One of the traditional ways that individuals can foster their own spiritual development is through the practice of generosity (Dana, in Buddhist terms). OIMG is dedicated to supporting the development of Buddhist principles and practices through providing introductory courses and periodic retreats. As a registered non-profit corporation since the early 1990’s, the primary sources of income for OIMG have been the income generated by the introductory courses and donations from the community. All profits are dedicated to providing the most affordable retreat fees, including partial and full financial subsidies for those who want to attend a weekend or one-week retreat who would otherwise be unable to do so.
During this time of year, people often send charitable contributions to various worthy organizations. Some use these as deductions from income tax. OIMG would be grateful if you would consider practicing Dana with our organization. We cannot offer the number of retreats we would like because of budgetary limitations, so your contribution would go a long way towards fostering the benefits of mindfulness and lovingkindness practice in our communities.
We are arranging a one-week retreat in early 2019, led by a guest teacher, Shaila Catherine, a very well-respected author and teacher of the Dharma. This will involve a significant increase in the production costs for the retreat, involving transportation costs from California to Florida and back. In order to pay for this retreat, we need additional financial support. An important commitment of Buddhist practice is the Bodhisattva Vow, which manifests a commitment to alleviating suffering for all sentient beings. Considering the increasingly stressful times we live in, your contribution will have a ripple effect, allowing people from all over the U.S. and elsewhere to benefit from Shaila’s teaching.
We will respond to your contribution with a letter acknowledging the donation for your tax purposes. You may contribute online through PayPalor mail a checks made out to Orlando Insight Meditation Group to Peter Carlson, 1818 Carrigan Avenue, Winter Park, Florida, 32789.
Thank you for your practice, and I wish you well.
Peter Carlson, founding teacher and president of the Orlando Insight Meditation Group
OIMG’s recent June retreat at the Franciscan Center came and went in the most beautiful of manners. There were folks in attendance from areas ranging from Jacksonville, Miami, and everywhere in between. A mother and her teenage daughter blessed us with their presence and there were some folks that chose OIMG to share in their first retreat experience. Thirty people in total were able to participate—the largest group to date in our history of overnight retreats. It was a joyful event filled in the cultivation of mindfulness, kindness, and well-being at a beautiful facility.
OIMG’s mission is simple—share the Buddha’s teachings on the alleviation of suffering through the cultivation of wisdom and kindness. Retreats of this nature are core to this mission— they are an important part of the Eight Fold Path. In the tradition of the Buddha, these retreats are offered regardless of one’s financial means through scholarship offerings. During this last retreat, $995 was funded by OIMG, representing about 20% of the total cost of the retreat. As a 501(c)(3) entity, tax deductible opportunities are available for those that may find joy in supporting this cause. Any contributions are welcomed. Should you be interested in supporting this cause, please contact Tommy Harrison or Peter Carlson or make your tax-deductible contribution online.
As the Dhamma is studied, there are frequent references to the importance of the Triple Gem—taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha. This is foundational for practioners, and there is major emphasis on the importance of friendships. Friendships are equally important to the Orlando Insight Meditation Group (OIMG). Our Sangha—our community—continues to evolve through these friendships, and it’s worth pausing to reflect upon this as we near the end of 2011 and move into the opportunities of 2012.
OIMG was formed in the early to mid-1990s with meetings, meditations, and Dharma talks in a living room and eventually evolved to where we are today with the meditation hall in Peter and Paula’s back yard. OIMG’s core mission through all these years has been to share the teachings of the Buddha—the alleviation of suffering and sincere pursuit of awakening.
OIMG continues to focus on this simple mission by offering various opportunities, including introduction courses (Loving Kindness, the Eight Fold Path, the Four Foundations of Mindfulness), periodic 3-day and 7-day retreats, Dharma talks on most Wednesday evenings, 2-hour Sunday sits, and intensive study groups. Our retreats are always offered in the tradition of our Buddhist past regardless of one’s ability to pay. OIMG also supports other local Buddhist organizations by sharing communications, occasionally having teachers share Dharma talks, providing presentations to organizations when requested, and occasionally taking road trips to participate in retreats, talks, etc. with other Sanghas. There are many venues in which to share the Buddha’s teachings—both conceptual through courses and Dharma talks and experiential through retreats. It is through these efforts that our friendships have grown allowing our practices to flourish. These friendships play a substantial role in the viability of our Sangha. (more…)
As the Orlando Insight Meditation Group grows, we are expanding our outreach as well. This new web site has increased opportunities to dynamically respond to further changes as we go along. Additionally, we are introducing a periodical newsletter, and the recorded MP3 files from various dhamma talks will be posted at the iTunes audio store and can be accessed free of charge. (more…)