The 2009 Talk Series finished on Thrs Oct 24th . It is always a bit sad – all that work making posters, leaflets, leaflet holders, finding inexpensive sitting mats and cushions … finding a venue … to have it all pass into history.
First we should thank California WOW for generously providing the great facilities for us. It is no small thing to use such a large space right in the centre of town. And thanks to the Planet Yoga division of CA WOW who went to so much trouble borrowing chairs for us, storing the gear and re-arranging their schedule to fit us in at the busiest time of the day. Everything was provided free of charge so that we could meet together to look into dhamma and practise meditation.
Also special thanks to Somboon Printing for donating the leaflets (roughly 9 000 baht)
Although we put out our donation box regularly, as often mentioned, we are not a big charity. We don’t have buildings to build or maintain, nor offices and staff to pay for. It is just a kitty for our own group so that we can buy things occasionally – like the sitting mats or the sound system. Everyone within the group donates their time and effort for free.
When we invite other speakers of course we have to arrange taxis and sometimes a donation to the speaker’s temple or group. For instance we have invited Sayadaw U Sujana on October 8th and will be arranging transport for him.
So during my own talks once a year we accumulate some funds, and then use that to sponsor ongoing activities and speakers. Arranging this years talks cost our own fund about 10 000 baht – mostly for the sitting mats/cushions and for the leaflet holders.
Dr Holly holds all our funds, and anyone who wants to know how much there is or how it is being used is welcome to ask her. She reports that we had 13 000+ baht left over from last year. During the 8 Planet Yoga talks we received 27 650 baht. After giving a few tips to the staff who helped us over the last 2 months Holly is now holding 40 380 baht – which is plenty to keep us active through the next year. There is also a futher 8 000 baht kept separately which we will use to facilitate events with H.H. Phakchok Rinpoche when he next comes to Thailand.
Since it is a bit much to be both the speaker and the organiser, I only do one set of talks per year. Other times I am glad to accept invitations, but usually it is for specail groups and not advertised publicly. Perhaps this can change if we got a centre of our own – something that is possible at this point, even if something of a long shot. Plus, in true Hitchhiker’s style, it is good to keep mixing things up by inviting other teachers. Some people prefer the academic approach, and some the strict ‘boot-camp’ workshop style. Sometimes we meet just for lunch informally, and somtimes socially for movies etc… If you are not attached to fixed views, then getting different angles on dhamma is enriching. Plus it is always nice to keep meeting up and getting to know the regular crowd.
Thanks to everyone who contributed in ways big and small – perhaps we will be changing to the Big-Bang next year…
The image in the WOW posters and icons etc.. is of the Earth Goddess Dharani. This is a traditional artistic depiction of the night of Enlightenment the Buddha was attacked by the armies of Mara – the God of Delusion. He called upon the Earth to pay witness to the good deeds he had done. Good deeds were represented by water in Brahmanic society, which is why we have the water pouring at temples today. Dharani washes the water from her hair, and this carries aways the army of demons.