As we prepare for Shantideva Meditation Center’s first-ever benefit auction, Center director Jennifer Kim shares her thoughts about what it means to her, and the motivation behind it:
“The main thing that has been coming to my mind is the emptiness of the auction, in that it is dependent upon how we perceive it, and the intention we add to it.
I think of Lama Yeshe a lot and his vision of totality. He says, “[H]uman beings have a truly divine quality. The nucleus of each human being, each person’s essential nature, is something divine, something pure.”
In that sense, wherever we are, whatever we are doing, we can try to touch this divine nature and dissolve the barriers between what we think is spiritual and what actually is, which is to get in touch with our higher capabilities as wise, compassionate and divine beings in our everyday world. That opportunity is always there. The auction, to me, will be a new mechanism to do this, as the energy of money and goods is imbued with the intention of loving kindness.
The auction is also a way to widen our circle of friends and say hello to all those out there in our big city who are are connected to. I’ve been really touched by the gifts that have flowed into the auction, and it will be great to meet totally new people and establish those connections with our Center. I think of Yangsi Rinpoche and his idea of enlightened business and all the different elements of society that can embody the qualities of divinity and enlightenment, in the structures we already have in place today in our society.
On Thursday, when our guests enjoy a wonderful night in the beautiful space of Fig. 19 with delicious hors d’oeuvres and drinks, we will all be coming together to express those higher aspects of our being – generosity, appreciation, kindness and delight. I’ve seen the human heart of generosity flow on such occasions, and I hope that our guests may be inspired to give, receive and enjoy fully, knowing that their connection with our Center is to foster the Buddha’s radically wise and powerful message that the nature of our being is pure – and that we humans have the capability to experience and express indescribable amounts of love, courage, kindness, peace, compassion and wisdom for ourselves and others. The future of our planet comes from our actions, which come from our thoughts, which the Buddhist teachings help us care for.
In the spirit of embodying those intentions of kindness, I was motivated to offer a small prayer for our auction’s volunteers:
May each and every being coming to our auction be held in sincere loving-kindness. May our wish to benefit them be felt. May they take away something from this evening that uplifts their hearts with joy and hope. May each auction item go to the person that may benefit the most, and may it somehow help their flourishing on the deepest levels over time. May each donor of gifts and time to the auction receive great benefit from their act of generosity, with an abundance of material and spiritual sustenance.
May the food and drink we offer be blessed with our positive aspirations. May our relationship to material resources and the funds that flow in on this special evening be healthy and wise. May this positive energy be so abundant and bright that it encourages others to join us in our mission and cultivate this energy within their own hearts. May we serve our teachers’ aspirations well, and enjoy each others’ company sincerely.
May we see the emptiness of this auction and use it as a means to help bring others to enlightenment, with creativity and pure delight.
Sarva Mangalam! May all beings benefit!”
Thursday, October 29 at 7pm
at Fig. 19, 131 Chrystie Street, New York City
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit our auction website.