We Are Building American Buddhism

Center for Community Development, Inc.

440 High Street, Suite 204
Portsmouth, VA 23704
Telephone: (757) 399-0925
Website: www.ccdi-va.net
Attn: Glenda Brown

Description of Organization

The Center for Community Development, Inc. ("CCDI"), based in Virginia, through its division, EarthSong, which includes MAYA ("Mindful Awareness for Young Adults"), offers a three or six day mindfulness retreat program in California and Virginia for teens and young adults. During the retreats, participants are given the tools to free themselves from self-defeating habits (learned helplessness, emotional reactivity, numbing out, etc.) in order to gain insight into the causes/solutions of emotional difficulties, their personal relationships, and achievement of goals. CCDI's teachers have ties to Insight Meditation Society and Spirit Rock Meditation Center.

Grant(s) Awarded

The Foundation made a grant in the sum of $2,500 in 2009 to support CCDI's MAYA retreats in the Bay area of California.

Results / Update

The funds received from The Lenz Foundation were greatly appreciated and used constructively. The funds requested were to “assist with the costs of MAYA (Mindful Awareness Young Adult) retreats, held in the Bay area of California.” The $2500 received from The Lenz Foundation provided scholarships and assisted Uma Thurman, the California based Administrative Coordinator, in getting information out to participants in that area.

  1. Two retreats were held in the Bay Area (Spring & Summer). Four retreats were held in Virginia. Grant funds were used to provide scholarships (based on need) at three retreats for eight students. Scholarships ranged from $50 to $300 and were used to supplement retreat costs. (Total used: $2000)

  2. Information Dissemination Assistance Included:
    • update of MAYA website,
    • flyer production
    • retreat info placed on Bay area calendars for sanghas and other allied organizations,
    • retreat listing placed on free online event radio, and other websites,
    • area dharma centers and sanghas asked to post flyers,
    • flyers placed at key public area locations,
    • facebook event invitation page created,
    • notification of previous participants and families.
    (Total used: $500)

Mindfulness retreats were held on the west coast of the Untied States as well as in the Western mountains of Virginia, including the EarthSong Organic Farm & Retreat Center. Youth from the west coast & California attended both retreat sites. Temple Smith, Jason Murphy, Erin Hill and Marvin Belzer (west coasts instructors) served as main instructors along with assistance from professionals with expertise in youth, meditation, and the arts.

At the time the proposal was written MAYA was an active partner working under the umbrella of the Earthsong Division of The Center for Community Development Inc. (CCDI). Since that time MAYA has chosen to work independently. Virginia & California now administer their own local retreat programs. However, collaboration and cross pollination occurs between all Mindfulness organizations that have worked under the EarthSong Division umbrella.

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