Padmalila writes from Lama’s Pyjamas in London - a charity shop attached to Triratna’s London Buddhist Centre - with news of their remarkable success in raising money for Vajrasana, the LBC’s retreat centre in Suffolk. She says - “At our recent Buddha Day festival Claudine presented a giant cheque for £27 thousand pounds to the London Buddhist Centre on behalf of Lama’s Pyjamas.
This is the profit we made last year and it will make a significant contribution to the big fundraising appeal for Vajrasana - which needs expanding and refurbishing to meet the increasing demands of a busy city centre.
We are well into our third year of trading and the takings are going up and up each year.
Why are we so successful? Well, people want somewhere to take their unwanted clothes and goods where they know they will be used for good. People like our shop - the prices are good and it is a friendly, calm, attractive environment. Three of us work full time and are supported financially by the business. We have a team of about 13 volunteers and casual workers. We value all our staff. We have training days for our volunteers. This year we are doing some Compassionate Communication with Vajraghanta and some study with Ratnagosha. We also do practice reviews every month or two with all our volunteers and casual workers to develop friendships and reflect on work as spiritual practice.
The three of us who manage the shop check in together each morning, meet weekly to discuss business, study together for a couple of hours each week , have a two day retreat each year and two team planning days at the beginning of the year. Something I hadn’t anticipated being so effective is that we start each day with the Refuges and Precepts and end with a brief rejoicing in something or someone and the Transference of Merits. This has given us a sense of the bigger perspective at the beginning and end of every day whether it has been a tiring day or a difficult day or a great day!
All this adds up to making the shop a very successful example of a team-based Right Livelihood business - one where we aim to make a profit AND make the work a spiritual practice for everyone. I am aware that we are very fortunate to be supported and encouraged by the LBC team and council and that we have a great space shop space and that we are a very positive and harmonious team. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be part of Lamas Pyjamas.