*this originally appeared in the Rime Center Newsletter*
The Rime Center is Special Because….
By Daniel Scharpenburg
I thought I would just list some reasons why I like the Rime Center and why I am proud to be part of this community
1) It’s in a Buddhist temple. That might not seem like a big deal at first, but the truth is that an overwhelming number of Buddhist communities in the United States meet in churches, unity temples, yoga studios, community centers, and people’s homes. We meet in a Buddhist temple. Although this building wasn’t created to be a Buddhist temple in the first place, it’s been one for over 20 years. It means something to me that we aren’t using borrowed space, that we’re practicing Buddhism in a sacred Buddhist space and not a borrowed one. There’s nothing wrong with other communities doing that, of course. I just think we’re lucky to have a Buddhist temple to practice in.
2) It’s a place for families. My friend Amanda moved away to Chicago. Chicago is a big city with a lot of Buddhist communities. But she couldn’t find one that had a Sunday school she could put her daughter in. Many Buddhist communities are ‘leave your kids at home’ situations. Not here, we accommodate families at the Rime Center, so parents can come to our Sunday service without having to worry about getting a babysitter. I had assumed this was normal until my friend Amanda told me about her difficulty in Chicago.
3) Pay what you can afford. Buddhist retreats can be very expensive. Some places charge several hundred dollars. It makes sense that retreats would be expensive, of course. If a teacher is visiting, it costs money to bring them, not only hopefully paying them for their teachings, but also travel expenses. Here at the Rime Center we have a ‘pay what you can afford’ situation, with a suggested donation. I’ve tried to travel to retreats in other places. It’s a financial difficulty. I have to spend months hiding money in my sock drawer to save up the amount that I need.
4) Location. I love that the Rime Center is so easy to get to. Right off I-35 in the Crossroads District. It’s easy to get to for someone just across the state line like me and it’s just as easy for someone north of the river to get there too. There are also plenty of people that come from further away than that. The central location of the Rime Center is an incredible asset and something that I appreciate.
5) Community. What more can I say? The people at the Rime Center are welcoming and kind to an incredible degree. I still remember the first time I returned to the Rime Center after my marriage fell apart. Someone I didn’t even know asked how I was doing and gave me a hug. The Rime Center is a wonderful building in a wonderful area, but it’s also full of amazing people. So, thank you for making the Rime Center great.