Individual Fundraising

Ziji Overhead Costs 2016-2017

As the Ziji Collective winds down our activities for 2017, we are asking for help to cover the group’s operating costs for the past couple of years, by reimbursing the individuals who have been paying out-of-pocket for things like web hosting and banking fees.

The Ziji Collective Overhead Costs break down as follows:
$345      Total Cost of Web Hosting Fees for the past three years
$55         Total Cost to set up the Ziji Collective’s Bank Account

With the successful completion of this fundraiser, we will enter 2018 with a financially clean slate ready to take on whatever comes our way next year. Thank you so much for your contribution, which is helping create a solid ground for next year and beyond!

Progress: $523/$400 received


Personal Info

Donation Total: $10

Ecosattva Training

Good morning fine Zijians! We are thankful to have a wonderful crew of folks seeking to explore Ecology and Dharma in an upcoming online retreat. The course offered by One Earth will directly support our Ziji gardeners and their connection to the precious Dharma teachers worldwide.

“One Earth Sangha’s [and the Ecosattva’s] mission is to bring the essential wisdom and practices from the Buddhist tradition to collective engagement on critical ecological crises. We assert that activism is more effective and sustainable when grounded in mindfulness and compassion and that social engagement is an essential part of the spiritual path. We bring these two forces, and their corresponding communities, together through teachings, community building and mindful action.” – One Earth Sangha

We at Ziji regard this training as a way for Ziji gardeners, past, present and future to gather around a vision of spiritual ecology, that will grow in Shambhala Dechen Choling, the Ziji Collective and flower into society as a whole.

The training entry fee is 100 dollars per person, and we ask for your support to cover this experience. Collectively Eric Hamilton, Sid, Cash, Agathe, Saiqa, Simon, Tsewang & Sjur Sandvik Holm are attending the program and three of these individuals are requesting a total of $160 in support to access the training.

Thank you for your generosity!

Progress: $167/$167 received


Personal Info

Donation Total: $10

Aubrey Kremer

Nashville, Tennessee

I am humbly asking for your help to fund part of my trip to France this summer to attend the Ziji Gar. I will be in Croatia for a family wedding beforehand and am excited to be traveling to France in July to attend my first Ziji Gar!

In case you’re wondering, Ziji is a Tibetan word meaning ‘bright confidence’, and gar is a Tibetan word meaning ‘encampment’. At the Ziji Gar we will participate in building a camp that we will live in for 9 days. We will participate in social meditation, participant-led workshops, dharma talks, music, and yoga.

The Gar’s emphasis is on “combining inner work with actively trying to help our world through social activism and in other skillful and gentle ways”.

I am beyond excited to be participating in the Gar! It will give me the opportunity to become a more sustainable person, emotionally and environmentally.

The Gar’s focus on social meditation gives me the chance to expand my experience with social meditation and become a more knowledgeable facilitator! I want to further my education in Social Meditation because it makes me feel like I can contribute to the world. My goal is that through experience from the Ziji Gar I not only embody the values but become an ambassador of the Ziji Collective.

Social Meditation has allowed me to bring space and authenticity into the world. When stressful situations arise and life happens, the practice of Social Meditation has provided me with the skills to create an uplifting growth experience for everyone.

Attending the Ziji Gar in France will also be an awesome influence as I help organize the Ziji Summit in Nashville later this November.

“We have been given the task of becoming architects of a new civilization. We are actually being asked to contribute to how the world is going to be. Do we want it to be based upon aggression?” – Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

Cost breakdown:
Ziji Gar
$115 Plane ticket from Croatia to France
$385 registration

Progress: $255/$500 received


Personal Info

Donation Total: $10

Ziji Garden Project

Dechen Chöling

Cliquer ici pour lire la version française

Update from October 2017

Dear supporters,

I am very glad and grateful to announce that our fundraising has now been completed with a total amount of 5750 USD!

I specifically would like to thank the European Donor Group, Ine Sterk and the Dutch Sangha (Fekkes Meike, Hemert Marijke, Pietersz Joke and Uries Ans), Maggie Lewis, Koos et Nikolette De Boer, Claude et Géraldine Bertin and all the community that supported us directly on the fundraising website.

Thanks to your support, we have been able to sponsor several volunteers this year such as Elouan Turmel (you can read his testimonial here), Cailin Burney-O’Dowd, Cash Clay and more to come: Simon Maïsterrena and Agathe Priou.

