Pastoral Care and Counseling Institute

104 Jones Ferry Road, Suite J                                                                                                                                                                                        Carrboro, NC 27510                                                                                                                                                                                           website:                                                                                                                                                                     

Description of Organization:

The Pastoral Care and Counseling Institute was incorporated on July 1, 1974, with founding members Phyllis Hicks, Perry Miller, and W. Lyman Ferrell. The organization’s mission is to bridge the spheres of pastoral care and contemplative practice by offering spaces and facilitation of meditation instructions to community-based organizations, as well as to offer contemplative practices to individual patients.  PCCI is committed to helping people find meaning and value in the human struggle and to help people gain an open and honest look at their feelings, abilities, circumstances, and relationships. Where change can be made, we will
support, challenge and nurture. Where change is not possible, they will help people accept themselves and grieve their losses so they can live again with an adventuresome and open heart. 

Grant(s) Awarded

In 2024, a Women in Buddhist grant in the amount of $12,500 was awarded to create two on-demand, online courses that center the voices of people of African descent, the majority of whom self-identify as women. The courses, each of which is ten weeks long, will be developed by Rima Vesely-Flad, a Black feminist scholar of Buddhism and Black Studies. One course is entitled “The Dharma of James Baldwin and Audre Lorde” and illuminates Buddhist doctrines through the writings of two Black, queer writers. The second course is entitled “Buddhism and Black Liberation” and centers the voices of contemporary Black Buddhist teachers – the vast majority of whom are women — alongside historical Black liberation movements.  Grant funding will be used to pay for Rima Vesely-Flad’s time as well as professional recordings of each lecture (a total of twenty) and a webpage from which these courses could be accessed on the website, “

Course One: “The Dharma of James Baldwin and Audre Lorde” In this course, we approach Black, queer writers James Baldwin and Audre Lorde as ancestors who offered an embodied dharma of resilience, fortitude, presence, and joy in a racist, patriarchal, homophobic context.

Course Two: “Buddhism, Race, Gender, and Sexuality” Putting into conversation ethnographic, historical, contemporary, and primary sources, this class aims to consider the emergence of Buddhism in the U.S. through the voices of Buddhists whose social identities have rendered them marginalized within hegemonic U.S. culture. In our investigation, we seek to complicate the narrative of “North American Buddhism” (also taking into account that “American” refers to Central and South America) and to problematize the assumptions that buttress the dominant culture within “convert” Buddhism.