The Marici Fellowship is a worldwide organization providing support for those who need it through community outreach programs, support groups and education. His Eminence Khöndung Avikrita Vajra Sakya Rinpoche founded the Marici Fellowship in 2017, wishing to create the opportunity for Dharma practitioners to engage in compassionate action that benefits all beings, the practitioner included. His Eminence was deeply inspired by the compassionate nature of his grandfather. Here are a few words from His Eminence about this:
Our late grandfather, His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Dorje Chang, didn’t just teach great compassion; he manifested it in every aspect of His holy life – as a spiritual guide, as a partner, as a parent, a grandparent, and a beloved friend. Inspired by such a dynamic example and with the auspicious dependent connections aligning of keen interest among our Dharma-friends in Seattle, we founded the Marici Fellowship as a platform for “putting the Dharma into action for the benefit of all.”
The way we speak of this great compassion in the Great Vehicle of Buddhism is to arouse the aspiration to optimize this human life we have – body, brain and heart – in order to bring about the welfare of not just our immediate loved ones, community members, compatriots or even just humanity, but all sentient beings. On that basis, it is not enough to simply nurture an internal determination; we have to dream out loud and act on that resolve. This is the twofold way walked by all the Awakened Ones of the past, present and future. Therefore, the aim of the Marici Fellowship is to compliment the well-established spiritual activities of Sakya Monastery and its affiliates with a range of socially engaged programs.
What makes the Marici Fellowship unique from regular charitable endeavors is that we are not simply sacrificing some free time and funds to provide material welfare out of mere sympathy and solidarity; we are putting the Dharma into practice for our own and others’ temporal and spiritual well-being. In other words, our work is not a separate pursuit from the Dharma but an integral part of it.
Marici Fellowship Prayer Book
This non-sectarian prayer book was composed by His Eminence Khöndung Avikrita Vajra Sakya Rinpoche to be recited at all Fellowship activities. As Rinpoche writes, “… our work is not a separate pursuit from the Dharma but an integral part of it. Therefore, we have put together a small booklet of sacred verses that serve to foster and enrich that noblest of aspirations. The opening prayers draw inspiration from our Guru, the three refuges he embodies as well as Arya Marici herself. Two beautiful aspirations by the Buddha follow that bring all the qualities of bodhicitta and the resources that aid its development to the forefront of our minds. If there is time, we may enjoy reciting all the prayers; if not, the opening prayer and then one of the two aspirations. Alternatively, we can recite one at the beginning of an activity and one at the conclusion – whatever helps. Our heartfelt hope is that all the aspirations in this booklet and the work of the Marici Fellowship be fulfilled without obstacles.”
Video: An Overview of The Marici Fellowship
His Eminence Khöndung Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche gives a presentation to Fellowship members in Seattle, USA about the Marici Fellowship’s origins and goals.
Programs and Activities
The Marici Fellowship has many activities and programs throughout the year which support the spread of dharma in connection with local communities. You can find out more about our programs on the Programs page, and view announcements for upcoming events on our Coming Events page.
The Marici Fellowship Logo
The logo for the Marici Fellowship is very special, replete with meanings which echo the purpose and spirit of the Marici Fellowship itself.
Marici Fellowship Mission
Marici means “rays of light” in Sanskrit. Our mission: Shining the light of compassion through kindness.
Foundational Goals of the Fellowship
- To understand that our work is not a separate pursuit from the dharma but an integral part OF the dharma.
- To bring together as many avenues as possible for the relief of suffering, through education, peer support, ongoing service to those in need and much more.
- To dissolve the barriers of separateness between ourselves, others, and most importantly those we are trying to help most.
To be a community whose members recognize the interconnectedness of ourselves and other, our environment and discovering the true gift of helping those in need the benefit to them but also the great gift it is for ourselves.