Letter from AZC Membership Committee Chair Josh Kopin:
To our Sangha,
I’m struggling a little.
I want that out in the open, that I’m struggling a little. I live by myself. My person is far away. Baseball was supposed to start last week and it didn’t. I just finished a dissertation, which is a lonelier thing than it sounds. I have my cushion and my bench set up, but without the warm togetherness of the Sangha I’m having trouble sitting at home. This is a hard time and many of the ways that I take care of myself are unavailable. So I’m struggling, a little.
There are all kinds of struggles right now, including loss of income and an inability to pay for basic necessities. In the midst of that uncertainty, the Austin Zen Center teachers and board believe that this is a moment in which we must manifest our interconnectedness and practice generosity. We are currently identifying budgeted expenses that may be reduced (e.g. less travel) in order to support our community in this very difficult time. These funds will be used as seed money to lend support to those Sangha members that need to meet basic living requirements. In order to organize this effort, we are creating an emergency relief committee to review requests, and beginning to solicit donations.
I know that it can be hard to ask for help. Personally, I know that it can be hard to admit to myself when I’m struggling, let alone to someone else. But one of the things that Zen has taught me is that it is very difficult to take on any challenge alone, even one that seems as simple as just sitting. If any active Sangha members could use some support as a result of job loss or unexpected struggles, please consider asking for help, especially if this pandemic lasts as long as some are predicting.
If you are in need of this assistance, please email me or call 847-924-8088 for additional information.
If you would like to contribute to an Emergency Relief Fund, please indicate this by writing “Emergency Relief” on your check or online form when you make a donation.
With gratitude for your courage & generosity,
Membership Committee Chairperson