Once again, the Pema Chödrön Foundation has stepped forward to help Surmang. In combination with two anonymous donors, they have generously given $147,000 and challenged the sangha by offering to match 1:1 donations toward the 2018 fundraising campaign.
The Matching Grant Campaign is designed to:
• support the growth of the Surmang nunnery
• prepare for the Shedra consecration this summer
• cover the inaugural fall session of Shedra operations
• continue our ongoing Children’s Education Program
UPDATE: As of the new year, we already have raised $63,000. So there is just $84,000 to go!
Surmang Nunnery: Now that the Shedra construction is complete, the timing is right to help the dharma activities of the Vidyadhara’s nephew, whom we will refer to as Surmang Rinpoche, and the Surmang nunnery he leads. While we were focusing on building the Surmang shedra, Konchok Foundation was able to provide only a modest amount of support to his work. Yet the nunnery and monastery he leads are important parts of the Surmang mandala. He has already managed to build a new shrine hall for the monastery but now vitally needs to expand the facilities at the nunnery. It is bursting at the seams with currently 120 nuns and 60 children receiving an education at the Surmang nunnery.
Read more about the nunnery on the Shambhala Times: Meet the Nuns of Surmang
Rupas (statues) for the Shedra shrine room: Maitreya Buddha, Green Tara, and Manjushri will comprise the large rupas in the Surmang shedra shrine room. The rupas, each over 20 feet tall, are made from repousse beaten copper, gilded and painted. These works of art are being created by a Tibetan-owned small business in the region whose workforce is entirely Tibetan. Tibetans regard dharma rupas, filled with rolled mantras, as essential elements to empower a shrine room as a place of practice. We still need to raise $60,000 of the $180,000 total cost for the three rupas.
Consecration Event: Konchok Foundation has committed to helping Surmang Dutsi Til with the expenses of the major consecration event planned for summer 2018. More information will be forthcoming about the consecration, and Konchok supporters are warmly invited to attend.
Shedra Operations: Keeping in mind that the Surmang region is very low income, we will need to provide ongoing support to help with the expenses for the teachers and students at the Surmang shedra. The monastery expects to have roughly seventy full-time students at the shedra following the consecration. The single largest cost will be for food. Those donors who are able to provide ongoing monthly support are very helpful with this type of ongoing program expense.
Children’s Educational Program: The Children’s program at Surmang has been supported by Konchok Foundation since 2008. The program, which is sharply limited by government regulations as to the times when it’s allowed to operate, has only a modest cost, principally for food for the students.
Monastics on Retreat: For many years, Konchok Foundation has provided support to monastics on retreat at Surmang. We intend to continue doing so in 2018 and hope to eventually expand the scope of this support.
We invite you to join us, and the other members of the Konchok Foundation board of directors, to accept the challenge offered and be as generous as possible to show our support for the present day work with monks and nuns at Surmang, the heart of our lineage for 700 years. Donate here.