The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism

Los Angeles


Grant Details


The Foundation’s long-range aim is to foster the growth and development of an authentic American Buddhism that takes its inspiration from the wisdom traditions of the East but adopts new forms, approaches, and applications that are uniquely suited to contemporary American society and culture. By developing and strengthening the emerging community of American Buddhist organizations, we seek to give birth to an American society that reflects the universal Buddhist values of wisdom, compassion, mindfulness, and meditation practice in pursuit of these values.

Dr. Frederick P. Lenz, "Rama" to his students and associates, dedicated his life to the proposition that Westerners in a modern, fast-paced America can achieve spiritual enlightenment, without religious ceremony, and better enjoy the benefits of an American lifestyle by embracing and practicing the principles of Zen Buddhism, meditation, yoga and related Buddhist practices. Rama's vision is embodied in the Foundation's core values: to spread as broadly and for so long as possible throughout American society the knowledge and benefits of these disciplines, using where feasible Rama's own writings, tapes and music as an aid. The challenge for those who carry on in Rama's name is to translate this ancient body of wisdom, which includes for example Tantric Buddhism, Vajrayana Buddhism and Tibetan yoga, into a system of practice adapted for Americans so they may more easily share in its benefits. The Foundation seeks partners with which to establish such programs and will make grants to other qualified charitable organizations which share the Foundation's vision, or which offer programs that will promote the Foundation's goals.

Rama's funding and his intellectual and artistic works are the building blocks upon which the Foundation has begun; however, the benefits the Foundation may ultimately bestow on American society will be realized only through others who share the dream that Buddhist principles and related disciplines offer an opportunity to further enrich the Western experience with the utilization of beneficial Eastern traditions. By harnessing and focusing the energy of other organizations and individuals similarly disposed, the Foundation seeks to have an effect far beyond its own means, and thus contribute to the establishment of unique American forms of Buddhist understanding and practice.

The Foundation favors grant applications devoted to programs which have the potential to beneficially impact the broadest American audience, and which primarily rely on contributions from other donors with potential for sustainability.

Grantmaking Approach


501(c)(3) nonprofits


grants for the acquisition of capital assets such as land, buildings and remodeling of facilities.

Unsolicited Application

Grant Size


Funding Uses

Grantee Service Area


$2,500 - $25,000

Buddhism, religion

Program support, Operating support

United States

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