Description of Organization
Dharma Gates: A Semester of Contemplative Training is a gap year program offering students authentic Zen training. The programming introduces people with an interest in meditation or Buddhist practice to retreat environments while contextualizing these experiences in a way that makes sense in modern life. Participants in the retreats and programs have the opportunities to learn and practice both classical and interpersonal meditation. Dharma Gates gives people firsthand experiences of intensive meditation practice as a powerful tool to confront the social, environmental, and economic challenges of today’s world. These events are accessible to low-income participants through offering low-cost programming and generous financial aid.
In 2022, a grant in the amount of $15,000 was awarded to continue the outreach programs geared to young people by creating spaces where people can effectively be introduced to the Dharma. Grant funding will be utilized to support in-person retreats, outreach, digital content creation, fundraising, administration, and staff and technical costs. Dharma Gates works both with Buddhist monastic communities and secular or ecumenical retreat centers offering introductory retreat experiences for young adults . The facilities chosen have similar values to Dharma Gates including environmental sustainability, frugality, and supportive natural surroundings.
Outreach opportunities include seeking out new communities of young adults to spread awareness about Dharma Gates’ offerings. This is accomplished via offering short events at colleges and universities in-person and on Zoom, producing content for the Dharma Gates blog and podcast, visiting other online meditation communities, writing pieces for outlets such as Lion’s Roar Magazine and Tricycle Magazine, and promoting Dharma Gates offerings through social media
In 2019, a grant in the amount of $2,500 was awarded to Dharma Gates to assist college students seeking to attend two-day to five-day introductory retreats.