Description of Organization:
Antara was founded on Feb 19, 2020, by two Buddhist practitioners, Aarti Tejuja and Sojourner Zenobia, originally under the name Joyful Ground. The program was originally meant to be an organization that provided live wellness opportunities and retreats. Because Covid hit right after its founding, it quickly shifted to an online wellness space meant to cater to times of deep change. At first, requests about handling anxiety and fear in various institutions were common, then later, when George Floyd died, requests regarding anti-racism and gender-based training became commonplace. Joyful Ground changed its name to Antara which means “the space in between” in Sanskrit and today its primary purpose is to facilitate groups during any kind of intense change. Atlanta Shambhala is part of the larger Shambhala Organization.
In 2022, a grant in the amount of $5,000 was awarded to launch a series of programs; “A Maitri Approach to Transformative Justice” that promote transformative justice and healing in Buddhist communities around gender and racial harm. The vision of the series is to synthesize the teachings on Buddha-nature and the five Budddha families with transformative justice and embodied contemplative practices.
• A week-long Maitri Space Awareness retreat with Karuna Training at Ari Bhod. This retreat focuses on the curriculum formulation, bringing together the five buddha families with transformative justice, so that the initial planning process is steeped in Maitri practice.
• A weekend program focusing on one of the Buddha families, including talks, exercises, dialogues, and contemplative movement. This is an exploration of the shared energy of each Buddha family’s wisdom and neurotic aspects as well as their impacts on personal, relational, and societal levels. Maitri Space Awareness offers a potent way to approach transformative justice, allowing groups to do the shadow work necessary to acknowledge and transform the negativity, habitual tendencies, and social conditioning that undergird suffering, personal and collective.