you to participate in this exciting and vital project to preserve and develop Bhante’s legacy over the next 50 years, for a world that is more than ever in need of the Dharma. This will require a deepening of our culture of giving and caring that is truly transformative, both for the world and for ourselves.”

amalavajra [at] triratnadevelopment.org (Contact Amalavajra)amalavajra [at] triratnadevelopment.org (.)

FutureDharma world tour
Amalavajra has just begun a world tour, to lead ‘Money Awakening’ events, train Triratna teams in fundraising, and to talk to potential donors. 

This month and next, he visits Nagaloka and Bor Dharan in India, and centres in Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland and San Francisco.

Third picture shows the FutureDharma trustees and team:
(From front left, clockwise): Amalavajra, Saddhaloka, Dhammarati, Visuddhimati, Lokeshvara, Nandavajra, Mokshini, Jnanavaca and Ratnadharini

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karmabandhu's picture

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karmabandhu's picture

There’s a lot that I could comment on about the above notice and its assumptions. However, the main point I would like to make now is that if we are talking about compassion and ‘the cries of the world’, we need to start with the real living human beings we know, with our friends. 

So, I’d like to suggest that our fundraising activities focus predominantly on providing anyone who has been significantly involved, past or present, people who have in many cases spent decades working for this movement, with adequate support when they are ill or old. Then, while we right the wrongs of unpaid national insurance contributions and the lack of any facilities or provisions for older/sick OMs and others (apart from Bhante who is thankfully very well cared for), I suggest that we keep fundraising for the College and our plans for expansion on the backburner. 

Indeed, as far as expansion goes in part this issue begs the question of what exactly we are trying to draw people into? Do we really want to be a movement that takes young people, uses their lives and energy, and then forgets about most of them when they are no longer of any use? I think any ideas of ‘saving the world’ should be shelved until the people we know are adequately recompensed and cared for. I know the Abhayaratna Trust does some very good work in this area, but its efforts are dwarfed many times over by the extent of this problem as more and more OMs are heading into their precarious 70s. 

We are an asset rich movement but these assets are the physical real-world manifestation of the lives and efforts of thousands of people, some of whom could now do with a hand. If we are not going to sell Adhisthana etc. to finance this, the least we can do is focus our fundraising efforts in this direction. 

As an addendum, I would also strongly question the tone of this whole campaign. Despite some quite strong feedback from OMs and others (including opinions garnered from professional fundraisers) it still seems to be pursuing a very hard sell (even suggesting that people can give everything they own) and perhaps inadvertently triggers people’s vulnerability to Christian guilt by mixing money with ‘salvation’. Reading the literature and hearing the spiel, the gist of it seems to be: “You have a bad relationship with money – indeed money is bad – so why not feel better and become more like a Bodhisattva by giving it to Triratna?” From what I remember the FDF launch at Adhisthana in 2016 included a visualisation about “how good it feels to give” and “how bad it feels not to give”. Then those who could give were encouraged to put up their hands. Those with their hands up were then ‘love bombed’ while those who could not give were left to squirm. This struck me as a blatant attempt at mind control, which I found viscerally disturbing. 

Instead of using talks/workshops invoking Ratnasambhava and the spiritual benefits of generosity, how about we just simply spell out the needs and ask people to give if they can? The current approach may not be intended as manipulation but the fact that a number of people experience it as such, really needs to be taken seriously. Maybe I have the advantage of living geographically far from the Order and movement, so can look at it as if from the outside. In that light, if I didn’t know the people involved I’d certainly view this fundraising campaign as a quite crude exercise in manipulation and bracket our Order with Scientology or Christian Evangelists. Is that where we really want to be?

danavira's picture

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lokamitra's picture

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Munisha's picture

Hi friends,

Just wanted to point out that the post you are all commenting on is from February 2016! So, Lokamitra, that means Amalavajra has already done the India visit you are anticipating.

Metta,

Munisha

lokamitra's picture

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