Dear AMI Students and Friends,
Namaste. We pray this message finds you and all your family well and strong.
In this second year of the pandemic, we at AMI have used the lessons learned in 2020 to advance our important work. In this unprecedented time, the mission of the American Meditation Institute—to increase self-reliance, responsibility, kindness, compassion, security, health, happiness, love and peace—is more essential than ever.
Like you, we’ve had to dig deep to find the strength, courage, and creativity to meet the challenges that we, as teachers, face in an age of social distance. For the second year in a row the COVID-19 pandemic completely eliminated our two primary income sources: the annual July retreat and the October physicians’ conference. Also, out of an abundance of caution and due to the unpredictable nature of the virus, we again offered our classes only online in 2021. In this uncertain time, we cannot say when we’ll be able to resume in-person teaching, and we are all still learning to be flexible––long after we thought we would have answers.
As we reported last year, this new karma necessitated a strategic reduction in our operating expenses, and we have continued to operate under these austerity measures. But now we need your help to meet our projected year-end budget shortfall of $50,000. Your generosity will help to ensure that we can meet AMI’s modest financial obligations, including staffing, strategic marketing and publicity, as well as providing the publication and promotion costs for Leonard’s important new book, YOUR CONSCIENCE. Our GoFundMe campaign raised approximately $7,000, but costs have exceeded $32,000, so your gift is more critical now than ever.
The good news is that YOUR CONSCIENCE was published to very positive reviews, and continues to offer an engaging and accessible entrée to newcomers, as well as a concise summary of the most important and eminently practical teachings for all of us. We are pleased to highlight the offering of this new book in the following presentation of AMI’s 2021 accomplishments––made possible by your generous support:
- YOUR CONSCIENCE was published on September 7, 2021. A joint volunteer and professional effort resulted in numerous important activities to promote the book, including a series of webinars with special guests including Dr. Mark Pettus, filmmaker Mahiema Anand, Mind/Body Medicine pioneer Dr. Bernie Siegel, and Jessica Lohry, program director at The Interfaith Center at Miami University. The final webinar in the series will air in a few weeks with Drs. Kristin Kaelber and Anita Burock Stotts. In addition, Leonard has participated in more than 65 live international podcasts. We appreciate the support of our community in this important endeavor, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share these teachings with an ever-expanding audience.
- The second annual observance of National Conscience Month was held in January 2021. Jasmin Palermo’s brilliant essay earned her the $1,600 scholarship, made possible by your donations. Jasmin hails from Miami, Florida, and she used her scholarship to augment expenses for her college education.
- The long-term nature of the pandemic has resulted in a streamlining of AMI’s distance learning programs, and we have had to consistently upgrade our technological capacity. The positive response has been gratifying. Attendance at AMI’s free Sunday meditation service has increased more than 200 percent, attracting participants from around the world. Our paid online classes continue to attract new students from far-away places as well.
- Student-led and student-designed classes, like the very practical “Yoga Science Lab” and a recent prayer writing workshop offer new opportunities to both teachers-in-training and diverse audiences.
As 2021 draws to a close, we remain steadfast in our commitment to bring the tools of Yoga Science to life for those, like you, who seek a more happy, healthy, meaningful, and fulfilling life. We urge you to thoughtfully consider the value that AMI has brought to your life, and to give generously to help us recover from the financial damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand that you too may be suffering financially, yet we must count on you to help us achieve our goal of $150,000. No gift is too big or too small, and we thank you sincerely for your ongoing love and support.
In service—with love and gratitude,
Leonard and Jenness Perlmutter