The Lotus Teamis creating Deep Buddhism
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Once in awhile we may send you random surprises, maybe even in the mail! If you want them, please be sure to include your address when you check out!
We'll also check in with you for insight about Lotus' direction- you are the beloved community to help shape where we're going and although your feedback is appreciated it's never required. We really listen and read every comment. We appreciate your voice and your support. Thank you so much.
Let's do this!
Sound, silence, waves.
Or perhaps, everything happened
And I’m sitting in the middle of my new life.”
– Juan Ramon Jimenez
Greetings Creative Ones,
Maybe you are living in North America, Asia, Africa, Mexico or anywhere else in the world and you want access to deeper teachings. You have a desire to transform your institution, workplace, self and society. Maybe you feel overworked, you long to express your true self and you want to help others.
If you are living in North America (or any colonized country) where the faces in your practice communities are predominantly white, perhaps you recognize that it has to do with systemic inequity and question what you can do and how you can use your practice to change things.
If you identify as a person of color/multi-heritage, young, LGBTQIA, gender non-binary or gender non-conforming, differently-abled, low-income earning, or in active solidarity, perhaps you’ve been aware for a long time of the deep connection between spiritual practice and social justice. You have seen how Buddhist and other spiritual/wellness communities often reflect patterns of privilege, capitalism, and exclusivity.
Maybe you are an artist, playwright, filmmaker, professor, craftsperson, social worker, educator, minister, musician, dancer, blogger, farmer, student, entrepreneur, or a retired member of society. Maybe you have real concern for your efforts to make lasting change. Maybe you have real concern for our youth as they contend with trauma and bullying. Or maybe your community of difference feels increasingly threatened and you are passionate about making change.
Maybe you live in the intersection of these identities.
Welcome! The Lotus Institute Team is here for you. Because whoever you are, wherever you are and whatever you do matters. Every moment, each breath, each inner and outer action is an embodiment of your practice. We are here for you to go deep, deeper, deeper still.
We recognize that not everyone has the means or time to attend retreats. We recognize that online resources are essential to support change makers around the world. We recognize that support for people of color both in person and online is essential. And we recognize that creating more welcoming and safer spaces at in-person retreats is critical.
Our aim is to strengthen community, broaden access to the teachings and make digital paths of study and practice affordable and accessible. Patreon is a vehicle to make this happen. We are creating Deep Buddhism- Buddhist practice(s) for change makers on the journey of individual and collective healing, transformation and liberation. We welcome you to join us!
Patreon’s model is the closest we’ve found in alignment with Lotus’ bottom up approach. It exists outside the tangles of mainstream funding sources, so whether your support is $1 per month or $1000/month, it is relevant, helpful, appreciated and important. It adds up. Patreon helps us bring dharma practices to you without having to worry about investing inordinate amounts of energy into fundraising or becoming commercially viable.
It has the flexibility to exist outside of traditional fundraising schemas (think paywalls, donor drives, catering to the highest bidders) and also outside of traditional crowdfunding (think project-based platforms like Kickstarter or Go Fund me where countless resources are diverted to promoting a campaign each time we want to do something).
It also is grassroots, community-based. It gives us a streamlined platform to ask for and receive your input as key supporters. And because it is internet-based, it provides an opportunity for people around the world to participate.
Patreon enables us to pay a team of professionals who are also dharma practitioners devoted to a life of service to carry out the time and work of capturing and putting out content. We get to make free and low-cost content available to the public without worrying about starving or relying on volunteers. Patreon is created for creators to put out stuff for their people and for the world. In our case it provides a vehicle for creating sustainability for a life of dharma service. It's beautiful. Your monthly donation helps us (and you) know what money we're working with and what projects we can make actionable in real time. And, most importantly, it makes more things accessible to more people for free! Thank you!
Here is an example of what we did in 2018/19 and what we plan to do in the next year:
- Created an online academy platform: Launched the first course: The Four Reliances (4 week, mini free class), and soon will launch The Earth Gate (9 week paid training with scholarships for those who need)
- Provide online resources (and later, training) for sangha facilitators
- Made retreat recordings available to participants for listening and download
- Sorted and posted dharma talks by Larry online through soundcloud/youtube, and online course material. Update- Many dharma talks are organized and available now on our website with links to audio and video. We are also working on sorting and editing material, both old and new, that has never been released publicly, massaging them into topics that we hope to release via the Virtual Academy as online courses and via the Deep Buddhism Podcast as episodes.
- Launched POC, LGBTQIA+, non-dominant culture centered retreats and events in California and Philadelphia and will expand this for 2020
- Rolled out a new website to provide easier access to practices (i.e to know what materials to access and where/how to find them if you're just beginning, deep into practice, or even deeper still as a dharma teacher, mentor, or person whose taken bodhisattva vows).
- Continue to revise retreat processes, guidelines, and agreements for retreat planners and participants at each stage from planning, registration, and travel through the participant experience, program evaluation and keeping in touch.
- Creating more support for those who don't have funds to attend retreats
Who are we?
The Lotus Institute was inspired by Zen Master and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh.
Founded by Larry Ward, PhD and Peggy Rowe, EdD , senior dharma teachers in Thich Nhat Hanh’s engaged order, they’ve committed their lives to effect non-violent social change, healing, and transformation. Peggy and Larry transmit a rare combination of academic, lived, and embodied wisdom that helps actualize healing for self and community. Their background in Buddhist practice, justice and service work, psychology, education, trauma and resiliency training and somatics creates a powerful dynamic for change. They’ve recognized a growing community of fellow teachers and practitioners to work alongside them to bring these practices to the world.
If you have questions or concerns about becoming a patron contact Kim (support at thelotusinstitute dot org) and she will help you! Also read our FAQ‘s.
For more about The Lotus Institute feel free to visit our website or our blog.
If you’d like more information about how Patreon Works or need help with your Patreon account you can view resources on Patreon’s support page and contact their support team directly.
* We figured out these numbers by calculating Lotus costs and dividing that number by the average amount of patronage per patron based on our first few months of donations (total donations per month divided by number of patrons).