Dear Friends,

2018 has been an amazing year at the Dharma Bum Temple! If I had any expectations, we would have far surpassed all of them. Our programs have grown steadily since moving into our new Temple 18 months ago. We have spent the last 4 months on capital improvements to the physical Temple, making sure this 91-year old building lasts another 100 years. We filed for a reclassification with the IRS and after a 7 month wait, we were approved to be designated with the same rights as a traditional Western Church. I like to say we now have "Church Status". Buddha for You Gifts & Books has integrated beautifully into the downstairs of the Temple as it now is officially our non-profit gift shop. As Buddha for You nears its 20-year anniversary, it continues to be a peaceful place for all who enter while providing additional income for the Temple. When I look back on 2018, I can confidently say we have definitely upgraded the software and hardware of the Dharma Bum Temple.

I want to give special thanks to all of the donors who supported us this past year and gave so generously allowing us to strengthen the physical structure we call home. Your support has made everything we do possible! 

Some of the hardware improvements to the Temple include a complete renovation to the residential quarters, deep cleaning and remodeling of the storage facilities, a renovated downstairs meditation hall, half of the building’s 91-year old floors have been sanded down to their original nature and sealed for protection, removing 91-year old wires and rewiring the entire building with brand new electrical, a beautiful A/V system including projector, drop down screen and soon to be a camera for live streaming all talks, a new office for meetings and volunteers to work, an updated Dharma Bum Temple website with more features to be built in and a new Buddha for You Gifts & Books website, a newly upgraded library with rare Buddhist books, ceiling fans throughout the building, 20 solar panels as we have now gone solar, attic insulation soon to be installed, whirlybirds are now on the roof to help in the summer, window shadings will be installed, concrete sidewalk slabs cut down for safety, a ceremonial planting of the Bodhi Tree from India and soon to be delivered beautiful new main shrine statues to keep watch on us Dharma Bums for the next 100 years. 

Our programs are the software and have been helping thousands of people find a sense of peace in their life. The Recovery Sangha has grown tremendously with groups meeting 5 times a week. The Family Sangha has grown as well still meeting twice a month while holding camping trips, events at a park or beach and holiday parties. We have a steady flow of people coming to our weekly meditation classes led by many lay people in the community. We have hosted some of the most well known Buddhist Monks and Nuns from around the globe as our Guest Teacher Program continues to thrive. Delta Beta Tau which is our college outreach program hosts weekly meditations for 80-100 people, feeds the homeless and goes on retreats to various Buddhist Temples. We started a new weekly Dharma Bum Teens program led by our college kids sharing meditation and Buddhist teachings in a discussion format. Movie Nights have returned with monthly showings and soon to be more often. Morning Meditation is thriving in silence 5 days a week. The Prison Outreach Program has been expanded as we have taken over an old program so we can give it new life. The Day of Silence Retreats are packed with 20-30 silent people every month. The Food Redistribution Program is amazing still feeding a few hundred people a week with the simple gifts of peanut butter, jelly and bread. We feed people, but it is those who participate that truly get what they need which is the gift of giving. In total, this Dharma Bum Temple hosts approximately 500-700 people a week. 

As we wrap up year 12 of the Dharma Bum Temple I say thank you! None of this could have been done without the endless amount of volunteers that are the heartbeat of the Dharma Bum Temple. Every day people who enter this Temple touch the lives of so many others. You are the ones that make this place so incredible. You are the ones that make this place feel safe. You are the ones that make this place live and breathe. You are the Dharma Bum Temple. Thank for making everything this past year possible, we are forever grateful! 

At the end of each year we look to you the community to make donations to help us sustain monthly expenses and help us pay down the debt of the building. It is our intention to raise $50,000 between now and the end of the year. We say everything we do at the Dharma Bum Temple is free and that is the truth. We do however have a lot of expenses and we hope you will continue to support us as we move forward. You may make a donation here via our Facebook Fundraising Campaign as there are no fees. You may donate via the DBT website or you may send a check made out to Dharma Bum Temple. If you visit the website donation page, you will see we have added many different ways one can donate and support the Dharma Bum Temple. All donations are of course tax-deductible.

2019 is sure to bring some exciting additions to the Dharma Bum Temple. We have referred to them as DBT 2.0 and Buddha for You 2.0. We will continue to strengthen the programs we offer and make any changes necessary to ensure long-term viability. We are digging deeper into the organizational structure and building out volunteer teams to manage and lead various programs and tasks. The Dharma Bum Life Program will return in addition to more regular retreats made available to all. We will be rolling out a new Blog for the Temple and Buddha for You. We will be enhancing the use of the new A/V equipment to live stream classes for those not in San Diego as well as show Dharma teachings from other great teachers around the globe. We will have teachings being shown during the day for those who want to come in and listen to Dharma Talks. We are working diligently to build a Dharma Bum Temple that is sustainable and beneficial for all who enter.

As Co-Founder & Executive Director, 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. Our intention has always been to build a safe place to study and practice Buddhism while coming together as a community. We have succeeded but we are not done yet, not even close...

Yours in the Dharma,
Jeffrey Zlotnik