Well, things are building up nicely to the next main fundraising event on Friday 25th November at Aro Ling.

The calligraphies have arrived for the exhibition, talk and sale in a fortnight’s time.  There are 15 different calligraphies, each of which has been specially commissioned in support of the fund raising appeal, as well as a set of 5 calligraphies of the syllable Hung.  Several of the sangha were here at our place last night, and the desire-to-acquire inspired.  In fact early pledges to support this fund raiser mean that at least 4 calligraphies will sell within moments of the doors of Aro Ling opening on the 25th – all from admirer’s of Ngak’chang Rinpoche’s art, and the Drala Jong project as a whole.  This means the day has paid all its costs and is already £150 to the good even before the exhibition starts.  Over all we hope to raise £6,000 from this fund raiser – and in the process we aim to give pleasure to all who come to the free talk and display (recommended donation £5 – all proceeds to the appeal. . .).

On the day we’ll also have copies of the yojohnnycowpunk CD on sale, which has already raised £80 at time of writing, and also several select Raechel’s Risible Rabbits items, which has also raised about twice that amount – both since last weekend alone.  Lama Bar-ché Dorje, who is just starting to learn the art of calligraphy, has also donated some of his early small scale practice pieces (which read ‘Gar-tak’) on offer for a mere £20 each, so there will be an opportunity for everyone to fully satisfy their acquisitive inclinations on the day, regardless of the depths of their pockets.

All told, this means year to date in 2011 we’ve raised nearly £4,000 for the appeal, most of which has come since we tickled this Blog into life a few months ago.  Will we make five figures, by the end of the year?  We shall see.

Of course the kindness of donors and fund raisers, large and small, is impossible to repay – whether for the Drala Jong project, supporting the existing Aro Ling centre, or any of the other works of our charity Sang-ngak-chö-dzong.  Still, I wonder what HH Dud’jom Rinpoche (who directed the creation of the charity) or Kyabjé Kunzang Dorje Rinpoche (who directed us to establish a retreat centre) would have said if they had heard of Naljorma Rin’dzin ‘Mad as a snake’ Pamo’s efforts, running the Bristol Green Man Marathon (check this link as it has footage of the inestimable Chris Bloor on it) ALL FORTY FIVE MILES OF IT.  Indeed as well as qualifying as a woodwose (and would a wose by any other name smell as sweet?) Rin’dzin win’s this Blog’s entirely unofficial mad-as-a-snake award for not only running the whole marathon (and raising over £1,000 for the Aro Ling centre as a result) but actually stopping near the end and running back a couple of miles before re-running the same leg of the trip.  She is the only person we know of to run 48.6 miles of a 45 mile run.  Actually, she likes to pretend that she dropped her phone on the route and went back for it, but we know truthfully that 45 miles just wasn’t tough enough for that Pamo.

That feat (and those feet) is of course remarkable – but any and all fund raising is remarkable.  If, like Rig’dzin Palden Tashi, we could find just 1,900 remarkable dagger wielding fund raisers, and they raised just £222 each, we’d be able to establish Drala Jong.  Small is beautiful, and anyone, regardless of their knowledge, experience, and personal bank balance can make a difference.  From selling  unwanted books on Amazon, to donating art works and music for sale, to garage sales, to sponsored runs, sponsored sits, promise auctions, or just tapping up friends to give a contribution (how about 22 friends to give a tenner each) we can and we shall establish Drala Jong. 

All we need to do is think positive.  If you think that Drala Jong will be there, it will be there

Just avoid the negative waves, that’s my advice. And I have a friend who tends to agree.. . .

So, on that note – how about working out how to raise £222.  Think you can do it?  I do.

All the best