The “EKAYANA Endowment Fund for Contemporary Buddhism” was founded in August 2011 and is a modern ‘donation basket’ for projects that contribute to the integration of Buddhist values in our society. According to the Buddha, the “One Way” (Sanskrit: Ekayana) is to cultivate an awareness that heals and liberates the deepest layers of our being: an awakening to deep inner sanity. All truly liberating approaches seem to have this in common: they cultivate a loving awareness of just how it is. The Ekayana Endowment Fund was created to support projects dedicated to deepening and expanding such deep awareness anywhere in the world.
The goals are:
1. Contemporary buddhism
2. Cross-traditional cooperation
3. Support for people in need
One Dharma for One World
If we emphasize the universal aspects of the teachings on Awakening, they can reach many people and will help them to act with a deep sense of responsibility for the whole planet with all its living beings.
The world is mired in unnecessary suffering arising from the divisions that exist everywhere: between people, ethnic groups, religions, economic and political powers, and – last but not least – between people and the rest of nature. There are already many of us on this planet working towards the above goals, and the Ekayana Endowment Fund is just another contribution to this end.
“Contemporary Buddhism” points to the central inspiration of this foundation: the Buddhist values and insights. The Buddha never talked about an -ism or a religion but always about a “path of liberation” or “path of awakening”, a path for everyone to which nothing of an -ism originally attaches — one Dharma for one world.
Why support this foundation?
In this world, a child dies of hunger every six minutes, there is trafficking in arms, drugs and people, and wherever we look, there are conflicts. Wouldn’t it make more sense to take care of these things first? Yes, it does. There is nothing more precious than a human life, and we should all indeed help ensure that everyone on this planet has food, water, shelter, clothing, and protection in disease, mental illness, injustice, and torture. But then we should also look deeper and become aware of the causes that lead to such catastrophic conditions. What are their causes, where does all this begin?
Misery, disease and poverty are usually not to blame on the person, but are the result of overpopulation, power, injustice, and corrupt social structures, to name just a few of the factors. But actually, ego-centered attitudes, fear and greed in the human mind are responsible – and apparently have been the cause for suffering for a long time….
The real cause of suffering is this ego-centered view of the world, due to which so many people strive only for their own happiness (poor and rich alike), each with their own possibilities. Colonialism, capitalism, totalitarian political systems and dogmatic religions are just variations on the same theme.
Many of those on top, enjoying wealth and power, do not want to share it, but keep it and expand it to their own advantage. Why? Ego-centeredness, fear, attachment… it is a sad story, but nothing new, it has been going on for a long time and without a deep change in personal consciousness leading to a change in social consciousness it will go on and on.
The key to change lies in our mind
Nowhere else but in our own minds lies the key to making that fundamental change. It is necessary to first work with our own minds in order to then be able to help others work with theirs. We need to know the path of deep, inner cure in order to be able to show it to others. Each one of us can make a fundamental shift – from the ego-centered perspective of fear and greed into a compassionate, free, panoramic awareness.
This gives life its true meaning: to free ourselves from the daily struggle for survival and short-lived happiness and to enter into the direct experience of the wonderful qualities of a free mind. If we want a free society, we need people with a free mind.
Change in society always comes through a corresponding change in the consciousness of individuals. The goal is: true freedom.
How does the endowment fund work?
The EKAYANA Endowment Fund is part of the “Umbrella Foundation for Individual Giving, GLS Treuhand”, which already houses 150 such endowment funds under its umbrella, a joint non-profit organisation, which takes care of the administration and legal matters. For as long as the money is not used for the aims of the different funds, it is invested conjointly, in cooperation with GLS Bank, which has been operating according to high ethical and ecological principles for more than 40 years, receiving many awards. The joint management ensures that the foundation money is placed according to our values of ethical partnership and sustainability.
If at any time, the Ekayana Endowment Fund wishes to leave from under this umbrella in the future, it can easily do so and become an independent foundation. But we will wait with this step until the financial foundation has grown largerr. Until then, we do not start our own projects, but help other non-profit associations with theirs.
Decisions on the allocation of donations are made by a Board of Trustees, which currently consists of three members: Marianne Krobath, Wolfgang Erhardt and Tilmann (Lhündrup) Borghardt.
The Endowment Fund supports projects and individuals who promote a pragmatic, humanistic and cross-traditional path of awakening, with the aim of supporting personal and social change based on a sound understanding of the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni. The Buddha’s teachings are simple and clear and can be instrumental in resolving conflicts and tensions in our world.
The term EKAYANA, as used by the Buddha, expresses the belief that there is only One Path (or vehicle) of Awakening. Eka means one and yana means path or vehicle. This one way consists of developing an ever-widening and deepening loving awareness of what is and how it is. We become aware of our own true nature, our interconnectedness and interdependence (“inter-being”), and our responsibility for what is happening in the world, and then act from that open awareness.
The EKAYANA Endowment Fund offers the opportunity to support initiatives that combine humanitarian and environmental aspects with the Path of Awakening (Dharma). Since its establishment, the Endowment Fund has already supported the following projects:
1. Extension of the meditation room in the Dharmahaus Obermoschel e.V.
2. Education and medical care for children at the “Spark Children Home” in Kathmandu, Nepal, through the “Lost Children Project” of Kailash e.V., Darmstadt.
3. Helping to print the zero number of the magazine “Ethik heute – Magazin für achtsames Leben” and supporting the associated network “Ethik heute”.
4. Windhorse Freiburg e.V., social support for people with mental illnesses based on Buddhist mind training.
5. Renovation of the Ekayana Retreat House Grüner Baum to enable intensive Buddhist mind training.
6. Thukha – Hilfe in Birma e.V., help for needy, very poor Muslim children and families in the slums of Myanmar.
7. Dharma Center Dhagpo Möhra e.V. , a place for Buddhist studies and meditation in Thuringia with a diverse range of courses.
Everything continues to be in the making and whether we can make a change in this world also depends on your participation.
Six areas can be supported:
(1) humanitarian projects of Dharma practitioners.
(2) publications explaining the path of awakening
(3) study, contemplation and meditation of the Dharma
(4) Inter-traditional exchanges
(5) Dharma activities that incorporate ecological principles
(6) non-Buddhist projects that serve the same goals.
The EKAYANA Foundation Fund fulfills these purposes by supporting other non-profit organizations that use the donations accordingly.
You, as a donor, can leave it up to the Board of Trustees to decide where your donation will be most usefully applied.
You can also specify in which of the above areas you would like your donation to be used.
You can choose a specific project you would like your donation to go to (such as Green Tree Retreat House, Children in Myanmar, etc.).