Icon showing a community of people.

Rama – Dr. Frederick Lenz believed that communities of dedicated practitioners comprised the cornerstone upon which American Buddhism would be built, and he devoted a great part of his teaching life to growing and nurturing a community of Buddhist practitioners who supported each other in their spiritual and secular lives. The Foundation recognizes the signal importance of developing and strengthening American Buddhist organizations and sanghas, as well as encouraging Buddhist organizations to adopt a sense of shared values, regardless of practice tradition.

In Dr. Lenz’s Words

“Community – the word indicates membership, participation, sharing. It is not the kind of community that will make demands on your time or life, rather it’s a community of consciousness. It’s a collective pool of awareness, and each person who joins the center affects that awareness. They make a difference. And the awareness of the community changes constantly.”

What We Fund

We provide general-assistance and restricted grants and program-related investments to assist American Buddhist organizations and sanghas to grow and strengthen their communities, programming and outreach capacity.

Grantees Include

Ewam (conferences that support the native American community)

Dawn Mountain (traditional Buddhist temple and nonsectarian community center in Texas)

M.I.T. (University community)

UCLA Center for Buddhist Studies (University community)

Brown University (University community)

Open Mind Foundation (Ashoka-an on line academic community)

Prison Dharma Network (a community of national prison meditation groups)

Zen Peacemakers (a national and international community of Buddhist social activists)

Tricycle Foundation’s Tricycle Magazine (an American Buddhist media community)

My Place (a Zen community center in the rural south that also engages in community work)

Brooklyn Zen Center (community center with outreach to the greater New York City area)

Reciprocity Foundation, Interdependence Project, and Lineage Project (community projects that focus on the needs of youth in the New York City area)

Lion’s Roar Foundation (a  Buddhist media group that sponsored a gathering of American Buddhist teachers of African descent)

A diverse group of people seated in a circular position in an ornate room.
Twenty-nine leading teachers from across the country gathered in October 2018 for a ground-breaking meeting of black Buddhist teachers. The weekend was hosted by Lion’s Roar and Union Theological Seminary’s Thich Nhat Hanh Program for Engaged Buddhism, with support from the Hemera Foundation, the Arthur Davis Foundations, and the Frederick P. Lenz Foundation.