Last weekend, after long preparation, I was ordained and am now Reverend Maitri Libellule (though I still expect everyone to call me Maitri!) The ordination furthers and deepens my ministry work. I knew this was coming when I started The Compassionate Blog Award, because The Maitri Ministry, (and this is NOT Maitri, my name, it is the Buddhist teaching of maitri, of spreading loving-kindness and compassion...) is a goal that has been a very long time in the works. When I took the name "Maitri" legally in 2005, I did so not because I felt I had achieved maitri in my every day life, but as a mantle I would wear for all the rest of my days. I wanted to let everyone know in light of my ordination, that this commitment to celebrating bloggers whose blogs give to the world a seed of compassionate, loving-kindness through their words and their deeds deserve recognition, and in so doing, inspire others to follow suit. My ministry is non-denominational and celebrates people of all faiths and all walks of life. The Maitri Ministry works alongside any other spiritual path that you follow, an enrichment perhaps, a widening of our vision of how we might spread compassion in the world.
The ministry will be expanding greatly over the next year. There will be a new blog coming soon for The Maitri Ministry and it is of course on the Dragonfly Cottage website. One of my goals, as an artist myself, is to encourage artists to donate even a small percentage of their sales to a cause they believe in. Each one, reach one. We take care of one another other. Right now I have a shawl on my knitting needles. It is called "The Maitri Shawl" for the name of the ministry, and will be donated to the church that ordained me. I will be sending these, free of charge, to those in need in many areas, and will also have some on the website and blogs for a suggested donation. All monies donated go back into the ministry, partly to buy supplies at low cost for all of the things I make and give away, partly to keep the office going and the books and booklets published which will be offered, again, for a donation, but no one who really wants one will ever be turned away. This is where the Free Will/Love donations help. Not necessary, but appreciated if they come. I want my work to always be accessible to those who need it. There is a much longer explanation on the Dragonfly Cottage main page.
Coming up shawls will go to the Battered Women's shelter, a Homeless organization, and an elderly person in a nursing home who has no family or visitors. I will be making visits to these places as part of my ministry as well as counseling, and teaching my journal-writing classes at churches in the area. Eventually I will begin to teach online again. Everything I do will be by donation only, no one ever turned away if they can't pay, everything I do is given deeply from my heart. My church, my temple, if you will, is in my heart, not in a building. It is, as I said, an outreach ministry, and it will be my path for the rest of my life. I have been preparing myself for this for many years. Now it is time, now it has begun.
I want to thank each and every one of you for being part of this part of my ministry. Please encourage others to join. There will never be any fees or charges, and again, the weekly winners will be, after their week of celebration, put on the Dragonfly Cottage website for a full year. This will be a lot of free advertising for you and I am very excited about this and wish you well. We spread the word about compassion and loving-kindness by words and deeds. We spread it however we can...
Thank you so much for your giving hearts and loving gentle spirits,