Drala Mountain Center

151 Shambhala Way
Red Feather Lakes, CO 80545
Website: dralamountain.org

Description of Organization:

Founded in 1971, Drala Mountain Center (DMC) is an inclusive, secular, and non-sectarian educational nonprofit. DMC brings people together to experience wisdom and welcomes all people with inspiration, interest, and curiosity about understanding the nature of self and society. DMC is located in rural northern Colorado. The DMC team oversees a property of more than 600 acres which hosts meditation retreats and programs from an array of Buddhist teachers and other wisdom traditions. DMC has been affected by wildfires since a fire in 2012 forced evacuation and loss of summer revenues.

Grant(s) Awarded

In 2024,  a Women in Buddhism grant in the amount of $18,000 was awarded to advance women in leadership by addressing the influence of patriarchy and power dynamics within Shambhala communities. DMC, formerly Shambhala Mountain Center, was deeply affected by the sexual and clergy misconduct allegations against Shambhala’s male spiritual leader in 2018, including incidents at SMC. In addition, allegations of misogyny and misconduct have long affected the Shambhala community since its earliest days. Their aspiration is to make sense of and learn from past challenges in order to create equitable and empowering futures for women in Buddhism and beyond. A series of sessions will take place:

Event 1: Online – Women in Shambhala: Sharing Stories, Sharing Wisdom.

Event 2: Online – Reckoning and Dismantling. In this session we will begin with a panel discussion about the impact of the revelations of misconduct in Shambhala for individuals, centers, and the global organization and community.

Event 3: Online – Re-Mantling and Moving Forward. In this session, panelists will propose and discuss strategies for creating and implementing new leadership models beyond patriarchal forms.

Event 4: In Person – Empowered Women for Empowered Futures. Based on findings from the online conversations and additional key topics.

In 2022, a matching grant in the amount of $10,000 (in addition to the BESS Family Foundation grant of $10,000) was awarded to support the “Wildfire Resilience: An Eco-Dharma Initiative” program which mitigates fire impact with eco-forestry initiatives and partnerships with conservation groups. DMC seeks to acknowledge the trauma caused by fire and other climate disasters and to provide a place where people can come together to heal and build resilience. Grant funds will be utilized to support the development of an eco-dharma initiative targeting those working to address or respond to the increase in wildfires resulting from the climate crisis. The Wildfire Resilience Initiative will support dialogue and resilience in the effort to meet climate change challenges through a dharma-infused approach.