Description of Organization
Friends of the Western Buddhist Order began with a series of International Western Dharma Teacher gatherings in 1993 when 22 "pioneering" teachers met with HH the Dalai Lama. Over the years, the gatherings (held in the US) have provided an environment in which teachers have come together to share perspectives address differences in the Buddhist community and create relationships that have challenged historical schism within and between the different lineages to strengthen the thriving of dharma teaching in the west.
In 2014, a grant in the amount of $2,500 was awarded to Friends of the Western Buddhist Order Bay Area to help pay for the cost of the International Western Dharma Teachers gathering that was held in Rhinebeck, NY in June 2015. The topic explored issues of relevance, heritage, and innovation for teachers. The gathering was an interactive gathering inclusive of differences and diversity and supportive of a depth of connection, exchange, and learning. A diversity of teachers participated, including various ordinations and lay teachers, all lineages, teachers of color and teachers of Asian Buddhist congregations, a spectrum of gender and sexual identity, multiple generations, teachers working in a variety of contexts and using different modalities (from traditional Buddhist to more secular approaches).