July 2, 2020

We stand with Bozeman’s Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) community in this time of social unrest, calls for justice and collective awakening to systemic racism. 

We join dozens of community businesses and organizations in taking the Freedom Pledge, committing to anti-racist education, action and systemic change.

Through our mission to provide meditation practices and the teachings of the dharma, we commit to foster wisdom and compassion in our community as we collectively undergo a re-awakening to racial justice in our country.

  • The teachings and practices of the dharma are time-honored, supportive tools in
    • becoming aware of the mind and heart’s conditioning
    • feeling through the painful process of examining that conditioning, its horrific consequences and legacy of harm
    • supporting action to collectively dismantle the racial hierarchy embedded in our culture.

We offer these supports of the dharma to all those seeking to awaken to racial conditioning, dismantle systems of oppression, and heal from the intergenerational harms of racism in its many forms.

We commit to ongoing training for our leaders and staff to be more fully informed, sensitive agents of racial equity in our programs and events.

We commit to offering programs in anti-racism education and meditative practices, healing of minds, hearts and bodies of all races.

We will prioritize growth, understanding and healing over maintaining comfort for the status quo.

We welcome feedback from our community as to how we can better serve these goals and practices.

April 29, 2020

We sincerely hope you’re all staying well and navigating these unprecedented times with as much ease as possible.  The Bozeman Dharma Center (BDC) Board wants to give our community an update on how things are going at the Bozeman Dharma Center. 

As you know, the governor began a phased re-opening of Montana on Sunday April 26. We are keeping a close eye on the easing of restrictions and will have news in the near future about how and when we plan to commence in-person programs at the Bozeman Dharma Center. We are using an abundance of caution in considering re-opening our doors to in-person meetings.

Like most community businesses and organizations, the BDC has felt the impacts of the restrictions due to Covid-19.  We’ve seen a significant decrease in Dana to the Center and have had to cancel or postpone some of our programming. But we’ve also had many who’ve donated especially to support the viability of the BDC in these tough times in addition to our monthly donors’ contributions – Thank You!  Our programming committee quickly adapted to the new reality and adjusted many of our planned programs to online only, which continues to be a source of income for us. We’d like to reassure you that with a strong and diverse leadership group and financial planning for unforeseen events like this pandemic, the BDC is on a strong footing and we’re confident that we will weather this storm. 

Moving online has meant that some programs have shrunk, some have been suspended, but some have expanded. We’re grateful that several visiting teachers were willing to move their programs online and engage our community as thoughtfully as they would have in person. The upcoming month-in-residence with Tempel Smith will offer an array of online programs — for those who’d like to deepen their practice or those just getting started with an introductory workshop. 

The BDC typically offers fewer programs in the summer as our community heads outdoors and has more going on. But this summer, we may offer a bit more if people are not traveling as much and guest teachers are available. We’re in conversation with Dave Smith about another of his offerings on Emotional Balance (CEB) and Buddhist psychology. 

In the fall/winter we’re planning a series of retreats on Women and Buddhism which are now scheduled at the Bozeman Dharma Center.  If we’re still not able to gather in person, we hope to move as much of this programming as possible to an on-line format. (And not to worry, we know men will love these offerings too.)

So, as you can see, we are trying to make the most of this time period. If you want to contribute right now, you can help the Bozeman Dharma Center in two ways:

1- Please consider donating to the Give Big Gallatin Valley event (6 PM April 30 –  6 PM May 1st) in any amount you are able. Or you can give any time through our donation page.
2- Although we may not be able to meet in person, we can still share the Buddha’s teachings on meditation, compassion, and mindfulness– all important tools to get by while we shelter in place! If you have been considering it, now is a great time to try meditation in the comfort of your own home. Each way will support our beloved Bozeman Dharma Center being there for us all well into the future!

Finally, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank Steve Wallingford (who stepped down from the board last Fall) and Ellen Sagmyr who recently stepped down as board president for their long, dedicated, and invaluable service to the BDC.  With the addition of several new members, we feel we have a board well suited to guiding the Dharma Center into the future! 

  • The current board consists of:
    • Steve Barkley – President
    • Marilyn Raffensperger – Treasurer
    • Suzanne Colón – Secretary
    • Reva Parker
    • Wendy Roberts
    • Nick Woodward

May you all be well,
The BDC Board
Programming Committee and
Finance Committee