Lama’s Pyjamas is the London Buddhist Centre’s ‘Right Livelihood’ charity shop in the East End of London. They’ve just celebrated a record year, and Claudine, one of its founders, writes with the good news. She says - “Headline: This year Lama’s Pyjamas made £117,166 gross profit and a net profit of £44,500. This along with gift aid in the region of £12,000 means that our dana to the LBC this year is £56,000. She continues -
“This year has seen Santavajri leave our team to go to join the wonderful women at Tiratanaloka. This was particularly bittersweet for me as she is my private preceptor and as well as working together, we lived together in the same Buddhist community. Sad for me that she left Lama’s and London but good because our loss is very much Tiratanaloka’s gain and she has so much to offer women in the ordination process. While Santavajri worked for us she set up our gift aid system which this year alone has meant an extra £12,000 in dana. The bright silver lining to the cloud of Santavajri’s leaving is that left an opening for Sraddhagita to join us. Sraddhagita has strong Team Based Right Livelihood experience having spent many years working in the Wild Cherry Café and is a competent and delightful addition to our team.
“We are all on support (as opposed to wages) and are advocates of the support system. Our experience is that it fosters a spirit of generosity and for us that feels abundant and rich. We use our work as an opportunity to practice embodying our spiritual ideals. We have a weekly study session with Subhadramati, at the moment we are looking at Subhuti’s paper on the Suprapersonal Force. In addition to our weekly study, this year as a team we decided to put our focus on Maitreyabandhu’s ‘Life with Full Attention’ book, spending a month on each section of the book and reporting in to each other each week as to how we are getting along. “We have experienced enormous generosity from the local community in terms of donations, from the women’s sangha in terms of volunteers and from people like Taravandana and Vajraghanta who have given us their time and expertise by providing training for us on our Team Days.
“As a team we would very much like to encourage any centres thinking of opening a charity shop to do so. The work is simple and suited to practicing mindfulness, patience, kindness etc, it is an opportunity for the general public to experience Buddhism in action and last but not least it could be a way of raising dana for your centre.
“Yours in the Dharma, the Lama’s Pyjamas Team (Padmalila, Sraddhagita, Claudine)
For more information how Lama’s pyjamas do it, listen to this talk by Claudine to the Triratna New Ventures group in Autumn 2013.