We Are Building American Buddhism

Press Releases

01/28/2016

The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism and the New York University (NYU) Global Spiritual Life team, along with the NYU Stern School of Business and Loyola Marymount University (LMU) are collaborating to present a conference on Awakened Leadership: Mindfulness in Business and at Work from June 1 - 3 in Los Angeles, California. The three-day conference will be hosted by Loyola Marymount University.

The conference will bring together Lenz Foundation grant recipients, leading speakers on mindfulness/meditation, and leaders from business and community organizations to discuss the potential for Buddhist wisdom to transform management and leadership practices. The conference seeks to both embrace and go beyond many of the popular discussions on mindfulness in the workplace.

“We look forward to this opportunity to assemble our grantees, many of whom operate at the leading edge of introducing mindfulness and meditation to our society, at a conference devoted to mindfulness in the workspace,” states Norman Oberstein, Chairman of the Board of the Lenz Foundation. “We believe that both our invited grantees and business leaders will find the conference to be timely and enlightening.”

According to Yael Shy, Senior Director, Global Spiritual Life at NYU, “This conference will be a groundbreaking event and we encourage many business and community leaders to attend. The conference will provide practical knowledge for introducing mindfulness and meditation into the workplace for more innovative, effective and compassionate business outcomes.”

Chris Chapple, Doshi Professor and Director of the MA in Yoga Studies at LMU adds, “Mindfulness has many applications and can be helpful for business leaders to remain focused and grounded.”

The Lenz Foundation was established in 1998 with the mission of fostering the growth and development of an authentic American Buddhism that takes its inspiration from the wisdom traditions of the East but adopts new forms, new approaches, and new applications that are suited to contemporary American society and culture.

Global Spiritual Life at NYU’s mission is to offer environments and tools for transformative multifaith and spiritual encounters at NYU and beyond. The Mindfulness in Business initiative at NYU was founded in 2014 as a collaboration between the Stern School of Business and NYU Global Spiritual Life to enhance mindful leadership skills in business school education.

LMU hosts weekly Vipassana sessions and twice-weekly Zen meditations through the Marymount Center for Prayer and Peace. A leader in inter-religious dialogue, LMU has been active in the area of applied spirituality since its inception in 1911.

For more information and to register for the conference, visit the Awakened Leadership: Mindfulness in Business and at Work website.

04/21/2015
Announces 2016 Mindfulness in Business Conference

Los Angeles, CA, April 21, 2015/ -- The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism released its 2015 Report to Stakeholders today, including descriptions of more than 20 grants made in the last year to 40 nonprofit organizations working in the fields of mindfulness, youth empowerment, violence prevention, education, criminal justice reform, health care, and business. The Foundation also announced Awakened Leadership: Mindfulness in Business 2016, a conference exploring pathways for collaboration between leaders in the business and mindfulness communities, scheduled for June 1-3, 2016, in Los Angeles, CA.

The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism was founded in 1998 to foster the growth and development of an authentic American Buddhism that takes its inspiration from the wisdom traditions of the East but adopts new forms, new approaches, and new applications that are uniquely suited to contemporary American society and culture. Since its launch, the Foundation has made more than $5.3 million worth of grants to over 80 American Buddhist organizations and their partners in social change, and has conducted capacity-building training programs for its grantees in the fields of fundraising and cross-sector collaboration. In 2014 and early 2015, the Foundation made or committed more than $614,000 worth of grants and program-related distributions to its network of grantee organizations.

Norman S. Oberstein, Lenz Foundation chair, said: “In all of our work, we seek to advance Dr. Frederick P. Lenz’s far-reaching vision for how American society could be transformed by Buddhist practices and ethics. As we move toward the second half of this decade, we will be exploring the role that mindfulness can play in many areas of social justice and in a business context, where we believe a great opportunity for social transformation exists.”

The Foundation announced Awakened Leadership: Mindfulness in Business 2016 in collaboration with the New York University Department of Global Spiritual Life and Stern School of Business. In the 2-1/2 day conference, which will take place in Los Angeles on the Loyola Marymount campus, participants will explore how skillful leadership starts with the self and then naturally expands outward into organizations, businesses, employees, consumers, and shareholders. Through shared learning in mindfulness and its application to organizational development, the conference intends to open a pathway of ongoing work and cooperation between the Foundation’s network of grantees, their local business and community leaders, and others from the corporate community.

For further information on this conference, contact the Lenz Foundation at info@fredericklenzfoundation.org.

Click here to obtain a PDF copy of the Foundation’s Report to Stakeholders 2015.

