Since 1999, thousands of people from over 30 countries have gathered at over 50 locations around the world to go deeply into the heart of life with Open Dharma facilitators. Open Dharma thrives on this diversity, and, as facilitators, we feel privileged to hear such honesty, to see such unique paths unfolding, and to feel such willingness to come into the fullness of life.
Open Dharma does not exist without its diverse and lively participants: women, men and children with courageous spirits and sincere hearts. Artists, doctors, farmers, students, retired people, and many who are trying to hear their calling have taken time for retreats or walks in nature—to help each other feel for their own unique paths to a fulfilled life. We welcome atheists, agnostics, nuns, and monks; people who think they do not know how to meditate, and people who think they do know how to meditate.
As an organization, Open Dharma depends completely on enthusiastic participation: volunteer energy for teachings, organization, cooking, website construction, and more. Retreats would not happen without participant-volunteers’ vision and poster printing, email registration, salad dressing, and bank accounting. And of course participants’ generous donations are the sole financial support for ongoing retreats. Perhaps most importantly, our teachings do not exist in a void but respond to the needs and questions of participants in the moment.
Like a great tree greening the planet with thousands of branches, participants in this sangha (“gathering of like hearts”) spread out each in their own way and bloom each in their own time.