Great News! This is to inform you that we raised approximately $42,500 from the Merit Box practice and that additional revenues from other sources were added to this to create a total offering of $78,370. Lama Zopa Rinpoche is very pleased and has distributed our generous offerings to numerous deserving projects. They are as follows (all in USA Dollars):
1. The Universal Education Project… $10,000
2. Chenrezig Institute Basic Program… $1,000
This is the equivalent of the FPMT Basic Study Program. This gift of funds is to help cover part of the cost for Sangha to complete this program.
3. Monlam, Great Prayer Festival… $1,000
His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave instruction to start a Monlam Festival in Bodghaya. It will happen this year for the first time in many years. This type of Dharma festival was initiated by Lama Tzong Khapa in Tibet and was attended by tens of thousands of Monks.
4. Maitreya Statue… $1,000
5. IMI Sangha Fund… $1,000
6. Nalanda Monastery… $1,000
Nalanda Monastery in France is the only FPMT monastery in Europe.
7. Kopan Building… $1,000
Norbulinka is one of the dormitories for monks at Kopan Monastery. It was seriously damaged during the last rainy season. The monks had to abandon it and it is being torn down and rebuilt.
8. Lama Osel Education Fund… $25,000
9. Bakula Rinpoche Statue… $1,000
Lama Zopa Rinpoche instructed Milarepa Center in Vermont to build a statue of Bakula Rinpoche.
10. Prajnaparamita Project… $1,000
Lama Zopa Rinpoche has commissioned the writing of the Prajnaparamita in gold letters on high quality archival paper to be placed in the heart of the Maitreya Statue.
11. Bendigo Stupa… $1,000
This is, of course, the Great Stupa of Compassion in Bendigo, Australia.
12. Retirement Fund… $1,000
This is a fund that will help fulfill the needs those who have long served the FPMT.
13. Surgery Donation… $250
Lama Zopa donated money for a young girl in Bodghaya to receive a heart operation. When he donated, many people also gave to help her.
14. Drought Relief… $5,000
There has been a terrible drought that has destroyed 80% of the crops of Tibetan Refugee Settlements in Hunsur area of S. India. This money is to help alleviate some of the suffering.
15. Land of Calm Abiding… $10,000
This money is to help with debt relief and needed maintenance of the property so that it can fulfill its mission.
16. Emergency Fund… $18,120
The remaining money is being kept in an emergency fund to serve on-going needs as they appear throughout the year.
As you can see, the Merit Box program has made a significant difference. This is true not only for Lama Zopa’s projects, but for the participants as well. We could all give individually to these projects and accumulate merit. However, the act of practicing generosity each day and then giving the contents of our Merit Boxes to Lama Zopa Rinpoche as an offering creates incomparable merit. Why is this? Because offering to the Holy Guru as the embodiment of all the Buddhas is the method to create the most extensive merits.
It is our intention that the Merit box Project will continue for many years, so please encourage your participants to continue using their Merit Boxes daily or weekly.
The next collection will be Lama Tzong Khapa day of the Water Sheep Year that is December 18, 2003.
Thank you very much for your help and devotion.