(by Lenz Foundation) The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism announced an important milestone on March 28, 2018: 100 unique American organizations have received grants from the Foundation totaling more than $6 million. Formed in 2002, the Lenz Foundation focuses on grants supporting the emergence of an enlightened American society that reflects the universal Buddhist values of wisdom, compassion, mindfulness, and meditation.
Says Norman Oberstein, Lenz Foundation CEO, “We are proud to have worked with 100 groups to date. Our founder, Rama – Dr. Frederick Lenz, envisioned a foundation that would be impartial, providing assistance to the many flavors of American Buddhism that do wonderful work in our society. We not only provide grants, we also provide training to help our grantees become successful at what they do.”
Types of grants include meditation and mindfulness in schools, prisons, at risk communities, and law schools; Buddhist programs at universities; women in Buddhism; assistance for the dying; programs for minorities and people of color; support for military veterans with PTSD; and Buddhist art and culture; among others.
Grantees have received training in financial success from Lynne Twist’s Soul of Money, collaboration skills from The Collaboration Institute, and teaching mindfulness in business. The Lenz Foundation also maintains oversight and the availability of Dr. Lenz’s materials including books, audio talks, music, and videos.
Says Chuck Lief, President of Naropa University, “Naropa is grateful for generous support over the years from the Lenz Foundation. Graduate scholarships allow many diverse and talented students to study at Naropa and prepare to make a mark in the world. The Lenz-funded fellowship brings scholars from other universities to collaborate with our community, and the annual Lenz Lecture offered by leading Buddhist teachers is a highpoint of our academic year.”
According to Fleet Maul, President of Prison Mindfulness Institute, “The Lenz Foundation has been a consistent supporter of our work bringing meditation and mindfulness to correctional institutions all over the country. After their release from prison, individuals have the means to sustain and increase their ability to succeed in society.”
“The Lenz Foundation has supported our efforts to innovate within our tradition,” says Jeremy Levie, Secretary of San Francisco Zen Center. “This will make Zen practice accessible and relevant to a wide audience of practitioners in ways that will serve the long-term growth and sustainability of San Francisco Zen Center (SFZC) and potentially other Buddhist institutions.”
The Lenz Foundation is a perpetual private foundation. Oberstein observes, “Our challenge is to continue to grow our core resources while meeting the demand of more and more grant requests. I am always inspired by the variety and commitment of socially helpful work being done by many organizations all over the USA.”