The Institute of Buddhist Studies

2140 Durant Avenue                                                                                                                                                                                               Berkeley, CA 94704-1589                                                                                                                                                                                         website:                                                                                                                                                                

Description of Organization:

The Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS) is a seminary and graduate school located in Berkeley, California. The foundation for the Institute of Buddhist Studies was established in 1949, with the formalization of study programs for ministerial aspirants as the Buddhist Study Center at the Berkeley Buddhist Temple.  in 1969, it was incorporated as the Institute of Buddhist Studies.   
IBS provides graduate level education in the full breadth of the Buddhist tradition with specialized education supporting Pure Land and contemporary Shin Buddhist Studies, while advancing Jodo Shinshu Buddhist ministry and Buddhist chaplaincy.

Grant(s) Awarded

In 2024, a Women in Buddhism grant in the amount of $11,000 was awarded to expand the purview of Buddhist studies by focusing on aspects of the tradition not reflected in formal texts nor integrated into most narratives of the Buddhist tradition. Dr. Arai has developed eight principles to facilitate how women can wield liberating power. These principles suggest ways to apply the Buddhist teachings on the cessation of suffering and practice of compassion to interpret the Buddhist tradition. They promote identifying and analyzing the dynamics of a situation, which opens up the interpretive lens to see how women were creatively engaging Buddhist teachings overlooked in the dominant narrative.

The program aims to prompt potential liberating strategies that can be applied in scholarly and personal contexts. 1. Breathe space for not knowing. 2. Look through expansive and contextualized lenses. 3. Account for our interdependence. 4. Assume women want to stop suffering. 5. Move through an embodied perspective. 6. Seek compassionate interpretations of teachings and practices. 7. Learn or imagine how a woman wields liberating power in response to negative treatment, structures, or environments. 8. Navigate with one eye on ideal aims and another eye on raw realities.