Emory Buddhist Club - Giving Thanks -- Creating Opportunities for others

Hsu, Emory emory.hsu at emory.edu
Thu Nov 26 22:58:40 EST 2015

Emory Buddhist Club - Happy Thanksgiving

This email doesn’t have a link for 50% off shoes, or tempting pics of jewelry, or ask you to buy a big screen TV… rather, it urges you to take some time to reflect and give thanks. Let us generously share some of our many blessings with others -- we encourage you to help (through giving time, money, encouragement, or other forms of support) all those around us! There are many wholesome causes in the world that are worthy to support, and so many people in need, especially given recent world events.
If you still need suggestions, here are some reputable non-profit charities that are Buddhist-inspired, although in the true Buddhist spirit of equanimity, they help everyone in need without regard for religious belief or proselytizing. If you feel uncomfortable donating online, you can give cash or check donation to us at any of our meetings, and we can mail them for you.

Why give?
Giving helps to relieve others' poverty, hunger, and suffering. However, helping others actually helps us in profound ways, perhaps even more than what we offer. For example, giving is an antidote for greed and selfishness, and develops our compassion. Indeed, dana (charity, giving, generosity) is the first of the Six Paramitas (the other five paramitas being moral conduct, tolerance, diligence, meditation, and wisdom). At a deeper Buddhist level, truly pure giving there is no ego involved -- one performs charity constantly but is free from the idea that charity is being performed at all. When one realizes that there is no giver, no receiver, and nothing that is given, and yet never stops giving, one is truly walking the Bodhisattva path.

"At Thanksgiving I am not at all inclined to revel in the blessings I have enjoyed this past year and in years further back. Instead, I believe the way I can best demonstrate thanks is by creating opportunities for others to enjoy blessings. This means bringing the light of wisdom into regions shrouded too densely in darkness, contributing to the emergence of a more peaceful world, a more just and respectful society, and a more equitable economy based on life values rather than naked market values." – Venerable Bhikku Bodhi, Buddhist Global Relief

Buddhist Global Relief
An American group that cultivates compassion through social engagement, supporting projects in alleviating suffering through hunger relief, environmental sustainability, social justice, and the education of women and girls. Founder: Bhikku Bodhi (monk and first American-born president of the Buddhist Association of the United States)

Combined Federal Campaign: For CDC / VA / Federal Government employees: use CFC charity codes 20618 (Tzu Chi Foundation) or 74375 (Buddhist Global Relief)

Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation
"Compassionate Relief" - with 10 million volunteers around the world and UN consultative status as an NGO, Tzu Chi is perhaps the largest international Buddhist charity, with many missions, including in disaster relief, charity, medicine, education, environmental protection, and humanitarian culture. Founder: Master Cheng Yen (nun in Taiwan, recognized as one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world)
USA: www.TzuChi.US<http://www.TzuChi.US>
Facebook: Tzu Chi USA
Global: www.TzuChi.org
Can you say "Tzu Chi"? http://youtu.be/Ia8FT0h56JU?list=PL924C1369DB5FA08C
and Intro to Tzu Chi USA: http://youtu.be/-FCcf2YSp98?list=PL924C1369DB5FA08C

Karuna Shechen
Humanitarian projects in the Himalayan region - provides health care, education, clean water, and social services to under-served peoples in Nepal, India, and Tibet. Founder: Matthieu Ricard (French biologist turned monk in Nepal/India who is active on many fronts, including TED talks and translations for the Dalai Lama)

Sri Henepola Gunaratana Scholarship Trust
A small program to fund impoverished children's education in Sri Lanka. Founder: Bhante Gunaratana (Sri Lankan monk in USA)

Sakya Care Foundation
A non-profit group seeking to provide healthcare to those in need in the US and Asia.

Do you want to know your money is well spent and goes directly to aid? ALL the above organizations have fiscal accountability -- no CEOs making millions off your donations here! For some other groups, "100% goes to charity" can actually mean most of that goes towards the executive board and staff's personal salaries  -- but not with these groups. Many are completely volunteer run, and all are done with the Buddhist spirit of equanimity, kindness, and generosity; not greed, fame, or proselytizing (recipients of aid are of any religion and are not even remotely pressured to convert).
Karuna Shechen - 100% of donations go to projects (a sponsor generously covers the 7% administration costs)
Tzu Chi USA - 87% of donations go to projects
Buddhist Global Relief - 92% of donations go to projects


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