If there is any remainder left at the end of the year, we will use it to sponsor more volunteers in 2018 as we have already started to look for helpers for next year.

Many thanks to of those who support our project in many different ways whether from near or far.

Simon Bertin, Founder of the Ziji Garden

What is the Ziji Garden Project?

Located in Limousin, France, on the grounds of the Dechen Chöling meditation centre, the Ziji Gardens are growing bigger and embracing permaculture. With the vision of providing fresh, organic and healthy food for the whole community of Dechen Chöling, the Ziji gardeners endeavour to cultivate the earth in harmony with nature and humanity. Taking inspiration from techniques such as permaculture, biodynamics and agroécologie to work on our 1000 m2 plot.

Situated in one of the more sparsely populated regions of France, Dechen Chöling benefits from the néo-rural movement, where city dwellers chose to come and settle in the countryside. Those who make this choice have conviction about a way of life which can provide sustainable conditions for society and nature to come together and flourish. Nestled between these local initiatives – and having connected with such pioneering ideas – the intention of this project is to make Dechen Chöling’s gardens a part of the change taking place at a local level.

To make this happen, we must change our habits. We have to link with the current communities and to share with them our visions and experiences. The plan for Ziji Gardens was conceived after visiting an array of agricultural communities, from rural farms across France to urban gardens in the heart of Berlin. These gardens aim to exemplify environmentally-friendly growing techniques. Through education, demonstration and hands on experience, we hope to spread our inspiration to the many people who visit our gardens. Connecting with the earth – sowing, planting and cultivating crops – brings the simple realisation that food is indeed a medicine, as His Holiness the 17th Karmapa said. The love, energy and craft of growing vegetables makes a visible impact in the world. We stand for providing an alternative to the inordinate amount of produce we can find in our supermarkets, where food is sourced from foreign countries, carelessly grown with destructive methods and using harmful chemicals. Our produce will actively show the importance of taking care of the soil, the plants and the environment.

For updates and more information on the project, check out the Facebook page!

What do we have and what do we need?

In terms of production, our goal for 2017 is to be self-sufficient in vegetables for the staff of Dechen Chöling – that’s around 20 people! The centre has already shown their support by providing us with an initial budget of 2550€. This budget covers the running costs of daily tasks in the garden – seeding, planting, weeding and so forth. It also covers the refurbishment of our facility, including upgrades to our irrigation system and cold-frame hot-beds, the creation of infrastructure such as a veg-prep station and water-collecting tool-sheds. We will also design landscaping features such as bio-diverse ponds and uplifted contemplative spaces.

On top of that we have been awarded $1080! Our thanks to the Shambhala Trust and their Ziji Innovation Grants initiative, which provided support for an additional project called the “lasagne bed” garden. These new self-sufficient growing beds, located in the orchard of Dechen Chöling, will this year yield a delicious crop of squash and pumpkins.

However, despite the great start and immediate success, we still need your help! This fundraiser is aimed and financing two participants to come to Dechen Chöling, dedicating their time to our Ziji Gardens project for the season of 2017.

We are seeking to raise $5,551 (€5,145) in order to sponsor two participants for the program Meditation In Action. This amount corresponds to the fees of this program for 6 months – April through November – €10.50 per day per participant, and includes meals and lodgings during that time. MIAs are an integral part of the Dechen Chöling community, taking part in the daily life of running the centre, and having the opportunity to practice and study the Dharma. We appeal for your support for these two dedicated individuals to come here and grow with us.

What can we achieve?

As the founder of this project, I believe that Dechen Chöling’s gardens have tremendous potential in modern society as a vehicle for environmental awareness. The places where we grow our food are precisely the right setting for social transformation to occur. To change our social culture, we need to change the way we culture our crops. I feel the urgent need to raise awareness of our fading link with nature, of the aggression inherent to the speed of our urban lifestyles, and the pervasive system that sets the consumer further and further away from the producers. The Ziji Garden Project endeavors to create a model environment for this change to take place; a place to share practical knowledge and earthly wisdom for the benefit of future generations.

On behalf of the Ziji Gardens team, and all who have helped get this project off the ground – from Dechen Chöling and the surrounding neighbourhood, from across France, Europe and the world – we are very grateful for your generosity!

Simon Bertin, Founder



Progress: $5750/$5551 received


Personal Info

Donation Total: $10