Spreading the Dharma at Shantideva

Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Andy Spreitzer in NY

By Andy Spreitzer

“Shantideva Meditation Center is in the middle of its annual appeal.”

I read that first line and noticed a glaring mistake. It is not ITS annual appeal but OURS, MINE. We are Shantideva Meditation Center and helping to make the Center flourish is the best way to spread the Dharma. We all have to dig deep and overextend ourselves to nourish ourselves and our Center.

Five years ago or so my good karma led me to a Discovering Buddhism class at Tibet House sponsored by Shantideva Meditation Center. It was like falling into a huge puffy down quilt. I felt safe and warm.

I was surrounded by a hugely diverse group of varying ages and backgrounds but all with a concern and desire to live a more meaningful, loving existence. Every Wednesday for the next year or so I would continue with module after module in the Discovering Buddhism series. The discussions were intelligent and, most importantly, inspiring.

I expanded on those weekly classes with weekend retreats with Venerable Robina and Venerable Fedor, both of whom have made deep impacts on my mind and heart.

Within the last year, I have not been as visible at the center, as I was spending extended time in California learning Tibetan qigong and participating in extended retreats in California and Massachusetts.

But Shantideva is and always will be my home base. Wherever I am, as I sit to meditate, it is the faces of Shantideva’s members that I see. This is my sangha.

Lama Karma once said to me that the primary role of a Buddhist is to bless everything. As we support our dear Shantideva Meditation Center financially, our blessings will be multiplied now and for lifetimes to come.

Each person who comes to Shantideva begins to change, and this in turn changes everyone that they meet and then the ones that they meet, passing on the Dharma.

We live in a time in America where the country seems to be going backwards. It’s disturbing. But the Dharma only goes forward. Support this forward trajectory by supporting the annual appeal.

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Andy Spreitzer: “I have had and continue to have an amazing, exciting life as a musician, athlete, husband, father, grandfather, photographer, and health counselor. But my life truly began when I started and stayed on a spiritual path. My friends from Shantideva keep pointing me in the right direction.”

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