Friday, August 18, 2017

Invitation to become a patron (constant supporter) of Amidaji by little monthly donations

Dear friends in the Dharma,

As you well know, all my Dharma activities, my books and articles are available for FREE to all who wish to learn about the orthodox Jodo Shinshu Buddhist teaching. Also, at Amidaji temple there are NO taxes or fees for accomodation, religious services or teaching activities. 
Yes, I do have the printed editions of my books on sale on Amidaji website, but I also provide, (according to my religious vow), free online editions for those who can't afford or simply don't want to buy.  Also, printed editions are sometimes given as gifts at various ocassions and to people who cannot read online or in pdf, and also cannot aford to buy. 
I am glad to say that, for example, at every two printed copies sold per month, I have at least 50 copies downloaded for free. This is good news and a sign that what I teach and write is useful to many.

However, as you all know from your everyday life, everything costs money. The funds I use for my activities come from working here and there, sometimes as a security guard, from donations and very little from selling books. The fact that I have free online editions make very few people wanting to buy. Some advised me to suspend the free online editions in order to sell more books, or to add a tax for membership, teachings and retreats. No matter the advisers are well intended and have a lot of financial arguments, I always refuse such a thing. The Dharma can't be sold, no matter what. During Shakyamuni Buddha's time teachers gave Dharma for free and people supported the teachers by free will donations. This has always been the principle I apply in my life as a priest and in my temple

Recently I took the decision to dedicate my next books to my Dharma friends and readers who supported me through donations and those who wish to do this in the future. So, all those who kindly give a constant donation every month, no matter its 1 euro, 5 euro, 10 euros, 20, 50 euros (dollars) or more, will be mentioned in the list of patrons and will be dedicated the new books I am working on. Also, in the list will be included the people (deceased or alive) in whose name a monthly donation is made. 

Right now I work on a new book related with faith and nembutsu (fragments from it were already published as articles on Amidaji website), and I plan a comentary and explanation of all the three Pure Land sutras. Sometimes I work on both of them, too. The first will probably be ready in the next summer or the end of 2018. But of course, it can be finished much earlier, depending on the time I can devote every day for it. The more stable my situation is, the more time I can dedicate to writing. So, my plan is to raise a minimum amount monthly (perhaps arround 300 euro/ month) for daily needs, maintanence of the temple, and teaching activities. Perhaps, if a constant number of people who read Amidaji website and benefit from it give at least 5 euro or 10 euro per month, or more, I will be able to raise that amount.

To give a little each month (or week if you wish) recquires less effort on the part of the donor, but assures me a constant amount every month that can be used for the temple, various Dharma activities and for daily needs. Also, my intention is to use the funds for the printing of books when they are ready. Thus, every little help is gratefuly received and very important.

If you wish to donate you can go to this link ( DONATION) where there is a PayPal donation box and two Bank accounts. There is also a DONATION box in the left column of this website, too. Perhaps you can find a technical mean to schedule a small contribution for each month so that the funds go automatically at the end of month to Amidaji. 

However, no matter how much you decide to donate, please don't forget what I always say - Donations do not solve the "matter of the greatest importance" of death and rebirth. Only through simple faith in Amida we can be born in the Pure Land and attain Buddhahood. Thus, donation is NOT a religious obligation, but a free-will gesture of help for which I am very grateful.

Yours in Namo Amida Butsu,


UPDATE: a friend suggested that I give special gifts to possible donors and patrons, but I don't know what special things I can give, except the gift of Amida Dharma which is not my property and which I share freely with everybody, no matter one is a donor or not. Advices, answering questions, guidance on the Jodo Shinshu path, hours of Dharma discussions if you need that, free accomodation at the temple, etc, all these are already freely given. I cannot take what I already give for free, and transform it into a special gift reserved only for patrons and occasional donors.
Even the incense or flowers I offer in the name of all donors at Amidaji altar, I also offer it in the name of all beings everywhere. My next books will be, of course, dedicated to patrons from now on, but I will also dedicate them in the same time to all mother sentient beings, without exception, because that is the true spirit of gratitude and filial piety in the Buddha Dharma. As Shinran said, "all sentient beings, without exception, have been our parents and brothers and sisters in the course of countless lives in the many states of existence."

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