• Martin Kristiansen

There is suffering

There is suffering. Not exactly a catchy title that inspires you to read further, but give me a moment, it gets interesting.

In 2002 I was reading a lot about Buddhism. What I really wanted was a place where I could receive authentic teachings. A place where I could mix with like minded people and explore what Buddhism could mean for me. I wanted someone to sit me down and say, "There is suffering". I had read that first sentence of the Buddha's first teaching but I needed to hear it.

That is how I ended up at Emoyeni on my first ever retreat. Introduction to Buddhism was the subject of that retreat and Mervyn Croft was the teacher and yes, he said, "There is suffering". For me everything was changed.

I learnt my most valuable life skill at Emoyeni, meditation. Under the gentle guidance and inspiration of Mervyn, the residents and guest teachers at Emoyeni, my practice deepened and became integrated into my life.

To my surprise I was invited to become a trustee at Emoyeni and over the past 15 years I have served in that capacity. It is as a trustee that I am writing this post today.

Let's talk about the Covid 19 pandemic for a moment. As I said, there is suffering. We can be afraid, angry, disappointed; that's perfectly understandable. Our lives feel like they have been placed on hold and we are afraid of what the future will bring. We are all at physical and financial risk. Anxiety, under the circumstances, seems perfectly reasonable.

Emoyeni is in very serious trouble. Quite simply, if we do not raise sufficient money to see us through the Covid pandemic, we may be forced to shut down permanently.

Emoyeni doesn't lack for committed staff and teachers. It doesn't lack for a lovely location and solid facilities. We have had our challenges but there has never been any kind of scandal, financial or otherwise, associated with Emoyeni. It is run and managed with tremendous integrity and love. It has has never been run with an eye to making money. It is run to provide a service to people needing refuge and assistance from the tribulations of life. This means that the loss of revenue over this shutdown could put an end to Emoyeni. We simply don't have the resources to survive a period without any money coming in. At the moment all retreats are cancelled, for how long we simply do not know.

Times are hard, uncertain, worrying. I realise everyone is struggling to come to terms with what has happened. Still I have to ask. If you are able to make any contribution at all it will be a tremendous help. We are desperately trying to pay the small stipends the residents receive monthly and the salaries of the permeant staff who work in the gardens and cleaning the rooms. I feel that when the Covid 19 crisis ends, and it will end, that Emoyeni will be relevant to the healing that must take place. If you are at all able please help us to to save Emoyeni . Please consider making a donation.

Every person or organisation that makes a donation of whatever size will receive a printed fine art copy of the image you see of the three girls turning prayer wheels in the post above. I personally took the photo in Nepal and will print it myself. Mervyn will sign a thank you note on the print.

Account Name: Emoyeni Retreat Centre

Account Number: 033-215-103

Bank: Standard Bank

Branch: Rustenburg

Branch Number: 052646

Please use your name as a reference if you are able to make a donation and send me a note so I can make your print.

Thank you.

Martin Kristiansen

Trustee Emoyeni Retreat Centre