“We make a living by what we make, but we make a life by what we give.” These words are often attributed to Winston Churchill, but they appear to be the work of the prolific “anon.”
I had trouble sleeping last night, which is very unusual for me. I was rather anxious about money, since Wildmind had a very bad year financially and lost a lot of money. I’d actually expected to make a loss since we moved into a larger office and I took on an office assistant to free me up to spend more time on creative tasks. But working on the end of year accounts was rather troubling, because the losses were larger than expected and we are running seriously short of wiggle-room and are having trouble juggling our bills.
At the same time I’m optimistic! On the one hand there’s a (bad) financial cusp looming, but on the other hand what we’ve been doing on Wildmind, which is making meditation available to people throughout the world, is starting to turn into a community. On Google+ [update: Google pulled the plug on Google+ in 2019] we’ve brought together meditation practitioners — from old hands to complete newcomers — and people are sharing what’s going on in their practice, whether that’s painful or blissful. They’re also giving and receiving advice, support, and encouragement. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an unkind word there. It’s inspiring I’m inspired by our community. And it’s only just beginning! I hope that more and more of the many people we reach through our blog will join us.
I’m inspired, and that’s why, at the very time we’re facing a financial crisis, we decided to get rid of the Google ads we’d been carrying on our website. I know that this was the right thing to do esthetically and ethically. And I’m optimistic that this was the right thing to do financially, because I have faith that the Wildmind community will continue to expand, and that it will rally around and carry us through the present challenge and into a much, much better future.
So if you value what we do here, I’m encouraging you to make a regular donation to Wildmind, so that we can not only replace the lost income from the old Google ads, but build up a stronger basis of financial support. One-time donations are great, but recurring donations are ideal because we don’t find ourselves in the situation of having to chase after money month after month.
That basis of financial support will allow me to concentrate on practicing and teaching, and that’s going to help you personally in a number of ways. The more depth there is to my practice, and the more I can focus on writing and teaching, the more I’ll have to offer you in terms of support and advice. But you can also know that your gift is percolating out into the world. Something like 2 million people read the articles and meditation guides on Wildmind’s website every year. I’d like to offer even more, and to have guides on compassion meditation and the other “divine abodes.” I’d like to expand the section on the six element practice. I’d like to have more recordings that are freely available. I’d like to have many more blog posts. I’d like to have 10 million, 20 million people visit our site every year. Heck. 100 million would be better. I’d like to help bring about a meditative transformation of modern society, by giving people the tools they need to develop mindfulness and compassion. Let’s think big.
In time I’d like to make our courses available completely free of charge, so that more people can participate. We’d then ask the participants to make donations, to “pay it forward” and allow others to benefit.
So, the tl;dr (that’s “too long; didn’t read” in the modern internet vernacular) is that Wildmind really needs regular monthly donations from people like you who enjoy and benefit from what we do. Regular donations don’t need to be large. Others will join in and the total support will build. And you’ll help not just yourself, but many, many other people.
If you feel inspired and would like to help us, please consider becoming a subscriber and supporting us with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing. Recurring donations, however small, are particularly helpful because they give us a reliable foundation. Rather than spending our time and energy scrabbling for resources to keep going, we can simply help the world become a more mindful and compassionate place[Update] Wildmind’s former Google+ community now has its own home, and is accessible to Wildmind’s monthly sponsors, who get access to more than 40 meditation courses that Bodhipaksa has created, plus a number of other benefits. We call this Wildmind’s Meditation Initiative. Click the link to learn more.]