Spring Fundraiser 2023

Dear Friends,

Every Spring for my birthday it is an honor to humbly raise money for the Dharma Bum Temple. I remember the old downtown Dharma Bum Temple days when the greatest pressure was making sure we raised a few bucks to pay rent and the electric bill. Seventeen years into leading the Dharma Bum Temple and six years into the new location, I would not change anything we have done (well maybe a few things)!

The pressure now is definitely different, but the number of lives we touch make it all worthwhile. The reality is we never could have grown into the organization we are today in the old location. We used a metaphor back then that we were like a plant in a pot that was too small and getting crushed by its barrier. So now the barrier is much larger, allowing us to grow. However, this comes with major expenses that we did not need to address in the past.

We have completed many capital improvement projects since we arrived in 2017, thanks to so many amazing donors. There are a few more major projects on our wish list, some of them necessary and some of them would simply be nice to have.

Our immediate need is to replace the 25-year-old HVAC unit with a new heat pump system allowing us to utilize both heat and air to keep people comfortable. In addition to this, the residential area would install a mini split system, as night time it reaches temperatures in the 40s.

Also, an immediate need is the foundation on the south side of the building that needs a concrete barrier so we can stop the water from coming in below the building. This would require trenching the side of the building and pouring cement to secure the building from any water damage.

Another major step will be to complete the window restoration project. While the main hall has been completed, there is the rest of the building that needs to be fixed. As in the main hall, many of the windows around the Temple either do not open or leak and for the longevity of the structure need to be replaced.

We have a beautiful new project in the design phase which is the Temple Garden Project. This will include a complete remake of the garden area which will also add an outdoor meditation space to be used during the day and for classes when the San Diego weather is nice and warm. Some of the design photos will be attached here soon in this campaign.

These are items we have identified that either need to be done or will be done in the near future. This does not account for any other items that arise simply due to the nature of a 96-year-old building. We also have the remaining $450,000 in debt that we owe on the mortgage, so we can be free and clear of this expense moving forward.

Our current temple schedule of classes and programs is running smoothly and busier than ever! Our morning meditation Monday-Friday continues to start each day with a beautiful practice. Our weekly evening 7pm schedule remains full with our Zen Buddhism class on Monday, Intro to Buddhism on Tuesday, Loving-Kindness Meditation on Wednesday, Dharma Bum Basics on Thursday, a new Recovery Dharma Program on Fridays, and Tonglen Meditation on Sunday. The Recovery Sangha for those battling addiction has stayed strong with meetings on Saturday and Sunday mornings as well as Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and now Friday evenings. The Homeless Hats Project: Knit and Sit is a special group of volunteers meeting weekly and has made over 1,000 warm hats for people who live on the streets. Delta Beta Tau is our college outreach program and they are thriving gathering multiple times a week at SDSU for meditation, community service, guest speakers and retreats. The Family Sangha gathers once a month, a time for parents, kids, toddlers and teens. We have successfully returned to hosting our monthly Day of Silence Retreats. The Food Redistribution Program is thriving with a solid group of committed volunteers. We are returning to provide meditation in the Prison system starting with the juvenile detention facilities. Our Special Guest Program is back as we host a Tibetan Lama in March and a Zen Teacher and author in April. Two new programs that have launched are the Engaged Buddhist Training Programs and the Sangha Social Crew. In addition to all of this, we continue to offer almost all of our classes virtually as well, for those who are unable to attend or simply do not live in San Diego. Our reach is literally now global and this is a tremendous honor. As you can see, we have been incredibly busy and touching thousands of lives.

We say everything we do at the Dharma Bum Temple is free and that is the truth, we do not charge for any of our classes or programs. We do however have monthly expenses, major capital improvements in addition to remaining building debt. I hope you will consider making a donation of any amount to help us cover some of these costs. The Dharma Bum Temple is a 501(c)(3) NPO and all donations are 100% tax-deductible.


***You may donate via our Facebook Fundraising Campaign with no fees

***You may donate online via the DBT website

***You may Venmo @dharmabumtemple

***You may drop a check made out to Dharma Bum Temple in the donation box or mail to: 4144 Campus Avenue San Diego, CA 92103.

I want to send a special thank you to all of our existing monthly donors, without you none of this is possible! We are truly touched by your support and hope you will consider a one-time donation for this fundraising campaign.

As Co-Founder and CEO, it is an honor to be of service to this community. Thank you for all the love and support you have shown us Dharma Bums over the years. Our intention has always been to build a safe place to study and practice Buddhism while coming together as a community. I continue to be incredibly proud of everyone who works so hard to make this little Temple such a spectial place. Your continuous support is beautiful, deeply appreciated and I thank you!

Yours in the Dharma,

Jeffrey Zlotnik

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