The VIMS Dhamma Study Scholarship Fund was established by Doreen Schweizer, VIMS’s founding teacher, when she stepped down from the role of Guiding Teacher in November 2017.
The Fund is intended to affirm and nurture VIMS ongoing connection to the Buddhadamma as understood in the Insight and Early Buddhist traditions. Although originally and primarily designed for those needing financial support to attend programs at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in Massachusetts, requests for financial aid with other study and practice venues in this tradition will be considered by the review committee. Programs can be residential, online, or self-study.
A committee consisting of Doreen Schweizer (Guiding Teacher Emeritus); the current Guiding Teacher of VIMS; and the current VIMS Board President will review applications and make decisions about awarding scholarships.
Since VIMS already has a policy of offering full financial support to the retreats and other programs that it sponsors, this Scholarship Fund is not used for that purpose.
How to Apply. Applicants should send an initial email to one or more of the Review Committee describing the program they are interested in attending and the teacher(s) involved. The scholarship is intended to be used for expenses such as tuition, books, travel, etc., but not for teacher dana. We believe that the dana practice is one that is between the student and the teacher; it is based, not on a specific required amount, but more on a heart-felt relationship informed and balanced by the student’s own financial situation. We’ll respond to your request in a timely manner.
Anonymity. The committee members will not disclose the names of scholarship recipients. However, unless the recipient objects, VIMS reserves the right to publish the names of the programs, their teachers, and the hosting institutions that scholarship funds have been used to support.
Responsibilities of Scholarship Recipients. Recipients first and foremost are encouraged to attend and participate in the program as described. If they are unable to attend or have to drop out for any reason, VIMS asks that any refunded monies be returned to the Scholarship Fund, except for non-refunded amounts, which we will cover. Although VIMS will not identify scholarship recipients by name, they are free to identify themselves. And, if so moved, we would appreciate that recipients share their experience and learning with the VIMS Sangha in some way – perhaps in a talk and discussion with one or more of our practice groups or in a short article for our monthly newsletter. However, this is not a requirement.
Further Contributions. VIMS welcomes additional contributions to the Fund will ensure that this Dhamma Study Scholarship Fund will be available for those who need support in years to come, keeping these invaluable teachings accessible to all. If you would like to give a gift of any size to the Fund, please send a check to VIMS with a note that it is to be used only in this way. You can also contribute online. Contact one of the members of the review committee for more information.