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Rama – Dr. Frederick Lenz encouraged his students to remain engaged in the world rather than withdraw from it into traditional monastic lifestyles, and he gave a variety of teachings and practices designed to assist his students to live successfully as authentic Buddhists in contemporary American society. The Foundation advances this interest by supporting a variety of organizations and programs geared toward promoting the efficacy of Buddhist principles and practices in daily life.

In Dr. Lenz’s Words

“It has been my observation that one of the greatest mistakes that people make who pursue self-discovery is they neglect to work on and develop their careers. There is a popular notion that those who seek enlightenment, self-discovery, empowerment, should abandon the things of this world, the pursuits of this world — careers, cars, homes, clothing, material possessions, associations with others, relationships — and that they should withdraw from the world and only meditate and attain enlightenment, that all these other things are a hindrance to enlightenment. I disagree with this. It is not correct.”
Zen Tapes, “Career Success”

What We Fund

We provide general-assistance and restricted grants and program-related investments to organizations that are exploring the potential for Buddhist principles and practices to transform the daily experience of work, family, governance, civil society and popular culture.

Sample Grantees

Peace on the Street (transforming Spanish Harlem youth “street energy” into positive Buddhist meditation paths)

East Bay Meditation Center (a safe spiritual home in an underserved community in the San Francisco Bay area)

My Place (a refuge in the rural south which channels at-risk community members into healthy work opportunities)

Zen Peacemakers (a premier social activist network that tackles real life challenges)

Mind Body Awareness (MBA) Project (at-risk youth dealing with the real world using Buddhist techniques)

Rama Meditation Society (innovative marketing campaign for free distribution of meditation materials)

New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care (dealing with health and end of life issues in the practical world)

Zen Life and Meditation Center (teaching a Zen-inspired life in the Chicago area)