Bhikkhu Bodhi (b. 1944)
Born and raised in New York City, Bhikkhu Bodhi lived as a monk in Sri Lanka for almost twenty-four years, eighteen of them as the editor for the Buddhist Publication Society in Kandy. He now lives at Chuang Yen Monasterynear Carmel, New York. Ven. Bodhi has many important publications to his credit, either as author, translator, or editor, including The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Majjhima Nikaya, 1995) and The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Samyutta Nikaya, 2000). A full translation of the Anguttara Nikaya is nearing completion. In 2008 he founded Buddhist Global Relief, which provides relief from poverty and hunger among impoverished communities worldwide. He was recently appointed to serve on a global task force charged with preparing a framework on interfaith collaboration on poverty alleviation, health, and development.
BUDDHIST GLOBAL RELIEF
I was fortunate recently to attend a daylong program exploring traditional and contemporary approaches to Socially Applied Buddhism. The program was lead by Bhikkhu Bodhi, founder of Buddhist Global Relief (BGR), an inter-denominational organization of Buddhists and friends of Buddhism. I like what this organization is doing. My appreciation is not just for the social issues it addresses, which are dear to my heart, but for the way it is implementing its program.
BGR limits its administrative costs. Everyone who works for BGR does so as a volunteer. BGR efficiently partners with international, regional, and religious organizations. Funding and services are not dependent on Buddhist affiliation and BGR does not proselytize. (I have yet to see a Buddhist organization that does.) All religions are respected. Those efforts and organizations that receive funding from BGR are fully vetted to ensure that BGR funds directly serve the people for whom they are intended.
Almost daily I am awed by the enormity of the suffering that assails human beings on every continent, and even more by the hard truth that so much of this suffering springs not from the vicissitudes of impersonal nature but from the fires of greed, hatred, and delusion raging in the human heart. Challenge to Buddhists by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
BGR has funded sustainable and emergency food programs and education programs in venues throughout the world including: Afganistan and Pakistan, South Africa, Cambodia, and Vietnam. It is also working here at home, a first world country with shamefully growing hunger issues. BGR’s first and current project here in the States is Garden Harvest‘s Adopt-a-Plot Program,which seeks to find the means to provided our over-stressed emergency food agencies with a way to ensure a reliable supply of quality food. Currently that pilot project is being implemented in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The hope is that it will prove effective and provide a model to be implemented around the country.
If you are looking for an organization to which you might make a donation that will really go to work, I recommend this one as worthy of consideration. Buddhist Global Relief is a 501 (c) (3) organizations and gifts are deductible to the extent allowable in the U.S. under IRS legislation.