"Those who have done appeals will know that the cocktail of spiritual practice and door-knocking is a particularly potent mix and we quickly formed very strong friendships between us, astonishingly fast in fact, through this intensity. The first two appeals from September into December took us from delightful, balmy Autumn evenings into dark, freezing nights. That was hard – Sanghanath would often head out with three fleeces and two pairs of thermal long johns under his normal clothes.
"The thing that really surprised me was quite how willing many, many people were to stand at the door and chat with you though, about anything, really intimately. Someone you had never met before wanting to connect with you. I remember one mum pulling a face as she slipped out of the door to confide how she had one very grouchy teenager in the house ... then we talked for half an hour.
"For three weeks over Christmas we headed out to India to see some of the projects for ourselves. For me, many highlights - meeting my old friend Ratnadeep again after many years, the wonderful Ajanta caves, watching Jayaraja take on the Maharashtran boxing team at arm wrestling on an overnight train, seeing Sanghanath in his homeland, realising the revolutionary effect of micro-finance groups in the Pune slums, and then returning to an incredibly peaceful, clean and spacious sense of Bethnal Green!
"Beyond that was a real spirit of brotherhood that existed between us, real community. On our return we were soon into door-knocking again. Still cold in January but Spring came, with more light in the evenings. There was always someone in the team who was on fire – bringing in lots of direct debits – always someone in a rut. It was never the same. The practice was to try and rejoice in the overall success.
"In March Paul decided to leave us – he felt he'd gone as far as he could this time. In May my own door-knocking ground to a halt, but I'm staying on to support the others and work at Karuna until August. Hey, it was always going to be a tough call ... so no regrets ... proudly we bear the scars of great battles.
"Anyway, despite this it has been a great success, raising over £400,000 so far for Karuna’s work in India. So much so that we decided to extend it into a second year and are currently looking for men to join us for six weeks, three months or longer, from now onwards.
"It's a great community and we'd make you very welcome. Door-knocking is a way of making a real difference in the world as well as a powerful means of self-awareness and personal transformation. You don't need any prior experience of fund-raising to give it a go, just a willingness to learn and engage with the process. If you're interested there's an advert in the jobs section (click here). Why not give us a call and find out more?
With metta, Bodhiketu"