As I write to you today, I am listening to the bird songs outside my window. The signs of spring are all around reminding us that it is a time for new life, for hope, and renewal. By coming back to our breath, we can touch the “spring” in ourselves at any time.
Touching the freshness and hope in ourselves on a regular basis is so important, particularly now. We know that so many people have been suffering deeply, feeling the loss of human connection that is so essential to our well-being. And yet, as long as we have our spiritual family, we are not alone.
One of the unanticipated benefits of the pandemic has been the flowering of many ways to be nourished by the Dharma and to connect with our spiritual family. Thousands of people have joined the online retreats and courses offered by our monasteries around the world. And many people now attend their Sangha meetings and sitting groups virtually. We are so fortunate to have the practice to sustain us; I encourage you to make use of all of the Dharma doors that are available.
I am writing to you now to humbly ask for your help. Last summer, I wrote asking if you could spare a “handful of rice” by becoming a monthly supporter to help provide the basic needs for our monastics. You came to our aid and we were able to feed and shelter our monastics in 2020. We are so deeply grateful. Your overwhelming generosity not only nourished us physically, but it helped sustain us in this challenging time. […]