Scholarship Giving

Sharing the Spirit Rock Retreat Experience

Spirit Rock is committed to increasing access to the Buddha's teachings of compassion, generosity, and liberation. Our Retreat Scholarships offer an important access point to the teachings of the Buddha, and are a key element of Spirit Rock’s mission and vision. Amidst the political and social challenges of our times and in light of our commitment to liberation, we serve as a spiritual sanctuary and a refuge for all. We will honor, protect, and uplift those who come here seeking the teachings of liberation.

By offering scholarships to people interested in exploring this path who may face barriers to practice, specifically, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color practitioners (BIPOC), the LGBTQIA+ community, Young Adults, and those facing financial hardships due to chronic illness or other circumstances, no one is turned away for lack of funds.

We simply couldn’t achieve this goal without the support of our extended community, which is why we humbly invite you to make an investment in our scholarship funds through a one-time, monthly, or annual donation. An investment in these funds signifies your commitment to collective liberation and acknowledges our interdependent lives.

Mudita-Karuna Scholarship Fund

The Mudita Karuna Scholarship Fund exists to provide financial assistance for anyone who may be facing barriers to practice, such as elders (65+) on fixed incomes, young adults, people with serious medical conditions or life-threatening illnesses, or anyone experiencing general financial hardships. With your support, our Mudita Karuna Scholarship Fund allows us to offer assistance to hundreds of practitioners annually, reducing barriers to participation, while increasing the manifold benefits of training the mind.

The ripple effect of hearing, integrating and living the practices offered at Spirit Rock cannot be overstated. Contributing positively to practitioners' well-being, their presence in diverse communities seeds acts of generosity, cooperation, and ultimately spreads practices of wisdom and compassion. We continue to learn from our practitioners just how important it is to provide equitable access to our programming, regardless of the obstacles they may face. Providing generous financial assistance allows Spirit Rock to fulfill its mission and keep the doors to the Dharma open wide for all.

Dr. Marlene Jones People of Color Scholarship Fund

This fund specifically provides retreat scholarships for our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) community, and is named to honor the legacy of Dr. Marlene Jones, who had a powerful impact on the Spirit Rock community. Her legacy lives on in the lives of so many practitioners. In a tribute to Dr. Jones, Konda Mason, Larry Yang, and Jack Kornfield spoke about the depth of her work with Spirit Rock:

"Dr. Marlene Jones gave so much, as a teacher and professor, a mother, a devoted community member, a woman committed to justice, a public servant, an educator, an advocate for genuine diversity and true respect for all, and a visionary and important pioneer in our Buddhist communities. For almost 20 years, Marlene worked in bringing the Dharma to diverse communities. She was instrumental in creating the first Diversity Council at Spirit Rock, the daylongs for People of Color, the sitting group for Women of Color, the first residential retreats for People of Color, and the first diversity trainings at Spirit Rock. She taught many events at Spirit Rock and East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) in downtown Oakland. She worked tirelessly as the chair of the Spirit Rock Diversity Council to create change on programming, staffing, and organizational levels. She also served on the Spirit Rock Board for many years. Her contributions to Spirit Rock and EBMC are an indispensable part of our history and our legacy as one of the leaders in creating access for the Dharma to western culture."

By supporting scholarships for the BIPOC community, we are deepening our pipeline of those practitioners who then become teachers and leaders in their communities, like Dr. Marlene Jones. And by broadening access to teachings of wisdom and compassion, we are together creating opportunities to transform lives and challenge harmful systems. Thank you for considering a gift to this fund.