The Indie Go Go campaign we started several weeks ago to fund the establishment of the Angel City Zen Center (Los Angeles means “City of Angels” and the name Zen Center of Los Angeles was already taken) has made $18,348 as of the time I am writing this (Thursday morning around 9am). That’s pretty amazing. As Sally Fields once said, “You like me, you really like me.” And that’s nice.
As incredible as that outpouring of support is, it is far short of our goal of $75,000. We’ve only got a few more days and it is probably safe to say at this point that we are not going to make our goal. We had a meeting last week to discuss alternative plans. We came up with three basic possibilities.
- See if we can rent a small but suitable place. We’ve got enough to rent a one-bedroom apartment for a year, but if we did that the neighbors would probably think we’re a terrorist organization (Mervin, they go in there and stay completely silent for an hour!). Maybe there’s a different type of small space we could get for that amount. If we did so, we’d have to run another campaign to keep it open a further year, but that’s a problem for later.
- Put the money into a Certificate of Deposit and let it earn interest for a year during which time we can work on a campaign to get the rest of our goal.
- Buy Brad a Rickenbacker 4001 and six Ampeg SVT amplifiers then give him the rest of the money in a gift certificate for Amoeba Records.
Actually I think I got that last one wrong. I think it was more like something about putting it towards other Zen-related activities such as sponsored retreats for people who can’t afford them, out-of-town events and stuff like that.
In any case, the money will go to something as close to our original stated intentions as possible. We’ll also give all donors the opportunity to receive a refund of their donation if they don’t think our new plan (which we’ll announce soon after the campaign ends) is something they want to contribute to.
With that in mind, I’m giving the campaign this one final little push on the blog.
I’m also thankful to my ongoing contributors. I’ve had that little donation button thingy on my blog for about three years now. I was pretty skeptical when I put it on there. I don’t like the idea of begging for support. But after I lost my job with Tsuburaya Productions in 2008 I realized the money I get from book royalties and speaking fees could only cover about a third of my annual living expenses — even when I briefly moved back to Ohio. The donation button has been a great success. The $1, $5, $10 and occasionally even larger contributions you subscribers send add up and I can live a pretty OK life as long as I stay relatively frugal. So thank you!
My nephew Ben came down from his swingin’ bachelor pad up in Alhambra to join me for Thanksgiving this year. We’re gonna go to Canter’s deli on Fairfax later and have their Thanksgiving special — although I’ll probably just go for the veggie Rueben like I always do. I’m thankful to get to see him even though he’ll talk both of my ears off while he’s here.
I’m thankful to my little Zen group in Los Angeles for their ongoing support and friendship. I’m also thankful to the many groups who have supported me as I’ve traveled around the world. If I started listing all of them I’m sure I’d end up leaving someone out. But all you folks in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Finland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, Japan and all across the USA have made it possible for me to do what I do. I’m also thankful to my many readers for reading the stuff I write. I’m thankful to you, dear blog fans, for keeping this blog going.
I’m thankful to my two Zen teachers, Tim McCarthy and Gudo Nishijima for showing me this Zen stuff. I’m glad I met them. They say it’s rare to encounter the dharma even in thousands of lifetimes. I don’t know if that’s literally true. But I do know that out of the billions of people on this planet only a tiny, tiny minority ever manage to meet a true teacher. I don’t know why I’m one of them, but I’m glad I am.
I’m thankful to my parents, Dan and Sandy Warner for making my life possible. My mom has been gone for almost eight years now but Dad is still doing his thing and recovering well from heart surgery earlier this year. I’m glad he’s my dad.
I’m thankful for my sister Stacey who is a freakin’ lawyer for goshsakes. I never coulda studied that hard. Plus she raised two groovy kids, Ben and Sky, who I’m also grateful for.
I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving wherever you are!
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If you want to see a real Soto Zen center happen in Southern California, contribute to our fundraiser to make the Angel City Zen Center come alive! Every little bit helps a lot! Click here to learn more!
I’ve got a new book coming out soon! Stay up to date on its release schedule, my live appearances and more by signing up for our mailing list on the contact page!
April 23, 2016 Long Island, New York Molloy College “Spring Awakening 2016”
October 23-28, 2016 Benediktushof Meditation Centrum (near Würzburg, Germany) 5-Day Retreat
Every Monday at 8pm there’s zazen at Silverlake Yoga Studio 2 located at 2810 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90039. Beginners only!
Every Saturday at 9:30 there’s zazen at the Veteran’s Memorial Complex located at 4117 Overland Blvd., Culver City, CA 90230. Beginners only!
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