The Hermitage of the Dharma Fellowship is a publicly supported charity and membership is open to all. To fulfill the mission of the Dharma Fellowship we depend on the generosity of our participants and their continued support. Become a partner and help us sustain this venue for deep meditation practice, and service to community!
How does your membership support your inner growth? As a member of the Dharma Fellowship you are a driving force providing significant opportunities for others to learn and sustain a meditative practice in today’s world of stress, distraction, and fear. Members take on responsibility for the wellbeing of the centre and community through regular volunteering as staff for the programs and general administration. As a member, you are entitled to vote at the Annual General Meeting, receive discounts for retreats, members’ only events, and opportunities for interviews with our teachers. As a Dharma Fellowship member, you will be part of an organization whose members are making a difference through their personal practice, volunteer efforts, financial support of programs that foster a healing and nurturing environment in the world, and by keeping these opportunities for others available and affordable throughout the year. How Does your membership support the Dharma Fellowship? Generally, event fees cover only 60% of our operating budget. The remaining 40% comes from donations and membership. Memberships are unique in that they provide us with a stability that is a foundation for our organization’s ability to plan and execute our annual budget. They are 100% tax deductible gifts.
Over the years since its founding, the Hermitage has served a vast number of people. An enthusiastic fan-base made up of several thousand now support the Hermitage in principle, testifying to the huge benefits they have had from attending Hermitage retreats and from the guidance that the Hermitage offers in yoga and meditation. Gracious testimonials to the service and benefits given to so many by the Dharma Fellowship and the Hermitage on Denman Island, not to mention the impact that our Teachers are making in individual's lives, come in every day.
A testimonial from Mari H. is just one example amongst hundreds - "It is a rare occurrence when opportunity matches student with the right spiritual teachings and teachers and I feel incredibly blessed to have found the Hermitage. My retreat experiences there over the past four years have been nothing short of transformational. The care and ministrations of the support staff and the beauty of the secluded meadows and forest provide the idyllic setting for the deepest spiritual practice. The Hermitage is my spiritual home and I'm sure it will lovingly open its door for many more in the years ahead."And here, yet another example, typical of so many, from Nancy W. - "It was such a wonderful experience for me… I’ve been practicing what you taught…slowing down, being more mindful, meditating more and spending time in Nature. The glow of that retreat has stuck with me--so many thanks to you and the staff at the Hermitage."In consequence, we feel that in its own small way, the Hermitage is definitely making the world just a little bit of a better place for all sentient beings on this planet.
The Dharma Fellowship of His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa
If you are someone who wishes to frequently attend retreats at the Hermitage on Denman Island, you will find that there are notable advantages in applying for and maintaining Dharma Fellowship membership.
The Purpose of the Fellowship
In the "mission statement" of the Dharma Fellowship, as defined by His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rikpe Dorje, the purpose of the society is:
1. To study, teach and practice the Buddha Dharma in general.
2. More specifically, to develop, adapt and share the Tibetan spiritual tradition of Buddhism in such a way as to be meaningful to Western people.
3. To support the ecumenical dissemination of the teachings and practices of the Kagyu Tradition of Buddhism amongst whomsoever might wish to benefit there from.
The heart of these three purposes all focus on perpetuating a viable living Yoga and Meditation "Practice Tradition" (Tib: sgrub-brgyud) in the West, particularly in the Americas, in a form that is ultimately guided by Westerners, under the direction of Westerners, and readily accessible to the same. It is for this reason that the Dharma Fellowship has established and maintains the Hermitage as a practice center on Denman Island. What we practice is Buddhist Yoga and Meditation—the spiritual practices and meditation techniques of the unexcelled Ka'gyu Lamas of Tibet, passed down from the past to modern times as a living tradition. The fellowship is therefore a school of Buddhism for seekers of truth. His Holiness the 16th Karmapa did not believe that the authentic wisdom-teachings of Tibetan Buddhism would be truly founded in the West until real Western yogis and yoginis, and dedicated Western Buddhist monks and nuns, could be trained in their own native language, in their own culture. We are therefore very much concerned with opening up the teachings in such a way that Westerner’s can approach them, making it possible to engage in a new but authentically traditional 'Western Buddhist' form of spiritual practice, suitable for seekers living in the modern world.
Benefits of Membership
The aim of membership is to support the work of the Dharma Fellowship of His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa and through that, the Hermitage. It is important to understand that the funds received from retreats held at the Hermitage do not cover costs. Without the support of our membership, the Dharma Fellowship would be unable to sustain its mission to provide ecumenical as well as Buddhist programs for individual's in search of spiritual awakening. Membership dues and your generous funding of the Dharma Fellowship alone makes the Hermitage a positive force for good to society as a whole. Membership dues are $175 per annum for each person or $250 per household. (contact us to add a person to your membership.) Above and beyond these minimum dues, we do encourage members to donate financially or through service on a voluntary basis toward the upkeep and continuance of the Fellowship as best they can. In return, membership will give you special reduced rates at all Hermitage Retreats on Denman Island as well as other privileges, such as a right to participate in the governance of the Fellowship, and so forth. We are a publicly supported organization and we do give tax receipts to those making worthy financial contribution to the Dharma Fellowship. If you believe in the goals set by the Dharma Fellowship society, please consider applying for membership now.
To apply for membership send an email addressed to the President of the Board of Directors, care of Info@dharmafellowship.org