We realise that it's a struggle, financially, for most of us. However, there are many ways to help BODHI other than by giving us money.
In summary: (a) think and study; (b) meditate; (c) get involved with other activists; (d) consider helping BODHI directly, eg by volunteering to help with some of our administrative tasks
(a) The most important way to help is to think about and study the issues of inequality, unfairness and environmental harm in the world. If you do that, regularly, it is almost guaranteed to make you an activist - because the more you think about it the more you will realise how unfair it is. (If you think, but don't act, then it may well lead to depression!)
There are many ways to help reduce these problems other than by giving money to BODHI. Of course, it depends at what stage you are in life, what opportunities you have had, and what aptitude you have. When I was in my early 20s, and really started to think about these issues (after attending teachings from Lama Yeshe) I decided to study medicine. I had no money to spare for a charity in those days, but I did study hard, motivated by a wish to get a qualification which would give me a decent income, and in the process acquire knowledge which I could use to help others. It took me 2.5 years between making this decision and starting at university, including a year spent re-studying for university entry. After graduation from medical schooI I worked for several years as a family doctor, which was an important consolidation of my training, and was helpful to most of the patients I saw, but at the same time I felt I wasn't doing enough to reduce the bigger problems in the world. One thing led to another, and eventually I ended up as professor, specialising in public health, before resigning in July 2016, when the frustrations of working in a modern Australian university became too much for me. I do think my academic career has had more impact on global inequality and adverse environmental change than I could have had I stayed in general practice. The point is, there are a myriad of actions which you can do to help others, especially in collaboration with other people.
(b) meditation has been very important to me, to help retain motivation, especially during many difficult periods. The meditations I mainly practice are mindfulness (awareness of the here and now), analytical (recognition of impermanence, suffering and paths out of suffering) and to generate and sustain compassion (e.g. Tong Len).
(c) there are many groups, other than BODHI working for environmental and social justice. We don't have a monopoly. But I do worry about approaches to aid that risk creating dependency, and I also, in general, think limited resources are better used for many people rather than one (eg helping 100 people get primary school education than a handful go to university) - though there can be exceptions. I also disagree with faith based aid approaches which try to convert recipients. I believe one's religion is irrelevant = what matters are one's actions. But BODHI does discriminate in favour of the "deserving" poor, i.e. recipients who we believe are more likely to use the opportunities that BODHI can provide to lift themselves (and even better, others) out of poverty.
(d) Finally, BODHI Australia is very small, with only about ten people actively involved in administration in most years. If you are keen and feel that you have something to offer then please contact us at email@example.com. You could start by giving suggestions about this website. You can also spread the word.
Colin March 28, 2017
Image: Christmas bell flower above Lake Cygnet, Tasmania, summer 2016-7 (photo Charles Chadwick, with permission)