Today I invite you to help transform Wildmind into a Community-Supported Meditation Initiative.
This is urgently needed, because the way we’ve been doing things is no longer viable, to the point where a few days ago, I seriously believed I would have to give up teaching.
But I also want to make these changes so that Wildmind reflects my deeper values, and because of the sense of urgency I feel about bringing more mindfulness and compassion into the world.
The Old Way
I started Wildmind almost 20 years ago as a website where people could learn meditation for free. (That’s been a great success. We’re on track to have over 800,000 unique visitors this year. Our most popular articles have been read more than 600,000 times each. We are having a large, positive impact.)
To fund the website I sold guided meditation CDs and offered online meditation courses, first by charging, and then mostly by donation.
But things have changed. Few people buy CDs and even MP3s, and with more apps out there, fewer people are enrolling in our online courses.
The old model is no longer viable. We need to go in a new direction. And we need to do it now, or Wildmind will no longer exist.
A New Direction
I’ve long dreamed of having my teaching supported entirely by donations from supporters. We made moves in that direction a few years ago, but we didn’t pursue that aim as persistently as we should have, and the initiative stalled. But that, I am convinced, is the direction to go in.
It’s time to take a leap forward, and so that’s why we’re transforming Wildmind into a Community-Supported Meditation Initiative.
I am thankful that the Wildmind community has always stepped up in the past. When we’ve had a special project we needed to fund, you were there. When there was a financial crisis, you were there. Thank you from my heart.
Our strength and our future lies in you. What we envision is that lots of supporters like you would contribute a small amount each month to support Wildmind’s teaching work.
A Community, Supported
A community that supports a meditation initiative deserves support in return. And so I’ll be offering the following:
+New Courses for Sponsors
Any new courses I develop will be exclusively for Wildmind’s supporting community. There will be no charge to you for these courses. I anticipate adding a new course at least every two months, which is roughly what I’ve done in the past.
+Special Newsletter for Sponsors
At present we send out three newsletters a month. In future one of those will be for sponsors only, and will contain an exclusive article, a meditation download, and news of sponsor-only courses.
+Private Online Discussion Forum
I’m setting up an online forum for sponsors, where you can connect with other community members in an environment free from advertising and from the kind of data-harvesting that goes on in Facebook.
All my current courses (and there are presently around 30 of them) would be FREE for the general public. Potentially many thousands of people would benefit each year, and this is a gift that YOU, as a sponsor, would make happen. You’d have the satisfaction of knowing you were promoting mindfulness and compassion in the world.
This new model feels much more in line with my core values and with the tradition meditation teachers being supported by donations from the community.
How We Can Accomplish This Together
To bring this vision to life will initially require just $6,000 a month, made up of donations as small as $6. This total would cover what I need in order to keep writing, teaching, and recording, and will cover administrative support, bookkeeping, and the cost of hosting the website and newsletter.
So we’re breaking our $6,000 target into 1,000 “Wildmind Community Shares.” We’re asking you to sponsor as many or as few Wildmind Community Shares as you feel comfortable with. Some of you might sponsor two shares ($12 a month) three shares ($18 a month), or more. Others might sponsor one share at $6 a month.
There is no hierarchy of sponsorship levels, with increasing perks as you contribute more: if you give more it’s because you can afford to do so, and because you value what we do and want to support it. Every single sponsor’s contribution will be a valued building block in reaching our goal and sustaining our vision.
Progress to Date
This graph (which may not be up to date, because we have to update it manually) shows the progress we’re making toward our goal.
For Existing Contributors
If you already make a monthly contribution, this means you’re already on board as one of our sponsors, and don’t need to take any further action. Thank you!
It Starts Now
Transforming Wildmind into a Community-Supported Meditation Initiative starts today. You can contribute right now using this form:
If you don’t have a PayPal account, look for the link that says “Subscribe using a debit or credit card.”
Looking to sponsor more than 10 shares? Click here.
An Unfolding Transformation
- 25%: Once we’re a quarter of the way to our goal of $6,000, we’ll open up the Online Community for sponsors.
- 50%: Once we’re half way to our goal, one of Wildmind’s three monthly newsletters will be sent only to sponsors, with an exclusive article and monthly meditation download.
- 75%: When we’re three-quarters of the way there, I’ll launch new courses that are just for supporters. I’ll also schedule a live monthly conference call where we can practice together as a community. (This’ll be archived and sent out to you if you miss the call.)
- 100%: Once the goal is fully achieved, I’ll some of my existing courses free to the general public, enlarging our meditation community and potentially benefitting hundreds of thousands of people.
Let’s Make This Happen!
Let’s do this! Let’s transform Wildmind into a unique, Community-Supported Meditation Initiative. It’s very doable—with your support.
Become a community sponsor now, using the form below.
With love and gratitude,