We hope this finds you and all your family well and strong.
Like you, we at AMI have had a year of unexpected and uncomfortable challenges to address. These challenges have not been completely without benefit—for they have strengthened our commitment, creativity and resolve to serve in new ways. That’s the good news.
On the other hand, the COVID-19 pandemic has completely eliminated our two primary income sources. Both our annual July retreat and the October physicians conference were cancelled. In addition, the requirements of social distancing have dictated the elimination of our in-person classes (from mid-March through the end of this year, at a minimum). In a thoughtful re-evaluation of AMI’s finances (including the discontinuance of our print version of Transformation) we have already reduced our operating expenses as best we could by $35,000. But because the loss of AMI’s primary sources of income has left us with a shortfall of over $100,000, it is our shared dharma to skillfully meet this challenge.
Ironically, because of rising societal dis-ease, this enormous shortfall comes at a time when the importance of our mission has grown in its scope and relevancy. The value of AMl’s mission becomes more apparent and more urgent each day. We write to assure you that with your generous support, AMI’s work will continue to flourish—offering classes online through Zoom, and in person again when the virus relents. But to continue our work, in the face of a $100,000 deficit, we need your help now—more than ever before!
Looking back at 2020, some highlights, all made possible by the contributions of donors like you, deserve mention.
- The official designation of January as National Conscience Month brought AMI valuable attention through television and print interviews, and our sold-out screening of the film “Peaceful Warrior” was made possible-through the generous financial gifts from attendees, author Dan Millman and the Cohoes Music Hall.
- Our inaugural essay contest with scholarship awards for high school students drew entries from the entire country, and will be reprised for the 2nd Annual National Conscience Month in January. The contest speaks to adolescents and their parents, building awareness of every individual’s reliable inner wisdom, and of AMI’s work. Your donations have made these scholarship awards possible.
- Since March we have increased our distance learning programs and upgraded our technological capacity. The positive response has been gratifying. Attendance at AMI’s free Sunday meditation service has increased by 300 percent, including participants from around the country and the world. Our paid online classes have also attracted new students from far-away places. These successes bode well for online learning in a post-COVID environment.
- We created an important addition to AMI’s curriculum in 2019: “Yoga Science Lab.” Designed for AMI Foundation Course alumni, this two-week refresher reminds students how to put Yoga Science tools into practice through ongoing and rewarding personal Meditation-In-Action experiments.
- Next month AMI will host a FREE online physicians’ CME webinar (Sunday, October 18, 1:30 to 3:30 ET) for AMI medical alumni. We’ve created this special 2 CME credit event as a gift to physicians and other healthcare providers disappointed by the cancellation of our October conference, and in need of our support.
Now more than ever, the mission of The American Meditation Institute is to increase understanding, self-reliance, responsibility, civility, kindness, compassion, security, health, happiness, love and peace—what we all need, yet too often forget to share with the world.
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