Dharmadatta Community

8663 Old Rapidan Road                                                                                                                                                                                                    Orange, VA  22960                                                                                                                                                                                                Website: dharmadatta.org/en/                                                                                                                                                                        

Description of Organization:

Dharmadatta Community (Comunidad Dharmadatta) is a diverse intergenerational community of Spanish speaking women based in Virginia. They serve a large Latinx community (over 30,000 active members) spread across Latin America, the United States, Europe and anywhere that Latinxs have migrated.  Their mission is to model an authentic spiritual path, while offering open, inclusive access to the Buddhadharma to all Spanish speakers around the world, free of charge and free of sectarian bias. They share a vision of the Dharma in which our work to awaken ourselves is understood to be simultaneously work to create conditions for the awakening of all. To that end, they hold major commitments to gender and environmental justice.  It is part of their mission to create conditions for radical inclusiveness, and we recognize that economics are an important factor in marginalizing or excluding people entirely. We have intentionally sought to create an economic model to support our activities that is based on generosity, modeling, assuming, and inviting generosity.  Programs offered are free of charge, including online retreats, weekend workshops and the seven-year study program. (For residential retreats, participants pay only the costs of food, lodging and travel.

Grant(s) Awarded

In 2024, a Women in Buddhist grant in the amount of $17,000 was awarded to train a new generation of Latina women leaders with new models of leadership. The Dharmadatta Spanish-speaking community is entirely women-led—teachers as well as senior staff and project heads. We would like to inspire and cultivate stronger women leaders and at the same time implement new leadership models that emerge from these women’s own strengths, experience and wisdom. Rather than reproduce the top-down, hierarchical models of leadership that have been inherited from our practice traditions, which have been historically transmitted primarily by men to men, we are currently rethinking how we lead, how we build teams and how we organize our projects.

Dharmadatta would like to leave behind the model of a solitary heroic leader, shift away from an ethics of accomplishment to an ethics of care, and adopt more collaborative and facilitative models that explicitly place qualities associated with the sacred feminine at the center. The project will specifically support these aims by 1) developing models of female leadership and team collaboration that better channel the sacred feminine; 2) training next generation leaders to cultivate the qualities associated with such models; and 3) creating resources to implement this vision within their 150-person volunteer organization.