Description of Organization
The mission of the Brooklyn Zen Center (BZC) is to maintain a space for sitting meditation, for formal Soto Zen Buddhist practice, and for the study of Buddhist ethics and philosophy. The vision is to embody the wisdom, compassion, and community of the Buddha as they have been carried down through the tradition.
BZC’s vision and values are represented in its three program areas:
- Soto Zen Buddhist practices that are both mindful of tradition and flexible within our current American context,
- Engagement and dialogue with the artistic communities represented in our city; and
- Social outreach programs designed to bring mindfulness and meditation to the community to alleviate suffering in the world.
In 2021, a special COVID-19 Operational Grant of $5,000 was awarded to Brooklyn Zen Center grant to provide short-term financial stabilization by helping cover operational and payroll costs resulting from both the loss of revenue and the Boundless Mind Temple, a rented space in Brooklyn that had been occupied for ten years. The COVID-19 Impact: Due to COVID-19, BZC decided to terminate the lease on their Boundless Mind Temple, a rented space in Brooklyn. Without this physical space, their main sources of revenue including retreats, donations, event rentals of the space as well as fees for short-term stays at Ancestral Heart Monastery, two hours outside of New York City, either vanished or were dramatically decreased. The prolonged and uncertain timeline for reopening required BZC to drastically re-think both their practice and business models. They transitioned their programming entirely online, hosting retreats, talks, classes, and other events from Ancestral Heart Monastery. The affinity groups have also continued to meet virtually since the beginning of the closure.
In 2016, a grant in the amount of $20,000 was awarded to build capacity and to expand BZC’s leadership and organizational capacity, while aiming to secure and nurture a wide donor base through creative membership, fundraising and organizational development initiatives to serve the increasing need.
In 2012, a Women in Buddhism Grant was awarded to support training young women as peer-to-peer leaders in their Awake Youth Project program, thus laying the ground for young women to carry the dharma on in their way.
In 2011, a grant in the amount of $20,000 was awarded to support the first annual Sit-a-Thon 10 hour meditation marathon benefiting the Next Generation Initiative, including the Jazz Mindfulness Program for children and teenagers, the high school-based Mindfulness of Anger workshops, and the Peer-to-peer Mindfulness Leadership Training program for Brooklyn teens.
In 2010, a grant in the amount of $5,000 was awarded to support ongoing operations.