SuttaCentral

Bhavana Society Needs Residents


#1

The following is a message from @Bhikkhu_Jayasara on the need for support at Bhavana Society of West Virginia. I recently spent two months at Bhavana and it was wonderful to be able to support such a wonderful community that I have known for several years. If you’re able to, please consider spending some time there. With metta. :pray:


Hello everyone, I’m writing an appeal for friends of Bhavana to help spread the word that the residents at Bhavana are currently a very few carrying a heavy burden, and could use some help carrying that weight for the good of all who find benefit from Bhavana.

I have made announcements for help a few times in the past year and a half, both regarding the lack of residents, and the need for a cook. Both a cook, and residents, are currently needed, as it is only myself, Samanera Karuna, and two lay residents who are now responsible for all cooking (including for 40+ people during retreats), maintenance and upkeep of 25 buildings, shopping, monastic transport, retreat coordination, and more. We are stretched very thin.

It has not been uncommon for myself in the last year to play multiple roles during retreats, being retreat coordinator, work boss, maintenance man, and leading a few days each retreat as well (all at the same time). I have a memory of one day during a retreat leading retreatants in moving wood, then fixing a broken pump on our wood boiler, finishing just in time to run in and do a guided meditation, and later dhamma talk and Q&A.

The few of us here are all wearing multiple hats and carrying a lot of weight. There is talk of the possibility of canceling some retreats this year to lessen the burden, among other possible outcomes.

It is human nature that when you look too desperate, it has an affect of actually pushing people away rather then garnering more help, but frankly we are at a point where there is not much else we can do but put out an appeal.

So, what does Bhavana need most currently?

  • help spread the word among the Bhavana community or friends who may be interested in helping.

  • a cook

  • We could ALSO use people who would like to volunteer to lead the cooking for a day or two during our retreats. This upcoming retreat even I will be doing a day in the kitchen as head cook (in addition to two days teaching and whatever else is needed), to share the burden.

  • Residents (coming for a few days, a week, a month, or more, even short periods help greatly, don’t feel like because you can’t LIVE here, that short visits wouldn’t be very helpful)

I am not that long removed from lay life that I don’t remember what it is to have a very busy life and lots of responsibilities and challenges, so I know most people would not be able to help to any great extent, but if the word was spread, maybe then a multitude of people could help in small ways.

Thank you all for your continued support of this wonderful place. :slight_smile:


#2

It’s so geographically close to me, I should be ashamed of myself for not having visited yet. I even went to college for a bit in Morgantown WV, and I love the state. Must look at my calendar.

Thank you for passing this along @Brenna.


#3

Hi All,

I just wanted to let you know that there is currently only one resident at Bhavana, and that they would greatly appreciate if more people would volunteer their time in the coming months. :pray:


#4

Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu

I hope this message reaches the ears of those who can assist :slight_smile:


#5

Thx for the post, I will try to make some time in the near future to come for at least a few days. My schedule is very sporadic. I do service work when it’s needed and when I wake up in the morning and have been slow, I have thought to come out to Bhavana for the day to help or even multiple days but cannot come because I didn’t have approval from the office manager first of all. All the monks know me, so I don’t see why I couldn’t quietly come in to help out and practice when I have time. Nevertheless, I will still always give as much heads up as possible and wait for approval first of all at this point. I understand coming by unexpectedly could result in more chaos than me not coming at all so I will do what I can to schedule something for the near future. Anyone willing to check messages when the office manager isn’t in? Don’t know how appropriate that’d be, but just a thought. -with metta🙏


#6

@Bhikkhu_Jayasara?


#7

Better now I suppose?!


#8

Unfortunately, they are still very short-handed and still need a great deal of help. :frowning_face:


#9

Hi Brenna!

I live about 2 hours and 20 minutes away. I’d been planning on coming out for a retreat for a while, most likely the one scheduled for March.

What’s there to do in the meantime? Is it possible to help while the residential/monastic retreat is underway? If so, how? I might be able to come up for a weekend in the nearer future and just do work.


#10

Hi Gus! Wonderful that you’re willing to help out - thanks so much!

I’m not sure what is needed right now, but I’d recommend that you email their secretary/master-of-all-things, Kathy at info@bhavanasociety.org. She’ll know what is needed and help you to organize a stay if you’re interested.