About the Lenz Foundation

The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism funds transformative nonprofit organizations in the United States that are dedicated to reshaping their fields by applying and disseminating Buddhist principles and practices in their work. The Foundation draws its inspiration from Dr. Frederick P. Lenz and his groundbreaking work to develop a form of Buddhism uniquely suited to American society and culture. In particular, the Foundation has developed a community- and capacity-building strategy that reflects Dr. Lenz’s special insights into the role Buddhist principles and practices play in transforming the lives of individuals. The Foundation provides general-assistance and restricted grants, program-related investments, education and training and other programs designed to grow and strengthen the emerging community of American Buddhist institutions. To learn more, visit the Foundation web site at fredericklenzfoundation.org.

Media Contact: Liz Lewinson, 310-201-6577, llewinson@fredericklenzfoundation.org.

10/17/2013

Los Angeles, CA -- The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism in association with The Presencing Institute headed by Otto Scharmer has launched Phase One of its innovative, multi-phased Contemplation, Collaboration and Change Program for the benefit of Lenz Foundation grantees and their invited partners.

The purpose of the program is to help Foundation grantees gain experience and expertise in the launching and sustaining of collaborations with each other and with partner institutions in other sectors.   According to Norman Oberstein, Chairman of the Lenz Foundation, "Phase One of the 14-month program was held at the Garrison Institute in Garrison, New York, and exceeded our expectations.  With 50 participating organizations combining resources in a variety of ways under professional training, we are already seeing magnified results which one organization alone might not achieve acting on its own. The possibilities that grantees came up with at Garrison were amazing.”

Said Susan Sjkei, Program Manager for the Presencing Institute, "We are excited about offering our collaboration program to groups ranging from Buddhist social activists to publishers and universities.  They all have diverse missions but share a collective belief that meditation and mindfulness will help the world.  We were delighted to see their willingness and interest in collaboration."

Phase Two of the program includes four webinars offered by the Presencing Institute and a second workshop retreat at the Shambhala Mountain Center in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado, in June, 2014. 

The Lenz Foundation announced it will offer up to $100,000 in grant funding to organizations that develop viable collaboration proposals and will concentrate future grant-making efforts on the most promising collaborations.  The selection committee will consist of Lenz Foundation grant recipients.  All worthwhile proposals will receive grant support in 2014.  The Lenz Foundation currently seeks partners with whom to collaborate in order to increase the funding pool for worthy collaboration proposals.

The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism is dedicated to promoting the benefits of Zen Buddhism, meditation, yoga and related Buddhist practices as a pathway to self-realization and the harmonious blending of the material and spiritual in contemporary American Society. 

The Presencing Institute is an awareness-based action research community for profound societal innovation and change. 

For further information, contact Norman Oberstein at info@fredericklenzfoundation.org.

03/19/2012

The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation For American Buddhism today announced the launch of the Pay It Forward Sustainability Finance Fund, an innovative program designed to assist Lenz Foundation grantees to develop, launch, and sustain major donor campaigns and other high-impact fundraising initiatives that lead to financial sustainability.

According to Norman Oberstein, Chairman of the Board of the Lenz Foundation, “The Pay It Forward (PIF) program continues and expands upon the Foundation’s commitment to creating new ways to build a strong, self-sufficient American Buddhist community that honors Dr. Frederick Lenz’s legacy of selfless giving. The program provides an additional way to promote both independence and the sharing of best practices.”

Under the program, the Foundation will make zero interest loans (recoverable grants) of between $10,000-$100,000 to qualified borrowers. Grantees and consultants participating in the program will also be expected to contribute their resources and talents to ensure that other Foundation grantees will be afforded similar opportunities in the future, again “paying it forward.”

Oberstein states that successful borrowers will be encouraged to make a voluntary contribution of at least 3 to 5 percent of the net amount raised (after loan repayment) to a new Technical Assistance Fund that the Foundation is establishing to assist grantees to develop the skills and infrastructure needed to launch successful fundraising campaigns to sustain their organizations, as well as to increase access to available loan funds. The Foundation intends to match all contributions to the Fund on a 1:1 basis, Oberstein said.

According to Fleet Maull, Chairman of the Board of Prison Dharma Network, a Lenz Foundation grant recipient, “Pay It Forward reflects the best of what we are now coming to call American Buddhism. It’s ‘American,’ in that it promotes self-sufficiency and self-determination. And it’s ‘Buddhist,’ in the sense that it transforms what would otherwise be a fairly conventional financial transaction into an opportunity to practice the Buddhist insight of interdependence. It’s a radically different approach, compared to our normal way of thinking.”

For more information on the Lenz Foundation’s Pay It Forward program, see PIF_Program_Fact_Sheet.pdf.

About the Lenz Foundation

The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation For American Buddhism was founded in 1998 and began formal operations in 2002. The Foundation is dedicated to promoting the benefits of Zen Buddhism, meditation, yoga and related Buddhist practices as a pathway to self-realization and the harmonious blending of the material and spiritual in contemporary American society. The Foundation encourages the study and practice of these disciplines so that Americans with a Western mind set may come to appreciate these ancient gifts of Eastern thought, and utilize them in a way that is relevant to American culture and values.

For more information, see Contact Us above.

 

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