We Are Building American Buddhism

Insight Meditation Society, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, New York Insight Inc. and East Bay Meditation Center

Insight Meditation Society
1230 Pleasant St.
Barre, MA 01005
Spirit Rock Meditation Center
5000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
Woodacre, CA 94973
New York Insight Inc.
28 West 27th St., 10th Floor
New York, NY 10001
East Bay Meditation Center
2147 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612

Grant Amount


Grant Description

The grant will help first build an insight meditation teacher training curriculum for a diverse and multicultural audience and then increase the cultural competence of current insight meditation teachers, ensuring a place at the table for people of color – in meditation halls, on teaching faculty and Boards, and among staff and volunteers.

“Our aspiration is to ensure a place at the table for people of color – in our meditation halls, on our teaching faculty and Boards, and among our staff and volunteers. It is vital that these voices be included in shaping our American Buddhist culture and future, so that our centers continue to be vibrant for generations to come in this increasingly multicultural nation and world.”

The Insight Meditation Society (IMS), Spirit Rock Meditation Center (Spirit Rock), East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) and New York Insight Meditation Center (NYI) propose a collaboration on two programs. Each is designed to increase the racial diversity and cultural competence of the insight meditation faculty who teach Buddhist practices in the US.

It is clear that more teachers of color are indeed urgently needed, as is a wider range of cultural competency among existing, mostly white teachers. We therefore propose two specific programs. These form core pillars of our shared vision to increase the people of color leadership within insight meditation communities across the American Buddhist landscape. We will:
  • Adapt an existing insight meditation teacher training curriculum so that it is relevant and appropriate for a diverse and multicultural group of trainees.
  • Conduct a two-day workshop focused on increasing levels of cultural competency for current insight meditation teachers who lead meditation retreats, classes and workshops in the U.S. Historically, this teacher group has been largely white.