How It All Began

You are invited to attend a silent auction & sphaghetti dinner to
raise money to send Donna Williams to teach in South Africa, on
Saturday, December 11, 2010, 6PM at the White River Center.  Here is a
message from the organizer of this event, Christine Baranay:

Dear Community,

I had the good fortune about 18 months ago, to meet Johann Verster
from Cape Town, South Africa.  He had sold his home, transferred his
clients to another psychologist, packed up his belongings and made the
long flight from Cape Town to Boston.

He did this so he could attend the Mukpo Institute at Karme Choling
and hopefully do enough classes in the course of a year or two to be
able to return to Cape Town and assist Jennifer Woodhall with the
fledgling sangha she had begun. Johann did over 33 programs in his
time in the US, just a bit over a year culminating with Warrior’s
Assembly and Vajrayana Seminary.

Last January I suggested to Donna Williams — one of our senior
teachers who travels to Chile and Mexico and other less distant places
to teach — that she should think of going to Cape Town and teach.

This is coming to pass.  Cape Town is thrilled to host Donna as this
means that many of the students there can do several of the programs
that Jennifer is not authorized to teach, bringing their goal of
Warriors Assembly even closer.

The only catch is the cost of the air fare – approximately $2,000
which Cape Town is not able to raise.

SO — Donna and I thought about a spaghetti dinner/silent auction.

The sangha in Cape Town has just sent a package of native artisans
products which we will use as door prizes.  We’ll have picture of the
Cape Town sangha as well as Cape Town.

PLEASE join us on Saturday December 11th at 6PM.  We will all gather
in the shrine room for a festive and fun dinner – the auction items
will be in the living room.  So you’ll have plenty of time to view
them and place your bid.

Many people have already donated items which range in price from
starting bids of $20 and up.  Lots of lovely things which can become
Christmas presents, Hanukkah or Shambhala Day.  Or simply grace your

ALSO — we are still gathering more auction items.  Please look around
your home and donate something.  Perhaps a picture, or a piece of
jewelry, or pottery and a scarf.  Use your imagination.  There will be
a clear plastic bin at the Center in the mud room under the coats to
drop things off.  Please mark the item as yours and the opening bid.

See you there!!!  Friends and family invited of course.

PS:  Please RSVP to me — cabaranay at so we can plan the menu


Books: Covering and Cataloging

A short message from Jennifer Woodhall about the dharma books our center had been sending for a couple of years:

20 April 2010:


… and tons of them, all with that gorgeous, specially printed bookplate! We’re terrifically grateful for the gifts themselves, but almost more important is knowing that our far-flung little sangha is held in some way by our sister sangha in Vermont. Your generosity has prompted us to organize our library and to start strategizing to get all these great books out there. They’re not what any heartfelt seeker is going to find on your average South African book store shelf.

Thank you so much for keeping the flow coming, and also for continuing to think of me when inviting fans to such worthy pages as our parent organization (joined this morning).

And here’s another quick message from Jennifer:

13 September 2010

We’re organizing a book-covering party to cover all our library books with transparent plastic. One of our trustees (and new Shambhala Guide), Jackie, has catalogued them all and created a spreadsheet of titles so that our members can select what they want me to bring to whatever group they attend (this is the best system we can come up with for now; my apartment seems to be the only place with enough room to house our books). Jackie was going to cover them all herself, but we decided it would make a nice community event, with potluck snacks etc. Here in South Africa, schoolchildren are required to cover all their textbooks in brown paper, so we all have deeply habituated skills at book-covering. People have responded to the idea with a sort of wry nostalgia.