Description of Organization
Ewam School of Tibetan Buddhism was established as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization in 1999, in Arlee, Montana. Tibetan teacher Tulku Sang-ngag Tendzin Rinpoche established the Ewam as the international seat of all of his activities. Ewam is a religious, charitable and educational non-profit. The mission is to advance and cultivate spiritual awareness in the west and throughout the world, with particular emphasis on the study and practices of Nyingma Tibetan Buddhism, in its various aspects, including philosophical, psychological and medicine. Ewam’s teachers offer Buddhist retreats and teachings, throughout the year. Ewam also provides weekly Buddhist practice sessions at both of its Montana locations, in Arlee and Missoula, MT.
In June 2012 Ewam received a $10,000 grant from the Lenz Foundation in order to convene a series of three facilitated small group gatherings with 8-10 participants who agree to take part in all three gatherings. The participants will be from the tribal community on the Flathead Indian Reservation and from the Ewam sangha.
The purpose of the gatherings is to explore in more depth questions raised during the Peace Festival in 2010 and 2011 including but not limited to:
- How can we work together to envision and create over the next 100 years a unified and sustainable community on the Flathead Reservation that recognizes this place as the homeland of the Salish, Pend d’Oreille and Kootenai people?
- What qualities of mind and heart must we develop to be good neighbors to one another, and to be good neighbors and stewards of the natural environment in which we live?
- How do the four immeasurable qualities of compassion, loving kindness, sympathetic joy and equanimity affect our ability to find a path to forgiveness and wholeness in the face of the historically harmful experiences, endured by the Indian people on the local reservation.
- To create an environment of trust and good faith in which everyone present can share their deepest feelings, concerns and dreams for the future;
- To develop guiding principles to expand the work beyond the original group of 8-10 participants.
- To create materials (written and media based) to share what we learn as a result of these gatherings; and
- To plan and implement the content of the 8th Annual Peace Festival at the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas in September 2012, and to build on the momentum of the past two years of collaboration.
We believe this project supports the mission of The Frederick Lenz Foundation “to promote the benefits of Buddhist practice and meditation as a pathway to self-realization and the blending of the material and spiritual in contemporary American society . . . and to utilize them in a way that is relevant to American culture and values.” The attempted genocide of the indigenous people of North America in the founding of our nation, coupled with the on-going treaty violations that continue to exist today, is a core issue faced in our challenge to forge a cohesive and life-affirming national identity. We believe we have an opportunity to make meaningful contributions to overcoming these issues within our own community, and that our efforts here can have an impact nationally and internationally over time.