dc misc. index
12-27-07 - What DC is Doing Now and an Appeal for Funds
As the astute cuke reader knows, the main thing I try to concentrate on is preserving the legacy of Shunryu Suzuki through recording the memories of those who knew him and trying to nudge the lecture archiving along (there's still a lot to be done there) and whatever historical work and communication around all that that I can do, share, link to, archive, get others to do, etc. Of course we know and keep learning that Suzuki's legacy is passed on from mind to mind, warm hand to warm hand, beyond words and letters and all that, but the words and letters and images and all that is recorded on cuke and elsewhere are still fingers pointing however wobbly toward the moon and maybe pointing away from the moon at times. Reader beware for, as we know, no one can find the moon for us.
Mainly these days I've been working on the Early Tassajara Alumni Reunion. Ilene Oba at the SFZC is the person in charge of it and she's been on it for half a year or so working very hard and having to do other stuff for the Development section of ZC. I've been assisting her since July, mainly developing the list and looking for contact info on people. We can see now it would have been better to do a reunion of the sixties and seventies first. Actually, Ilene and I wanted it that way but didn't make a big deal out of it because we didn't realize what was coming. Having it cover all the way through 92 has included so many people that we can't really keep up or do justice to all the folks who were there. Now we are going to stop trying to contact people because so many have responded. But most people have been contacted and I think it will go well and this month we'll just be getting ready for it.
In this work, I especially note those who were there in the Suzuki era and little by little ask those who haven't been asked before to send in their memories of him and then and what they did before and since and anything they wish. There's a ton of work to do there. I really need to be able to hire helpers to get it done. Or to have volunteers or assistants. To give you an idea, here's my desk:
And to the left is a volunteer on the other side of the room. She lasted for one hour and had to be taken to the local sanitarium for a frontal lobotomy. I feel terrible about that.
Of course there's the extraneous stuff I do on cuke but that's all done in my spare time. That's a joke.
Another thing I try to do as much as possible is to visit people, especially our friends who are isolated, old, sick, in trouble, lonely. We all do this to some extent and I don't do it all that much - I aim for 20% of my work time - and I try to do it more than I want and I talk it up because I can see that it's easy for folks to get forgotten and I think it's an area we all need to be more aware of and to incorporate more into our practice. There's more on this in cuke in the Zen Aluminati section. I think the Early Tassajara Alumni Reunion partially came from years of various people, me included, nudging the ZC to start an alumni office.
Appeal for funds and how to donate.
Anyway, I need a bit of money to keep this up and right now am broke.
There are old fundraising proposals (for deductible and non-deductible gifts) on cuke and I'm going to put up (maybe tomorrow) some that I've written this year to try to get the SFZC to give me some support. This hasn't been successful to date but I'm going to keep trying to figure out how to do all this stuff as much as possible.
The SFZC gave me about $1000 a month for five months to help with the reunion but there was nothing budgeted for December or January.
I don't know what else to say - let's see - the more support I get the more I'll do. I have low expenses. Very low. So there's a big bang for the buck. I notice that people feel more comfortable giving to high overhead operations with lots of administrative offices and staff that give one the impression that their money is being handled responsibly by serious people whereas an individual without all that might use the money for personal gain or pleasure. As for the big offices and staff, I've none of that but I've lots of work to do on interviews done and not yet done, Suzuki lectures, and alumni and visiting work - all of which will be reflected on cuke - lots of work to do on cuke too. As for the personal gain and pleasure - this work is what gives me pleasure and a sense of personal worth. Some of what I wish to see done has been and will be naturally, thankfully* done by others and the more of that the better, but I think it's fair to say that there's lots I could do and preserve that I just can't get to without more support, a good amount that won't be done if I don't do it, stories and teaching that people would be very happy to have and some day soon it will be too late. Please help me to do and preserve as much as I can and I'll do my best not to disappoint you. This will also keep me off the streets.
In the meantime I'll remember my balancing motto, said to me by Phillip Whalen when I was bemoaning all the great dharma and art lost when Nalanda was destroyed: "Oh David," he said with a sigh. "Just enough survives."
Thanks - and thanks to all those who've helped and supported me up to now without whom I would not even exist.
* poor grammer but common usage
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