We Are Building American Buddhism

Stone Soup Café, Mandala Café, Inc. and Unity Tables, Inc.

Stone Soup Café
79 Prospect St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Mandala Café, Inc.
435 Riverside Dr., Suite 84
New York, NY 10025
Unity Tables, Inc.
79 Prospect St.
Greenfield, MA 01301

Grant Description

This Collaboration Grant will support the “Unity Tables Community Café Incubator,” mobilizing Buddhist groups to help reduce hunger and poverty in the United States by providing an alternative model to the soup kitchen, which features overcoming social segregation and building community bonds across boundaries.

Our goals:
  • Mobilize Buddhist groups to help reduce hunger and poverty in the United States by providing an alternative model to the soup kitchen, which features overcoming social segregation and building community bonds across boundaries.
  • Launch a Unity Tables Incubator that will provide training, mentorship and peer support to aid leaders to create cafés that
    • build community including socioeconomic and ethnic diversity
    • reduce hunger
  • Make possible the participation of the Buddhist-led Mandala Café as one of the six Year 1 Unity Tables Community Café Incubator cohort members.
  • Draw on Buddhist inspiration to help people see each other in a way that facilitates mutual respect and allows for the possibility of genuine human connection, ongoing relationships and support

Grant Amount

In 2017, Unity Tables received a $2,500 grant to assist in the costs of conducting their annual Bearing Witness Retreat that brings together diverse groups including those affected by large scale trauma for deep listening and transformation. Soul Fire and Unity Tables led a gathering inspired by this tradition in order to bear witness to the food system and race in the United States. Bearing Witness Retreat participants plunge into an extensive personal practice and work to heal social wounds through a process based on three tenets: (1) Not-Knowing by giving up fixed ideas about ourselves and the universe; (2) Bearing Witness to the joy and suffering of the world and (3) Taking Action that arises from Not-Knowing and Bearing Witness.

$17,500