[Buddha-l] New Fellowship Opportunity for People Working on American Buddhism

Mr Michael A. La Torra mlatorra at nmsu.edu
Thu Dec 20 13:13:12 MST 2007

How important is one's source of funding? 

Would you take money from a foundation that originated from a dubious 
teacher who made unfounded claims for his own enlightened pseudo-zen 

I am speaker of Freddy Lenz, cult leader and suicide.

Read on for details of what is on offer...


Dec. 19, 2007 New Fellowship Opportunity for People Working on American 

Naropa University, one of the few Buddhist-based higher educational 
institutions in the West, has announced an interesting new opportunity: 
the Frederick P. Lenz Residential Fellowships in Buddhism and American 
Culture & Values. Faculty and other professionals planning a sabbatical 
for 2008-2009 are invited to apply to spend a semester at Naropa (which 
is in Boulder, CO) "conducting a research, artistic, social action or 
other project that relates Buddhist philosophy and practice to an 
aspect of American culture or values." 

Recipients of the fellowship will be able to access Naropa resources, 
such as courses, faculty, and the library, as well as being mentored by 
a Naropa professor or meditation instructor. Fellows will also present 
a lecture or workshop relating to their research. This fellowship is 
part of a variety of projects undertaken by the Center for the 
Advancement of Contemplative Education, founded at Naropa two years ago 
with Lenz money. 

While the fellowship seems aimed especially at university professors, 
independent scholar-practitioners, artists, social activists, and 
others are encouraged to apply. Academic experience with Buddhism is 
not necessary, but applicants are expected to be familiar with a 
contemplative practice. Financial support for living in Boulder seems 
to be available. The deadline this year is February 15, 2008. There are 
more details available on Naropa's website at 

The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism has generated 
some controversy--perhaps deservedly so, since Lenz's status as a 
Buddhist teacher is disputed (he is now deceased). But nonetheless many 
have accepted funding from the Foundation for various projects related 
to American Buddhism and meditation. Besides Naropa (founded by Chogyam 
Trungpa and associated with the Shambhala community), the Lenz folks 
have provided funds to Spirit Rock Meditation Center, various Zen 
centers, Bernie Glassman's Peacemaker Circle International, a number of 
Tibetan projects, and the Tricycle Foundation (parent of this website 
and the magazine), among others. 

There aren't many opportunities for scholars working on American 
Buddhism--funding tends to go toward people studying either American 
Christianity or Asian Buddhism, but not Buddhism in the United States. 
This could be a nice way for people trying to bridge that gap to spend 
a semester working on a significant project and taking advantage of the 
unique atmosphere and resources available at Naropa. 

Michael LaTorra
mlatorra at nmsu.edu
College Associate Professor
Department of English
New Mexico State University

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