There is no country where Buddhism has established itself stably without the monastic community, and support of monastics was always considered to be the responsibility of the lay community and a way to accrue merit. Generally, there has been little or no support of Buddhist monastics in the West. In the West, the Sangha is predominantly lay yoginis and yogis, serious practitioners who also work in the world and have families, but it is important we also support the traditional monastic community. In the West there is no precedence for this and thus most western monastics have a hard time keeping their vows and dedicating themselves full-time to practice for the benefit of all beings. They have ended up enduring hardships like sleeping in tents all winter in below zero temperatures or not having enough food or medical treatment.
Thus, Tara Mandala has created a system of support for this important part of our Sangha, to help relieve their hardships and support them in full-time practice. As a former western monastic who eventually disrobed, Lama Tsultrim Allione understands these difficulties. Tara Mandala will offer support in the form of grants to monastics who are engaged in pursuing the Nyingma and Machig Labdrön lineages. This fund supports monastics with their monthly recurring costs of living and other one-time purchases required for living with either one-time or recurring gifts. No part of your donation to this fund will be used to support Tara Mandala’s administrative costs. Monastics will apply for the grants and regular support.
Monastics in Tibetan Buddhist Nyingtig, Machig Labdrön and other Tara Mandala supported lineages are eligible to apply. Specific requirements for eligibility are:
- Applicant must have been a monastic in an authentic Tibetan Buddhist lineage for a minimum of 5 years.
- Applicant must have completed the Preliminary Practices in a specific tradition.
- Applicant should exhibit the qualities of a successful practitioner: critical intelligence, emotional maturity, flexibility, modesty, selflessness, kindness, humor, etc.
- Applicant must demonstrate financial need justifying the grant
The Tara Mandala Monastic Fund awards are based on the applicant’s need and their monthly budget. While the costs of living vary, the amount allocated is based on the applicant’s request and the funds available at the time of the request. It assumes modest living conditions, takes into consideration regional cost of living, and includes some allowance for basic personal expenses. Monies will be paid quarterly and are solely dependent on available funds.
Tara Mandala Monastic Funds are made available each year to a number of worthy applicants. We accept applications each spring up to the application deadline of August 1st for grants that will begin the following year.
Once the application period has closed, the applications will be examined. Short-listed candidates will be contacted to schedule personal interviews. Final results of the selection process will be announced by the end of November.
Those wishing to apply for the Monastic Fund should submit the following documents to Tara Mandala before August 1st:
- A letter from a qualified Lama confirming your station within their organization
- An outline of your monthly costs of living
- An outline of your one-time purchases and why you require them for living
- An explanation of any additional income
- Two letters of recommendation
REPORTING AND EVALUATION
Grant recipients will be required to submit an annual report to the Executive Director of Tara Mandala at the end of each calendar year for the duration of the award. This report should describe in detail the award activity, including progress made, and any difficulties encountered in accomplishing the purpose of the grant during this period. Recipients are to inform Tara Mandala if there were any periods of time when they were not able to accomplish this activity. If there were such periods, they are to indicate their length in days or weeks and may be required to reimburse the organization grant funds for these periods of inactivity. If a grant recipient decides to terminate their relationship prematurely they may be required to reimburse all or part of the awarded funds.
Not more than one month following the completion of the year, grant recipients are to provide a final report including how the money was spent. All reports are to be submitted to the Executive Director as PDF files. Grant funds are generally dispersed quarterly. Disbursement of funds for a subsequent period is dependent upon timely submission of the year-end report.
If you are a monastic and would like to apply for this grant, you can apply here.