I am raising a 'mala' for the second Bearing Witness Rwanda retreat -- April 10 - 15, 2011 and our peace building initiative in Rwanda. Please sponsor a bead on my peacemaker mala (rosary) with a generous donation and become part of our Rwanda Peacebuilding Team.
Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my mala raising effort for our bearing witness and peacebuilding work in Rwanda.
Your support will fund both the participation of our Rwandan NGO and government partners (35 Rwandan participants) in our second bearing witness retreat in Rwanda and a trauma counselor training for sixty Rwandan genocide survivors serving as trauma counselors at the grassroots, village level throughout Rwanda.
I will be co-leading our second Bearing Witness Retreat in Rwanda, April 10 - 15, 2011, with my colleague Roshi Genro Guantt, bearing witness to the aftermath of the 1994 genocide and working with diverse groups of Rwandan citizens to create a framework for genuine healing and reconciliation for the Rwandan people. Roshi Genro and I will also lead a three-day trauma counselor training for sixty (60) genocide survivors working as trauma counselors in villages throughout Rwanda.
We are supporting our Rwandan friends in their efforts to build the kind of civil society and social capital that will prevent further violence, civil war and genocide. This retreat is based on the Bearing Witness retreat at Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland where Roshi Genro and I have been serving as retreat leaders for many years. We led an Auschwitz retreat this past June and will lead another involving young people from the Middle East, Europe and North America.
As far back as the time of Shakyamuni Buddha, practitioners have engaged in begging practice. Each day's offering was received with thanks regardless of its nature or size. In this way, the Buddha encouraged a life in which generosity of both giving and receiving were a reflection of the grace of a life lived in utter simplicity.
Participants in Peacemaker Community retreats and training programs are asked to continue this practice by assembling a mala, beads strung together, used for prayer and worn like a necklace. Each bead represents a person's support for a peacemaker’s work or ministry.
The assembly or “raising” of malas also insures that money management and fundraising are not seen as foreign to peacemaking work. Mala practice gives our members the opportunity to share their work with their family, friends, sangha and associates. Members publicize their work, clarify their aspiration through raising money and declare their commitment to the work of making peace in the world.
The names of each donor are written on the beads or attached to the beads in some way, and we wear our malas when undertaking our practice, training, and social actions as peacemakers, bringing our mala supporters with us, working together for peace.
Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate and support our bearing witness & peacebuilding work in Rwanda too! Acharya Fleet Maull