Many of you read the excerpts we printed last Spring from InsideOut, the journal of the Hanuman Foundation’s prison ashram project, started by Ram Dass and Bo Lozoff. Well, here’s your chance to keep it alive.
Bo asked me to reword his appeal “so that people don’t get dramatic about our ‘plight.’ We’ve had scores of letters from people who are taking the whole thing on a much more serious level than we are . . . Ram Dass came through a few weeks ago and visited. Before he left, he arranged to borrow enough money to guarantee our salaries through next June. Still, I think your offer (to reprint the letter) is helpful because we hate for him to borrow money on our behalf . . .We’ve received about $3,000 so far out of the hoped-for $7,200, and now things seem to be tapering off . . . Anyway, with your way with words, I’m sure you can tone it down enough so people will send us money but without feeling terrible.”
I think the letter is fine the way it is. Don’t feel terrible. Send some money.
Just a short note to tell you our new address and bring you up-to-date on what’s happening around here.
As you can see, we’ve moved to Colorado. We left nothing in North Carolina except for some relieved postal clerks (one of whom has helped greatly in this difficult move). Please remember to use our new address even though our books and tapes may still say the old one.
Second, I’d like to share with you some financial problems. In our four years of activity, we’ve never “fund-raised”; your unsolicited donations (about $5,000/year, or 20% of our budget) have paid for most of our postage and office expenses, while Ram Dass’ income from books, retreats and lectures has provided our salaries and major printing costs. The situation now is that Ram Dass has withdrawn from the public eye for over a year now to do his own spiritual work and to write a new book; Hanuman Foundation funds have naturally shrunk to an all-time low.
We have found probable grants for our printing expenses, and small donations will hopefully continue to pay postage; but we’ve not found any source of our salaries ($300/month subsistence each for me and Sita). Our salaries officially run out this month, although we may find funds to cover for another month or two. We still don’t want to push you or convince you to make donations, because we feel that the Prison-Ashram project belongs to all of us, and if it’s really valuable then there will naturally be enough folks who want to keep it going. So, this letter is written as simply and factually as possible, as an invitation rather than a plea. We need at least $600/month more than we’ve ever received, in order to continue the project with two full-time workers. Our alternative would be to get part-time jobs, which would cut heavily into the prison work.
At this point Sita handles over a hundred letters and packages each week, and I’m beginning work on INSIDE-OUT No. 3 as well as doing occasional prison workshops and classes. Our cassette packages are now in use in about 150 institutions, and we’re continuing to circulate them as funds allow. All is well and busy, and we’re trying to catch up on the stacks of letters that accumulated during our month of transition. If you’ve been waiting for books or tapes or a reply, please know that you’ll hear from us soon. This is how it is with us; we wait now to see how it is with you, and then go from there. Any donations, or monthly pledges, or suggestions, will be appreciated. We know that two-thirds of you folks on our mailing list would love to help but can’t because money’s scarce in prison. No sweat, it’s all in God’s hands. We love you all as ever,
Bo & Sita Lozoff
Prison Ashram Project
Nederland, Colorado 80644