Where We’ve Been…2014
Our growth continued in 2014 with a solid program in our two Los Angeles centers and we began renovations on a space we’re leasing in San Francisco. Thanks to a generous donor Against the Stream in Boston was launched at the end of the year. Our community has come together time and time again to support us and we’re deeply indebted to you. Our San Francisco project is large indeed, and we wouldn’t be so close to opening without you. We are proud that once again we were able to make the teachings of the Buddha available to anyone who wished to receive them. No one was turned away from our regular classes or programs because of lack of funds. Also thanks to you we have a robust scholarship program for our programs and retreats.
Our class schedule continues to grow and change to meet the needs of our community. Last year we were honored to host Phillip Moffitt, Lama Tsultrim Allione, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Mark Coleman and many, many others. We have broadened our programs by adding new events such as the Full Moon Ceremony. We are supporting the growth of Refuge Recovery around the country which took off after the publication of Noah’s latest book. Taking our practice Off the Cushion remains a top priority: we have gone to the LA Food Bank, organized a neighborhood cleanup, continue our prison pen pal program, have an EcoDharma group and have joined with CLUE-LA to support workers at USC and participate in a Black Lives Matter demonstration. Against the Stream is committed to relevance and inclusion and we strive to make this a welcoming place for all. Gigi St. Johns came on board as our Volunteer Coordinator to help organize our activities. We could not do what we do without our volunteers. We are filled with gratitude to you our sangha, both local and virtual, for supporting us in the myriad ways you do.
- 23 weekly classes or sitting groups in three locations in LA
- 27 special class series and daylongs
- 133 received scholarship support (12% of all attendees)
- 16 dana-only classes and events
- 1326 attended all special series and daylongs
- There are five Refuge Recovery Groups each week
- We added a Family Program to our People of Color and Young People affinity groups
- Over 2,000 people per month came through the doors in LA to attend regular classes
- We had seven retreats on two coasts (almost 25% of 348 total retreat attendees received scholarship support)
- Numerous classes and programs in the Bay Area, Boston, Nashville and elsewhere
Where We’re Going…2015
We’re going to turn seven in 2015 and as with last year, our focus remains on three specific areas: Programs, People & Finances
Programs: Continue to expand and meet the needs of the community
Our calendar is robust and we will continue to feature our local teachers and invite teachers from outside the area to offer class series, daylongs, and other events. We hope to make the dharma more available to families and we will continue to expand our programming to meet the needs of the community. We currently have five retreats on the calendar and plan to schedule more. The current cohort of Teacher Trainees is scheduled to graduate this year. The San Francisco Center will have a strong schedule of programs and take advantage of our ATS teachers and the wealth of dharma in the Bay Area. We have over 500 podcasts on our network, our YouTube channel is strong and we hope to have to virtual classes by this summer. We’re committed to supporting our virtual community.
People: Grow and support our community, both locally and virtually
We would not exist without our sangha and we aim to provide as many ways to get together as possible. We have planned fun events such as movie and game nights. We’re also committed to social engagement and hope to be of service to our community in even more ways as a sangha. This means creating and supporting our own programs and partnering with other community organizations for a broader outreach. So many of our community are already involved helping others and we support the growth of energy and engagement in the sangha. We’re also committed to helping our virtual sangha connect more and more, both through social media and in other ways.
As we continue to grow, we need your volunteer support more than ever and hope to create committees to get you involved in planning our sangha. If you’d like to be a part of the community, let us know.
Finances: As a non-profit, finances will remain our most challenging area.
2015 will be a year of continued growth and expansion and we are putting a focused effort in finding the means to support our programs and continue to make the teachings of the Buddha available to everyone who is interested. The San Francisco Center will open and we hope it will be self-supporting right away. We thank you in advance for your constant support and help in keeping the doors open. More info on support. For our Financial Details, please check out the following links:
We’d love to hear from you. If you have comments, suggestions, or would like to get involved, please write [email protected]