Treasuring the Sangha Treasure

by Jeanna Annen Moyer

3treasures4Every year for the past several years, Dharma Rain has had a spring fundraiser to raise money for our operating costs. While we are largely supported by member donations, the annual event has been a big help in meeting the costs of utilities, insurance, food, and many other expenses that are part of any large organization.

As I sat down with Shin’yu and Kaishin to plan this year’s event, I paused to think about Dharma Rain’s resources. Almost immediately, the word that came to mind was treasure. As we prepare to move from our current facilities to our new campus, I thought of all the treasures of Dharma Rain as it is today: The beauty of morning sunshine streaming through the Zendo windows; the wonderful teachings and lively discussions during evening classes; the deep peace of a zazenkai; the joyful noise of a DharmaGarden Sunday; the sense of family when sitting down to a meal at the Dharma House with the residents. We have so much, and are so rich! As Shin’yu, Kaishin and I discussed this, I realized that for me one of the most precious treasures of Dharma Rain is the people—the sangha. Those who weed the garden, give dharma talks, offer sanzen, teach a Dharma School class, clean the toilets, serve on committees, make breakfast, answer the phones, put out the parking signs, serve as sacristan—so many people, manifesting practice in so many ways, for the benefit of all. As a rule I am not sentimental, but tears welled up as I considered all of it. So much time, attention, and effort, given so generously, by so many people, for so many years! A treasure indeed.

Then I realized that what makes Dharma Rain is the people. While our current location and facilities are lovely and beloved, it is the sangha that is the real heart of who we are. As we move to a new location, it is the sangha who will nurture and sustain Dharma Rain. And so, rather than a typical fundraiser, the focus of this spring’s event is Treasuring the Sangha Treasure. In addition to good food, music, a couple of fun activities, and photos of DRZC through the years, there will be a simple ceremony to acknowledge and honor the things we all do to create sangha. This includes recognition of significant others, family, and friends who may not practice at Dharma Rain, but who generously support their loved one’s participation here, and so are also part of creating sangha.

Of course, during this time of tremendous change, it’s important to attend to our ongoing financial needs. During the evening, any who wish to make a donation toward Dharma Rain’s operating costs are welcome to do so.

Treasuring the Sangha Treasure will be held on April 26th at the Kennedy School, from 6:30-9:00 PM. In appreciation of all that the sangha already contributes to Dharma Rain, the price of tickets to this event has been significantly reduced (to $25) compared to past years. To purchase tickets online, go to the Dharma Rain schedule page, go to April 26, and click on the event link. Ticket sales will close on April 22 so we can send the Kennedy School the final head count for the event.

I hope you can join us for an evening of connection, appreciation, and gratitude for the treasure that is Dharma Rain sangha!