For the past two years, I’ve been doing an intensive Buddhist study program through Heartwood Refuge and Retreat Center, and on May 17, I was ordained and authorized as a minister (reverend or acharya) of the Embracing Simplicity Contemplative Order, a dual lineage.
What does that mean? I've spent the last two years trying to learn how to love harder and wider than I ever thought possible. It’s been a silly and difficult and profound time of learning about compassion, joy, and equanimity. It’s changed my approach to work, community action, photography, relationships, life, and death. My teachers, Venerables Pannavati and Pannadipa, have served as models of what selflessness means, through their work in their local community and across the world. And right now, our world needs loving kindness more than ever.
Here’s the thing. Heartwood, like so many other places, is struggling due to the pandemic. Their funding comes primarily from retreats and speaking fees, which are all on hold indefinitely. And I know everything is temporary, but I’d really like Heartwood to be around for a while longer. Venerables Pannavati and Pannadipa are doing such powerful work there to spread peace through the world.
I know so many of us are feeling economic pain right now, but if you have the ability to contribute even a small amount, I’d be ever so grateful.