Kolkata (Calcutta) is the cultural capital of India. With a metropolitan population of 14.1 million people, the opportunities for developing Buddhist activities are vast. So many people wish to access Triratna Buddhism in the Kolkata region. I've met many, many Buddhists asking for this. They come from a wide range of backgrounds. Many are poor and are attracted to the Dr Ambedkar/Bhante Sangharakshita approach to meditation and Buddhism. I'm part of a team of Indian and UK Order members who want to develop activities in this historic city. We've run two successful retreats so far. Interest is strong. Unfortunately, Covid 19 is currently ravaging West Bengal. So many people can embrace Buddhism - once the pandemic allows.
I want to raise £10,000 by December 2021. Funds raised would be spent on financing Indian Order members to travel to Kolkata for residential periods: teaching meditation and Buddhism, leading retreats and creating sangha. A little money goes a long way in India. Ultimately, our team wishes to establish Order members residentially in Kolkata to build the sangha permanently and establish a centre.
From July 11th to August 8th 2021 (pandemic allowing), I am cycling 1200 miles in the UK from Land's End to John O'Groats to raise funds primarily for Kolkata and to donate a small amount (5%) to Arthritis Action - a UK charity. As a rheumatoid arthritis sufferer, exercise helps me. I have cycled 20-25 miles daily for a year to be able to do this big ride. Despite my condition, I can do it! My GP is happy. Please help me to achieve my goal. It would mean so much to me and the team to help the Buddhists of Bengal and those wishing to learn Buddhism. I would be so happy if my ride helps that happen.
You can see my daily progress on the ride at my blog
Thank you so much for reading this.
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- Anneleen Stam
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