Joshua Eaton

Independent Journalist

Category: Housekeeping

Dana Wiki Fundraising Report, Part 1

Dana Wiki logo

Dana Wiki logo

AS I have written about here before, Dana Wiki is a website that I started in 2008 to help Buddhist organizations get involved in social service. Toward the end of last year Dana Wiki’s DNS registration expired and I did a small WePay fundraiser to re-register its domain name.

I’m happy to report that the fundraiser was a smashing success. I initially thought I would need to raise $61 to renew Dana Wiki’s DNS registration for one year ($45) and cover WePay’s transfer fees (3.5%). Here’s how much I actually raised:

  • Donation one: $70 (minus $2.45 WePay transfer fee)
  • Donation two: $10 (minus $0.50 WePay transfer fee)
  • Total: $80 (minus $2.95 total WePay transfer fees)

That’s 31% higher that my initial goal. Not bad! Even better, I discovered that my domain registrar, Network Solutions, automatically added private DNS registration to the initial price quote they gave me. When I removed this option, the cost of the DNS renewal for one year went down from $45 to $36.99. Here’s how I’ve spent the donation money to date:

  • DNS renewal (1-year term): $36.99
  • WePay transfer fees: $2.95 (see above)
  • Total: $39.94 (out of $80)

The remaining $40.06 is in my personal savings account at Harvard University Employee Credit Union waiting for me to open up a separate savings account where it can live.

I didn’t purchase a longer DNS term because I’m considering making some major changes to Dana Wiki and want to be absolutely certain what direction the site is taking before doing anything else. However, as promised on the WePay fundraising page, this money will only be spent on either DNS registration or web hosting for Dana Wiki. When it is spent I’ll post another full update both here and at Dana Wiki.

Finally, here’s a screen shot of the DNS renewal receipt so that you know I’m honest:

DNS renewal receipt

In-between Lives

The temple at Pema Samye Ling

The temple at Pema Samye Ling

THE past month has seen a lot of changes in my life. The bad news is that I could no longer afford to stay in Boston. The much better news is that for the time being I’m living at my teacher’s monastery in upstate New York—Palden Padma Samye Ling, the Glorious Inconceivable Lotus Continent*—while I work on a couple of Tibetan translation projects. It’s very, very different from my life in Boston, and much harder, in many ways, but it’s also quite beautiful—both physically beautiful and a meaningful, beautiful life to live.

I’m here working on translating part of the Collected Works of Khenchen Palden Sherab (mkhan chen dpal ldan shes rab kyi gsung ‘bum), my root teacher, who passed away this past summer. Specifically, I’m working on

So far, I’ve already translated the table of contents, a small long-life liturgy, and a praise to Khenchen Palden by Kenpo Pema Gyaltsen, who was both Khenchen Palden’s student and the abbot of Khenchen Palden’s monastery in Sarnath, India.

I’ll post more details on the collected works as a whole in a few days. Until then, here’s a tidbit from the aphorisms:

Sweet words are not necessary; sweet meanings are necessary.

* My friend and Harvard Divinity School colleague Andy Francis, whose Tibetan abilities surpass mine as the sun surpasses all of the other stars, prefers the translation Radiant Isle of Wondrous Lotuses here.

Status Update

IT’S been too long since I’ve posted anything here, and far longer than I anticipated. In the past month I’ve been caught up with moving (twice); job hunting (unsuccessfully); working a part-time, low-pay barrista job (disastrously); and deciding to apply to PhD programs in religious studies for this coming fall (moving back in to my alma mater’s basement).

I’ve started a new blog, Divine Distinctions, to publicize the accomplishments of Harvard Divinity School students and alums. I’ve also done a lot of formatting and layout work here, including adding dropped caps, reworking my online résumé, cleaning up the links section in the right navigation, and copy editing the back entries. Finally, I’ve determined to re-ignite Dana Wiki, an online handbook I wrote and edited to help Buddhist congregations start community service groups.

I’ve been thinking quite a lot recently about the New Atheists (Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, etc.), and especially about their stance on Islam; about the current economic crises and what it means for my generation, despite what the New York Time Magazine has to say; and, of course, about Buddhism and current social problems. I plan to post articles on all of these soon, despite how far behind the headlines I’ll be by then. I also plan to start posting every Wednesday on what various Buddhist thinkers have to say about current social problems. Awakening Wednesday, shall we call it?

In the mean time, please check out Divine Distinctions, Dana Wiki, and the 2010 issue of Cult/ure: The Graduate Journal of Harvard Divinity School, of which I was editor.

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