White Heron Sangha

Summer 2020

Gratitude and Volunteering

by Bob Liss


Last year, after a challenging day, I wasn’t feeling so great so I began writing a gratitude list to brighten my evening. After dinner my son asked what I was up to so I explained my gratitude list logic, and how this appreciation makes me feel better. He then went on to tell me (as 22 year olds sometimes do) that gratitude isn’t just about how we feel—it’s about how we act. He thanked us for making dinner, and then washed the dishes. When I was asked to be of service as the volunteer coordinator at White Heron Sangha, it reminded me of this experience with Josh.

Laura and I moved from Pennsylvania to San Luis Obispo almost three years ago, after our 3 young adult children moved to the west coast. They live 4 hours south of us; we knew no one in the area, and missed our friends. Have you ever experienced the feeling of walking into a room of people, knowing no one, yet feeling welcome? With White Heron Sangha, we found a group of people woven together in kindness and this has filled me with gratitude. I listened to my son—and am glad to be able to express my appreciation through the role of volunteer coordinator.

People displaced from their homes can continue to find security in knowing where their next meal is coming from—thanks to the incredible service of those feeding the hungry during this time of physical distancing. There are many Sangha members who offer care and service that are not Sangha-sponsored. They are out there, in the arena, working closely with people in need. I am truly humbled by your devotion.

I would like to thank the Volunteer Team Leaders by name: Marianne, for our Sunday Service and helping me with the transition to volunteer coordinator; Wendy, for organizing our group to Feed the Hungry at Prado; Mary, who leads our housekeeping team in keeping our Sangha clean and safe; Sharon, for being our President(!) and, with Susan’s help, leading our Karuna team, enriching our connections as we help each other in hard times.

There are so many other volunteers to thank—all of the teachers, everyone who is on the Board of Directors, the committees, the website, audio-visual; the list goes on. Many of you have helped our Sangha to keep a strong, ongoing connection with one another during the pandemic—from moving our events to the online zoom platform to each person that teaches classes and leads the morning sit, to everyone that attends these offerings.

The Buddha, Dharma and Sangha are each essential. WHS is precious and an incredible community to be a part of. The Sangha is 100% volunteer, and thrives because of your participation. Thank You. There are many ways to help, including opportunities to serve from home. Please feel free to give me a call. I wish you all the best of health.

With Metta,

Bob Liss
(484) 459-1061
bobliss01@gmail.com 

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