We’ve got big aspirations for 2016! We’re re-imagining the Buddhist Geeks Podcast, working on growing our Cloud-Based Sangha, and launching a new project that will bring deep meditation training outside the Buddhist realm. Check out what we’re planning this year and if you’re able to support our efforts please make a donation to Buddhist Geeks (a 501(c)3 educational non-profit).
Our first major project is to reimagine the Buddhist Geeks Podcast. The freely offered Podcast is the heart & soul of the Buddhist Geeks project and since its launch in 2007 has:
- Released over 370 episodes with hundreds of interview guests. All of these episodes have been released free of charge to anyone who wants access.
- Been downloaded an average of 82,000 times per month–or over 9 million unique downloads in total.
- Become one of the most popular Buddhist podcasts in the world.
- Supported tens of thousands of people in learning more about Buddhist practice in the 21st century.
In 2016 we are rebooting the Podcast, moving from an ongoing interview-based show to a season-based conversation. With each new Season of Buddhist Geeks we’ll explore a new theme that has relevance to Buddhism in the 21st Century. Each Season will run in much the same way that a TV series does, covering a particular theme in depth–Season 1 is on Ethics in the 21st Century.
We’re also shifting from an interview-based format, where we sit back and ask questions to the “sage on the stage” to a conversational format where asking questions, listening, and intimate discussion are all part of a dynamic unfolding process. We’ve found that these kind of conversations lead to greater intimacy, cut through the masks that can prevent more genuine exploration, and lead to unexpected results.
Buddhism has been in an ongoing conversation with the contemporary world. That conversation is reflected and carried forward in the reimagined Buddhist Geeks Podcast.
Our 2nd major strategic goal for next year is to continue building on the awesome success that we’ve had with the cloud-based Buddhist Geeks Dojo. The Dojo was launched in early 2015 and went from being a closed Beta community to a public community of over 200 practitioners from around the world.
As an example for why we’re so excited about the Dojo, in 2015 over 100 people from 13 different countries participated in our first month-long Fall Training Period. This group did over 2,000 hours of practice in October as we went through a powerful collective process of inquiry and opening.
In 2016 we’re going to continue building on the success of this past year, offering more real-time training opportunities, two month-long training periods (in Spring and Fall), and bringing in a diversity of teachers and thinkers to engage in discussion with our training members. Members pay a monthly membership fee to participate in the Dojo, but we’ve been able to get that price down to as little as $15/month so that it’s several times cheaper than membership in a local sangha or community. Your donations will help us keep the price low as we continue to improve the quality and quantity of offerings in the Dojo.
There are now millions of people being introduced to meditation & mindfulness practice through smartphone apps. We meet people everyday who find out about Buddhist Geeks after being introduced to meditation through one of these apps as they look for more resources to help them go deeper.
And while these secular meditation apps are excellent introductions to meditation practice they don’t necessarily connect people with the deep training that’s possible when you move from meditating 10 minutes a day to making mind training a primary commitment in your life.
Our aim in 2016 with Mind Training IO is to launch an introductory secular course with smartphone app that presents several styles of meditation that have been reversed-engineered from the Buddhist tradition. These 5 styles of meditation–Concentration, Mindfulness, Heartfulness, Inquiry, & Awareness–are each modules in a larger mind training system. Multiple paths emerge out of the combination of these different practice approaches–ex. the Insight Path of Concentration, Mindfulness, & Heartfulness or the Zen Path of Concentration, Inquiry, & Awareness–as does a larger journey of exploring all 5 of the major styles of practice.
Mind Training IO is meditation designed for the digital age. Your donation enables us to build a resource that will help people take meditation practice to some of its further and most transformative reaches.
In order to fuel some of these new initiatives and help Buddhist Geeks scale organizationally and complexify our operations we need your help. Our fundraising goal for 2016 projects is $50,000. Here is a breakdown of what we need and what we’re using it for:
- Mind Training IO : We will be using a portion of raised funds to prototype and develop out our initial course offering + smartphone app. We are also earmarking some of these funds for marketing.
- Administration : Part of our funds will be used to bring on a part-time administrative assistant who we’ll be outsourcing a significant load of recurring roles and tasks to. This will free up the primary creatives to focus on the Mind Training IO course development, on Podcast recording, and on teaching in the experimental Dojo.
- Podcast : As we launch the new season-based podcast we will also be focusing on building the regular patronage we receive to support that project. These funds will help get us from where we are now to our goal of receiving more patronage support per podcast episode.
- Dojo : The Dojo is already operating with a sustainable budget, but a small amount of funds will be used to compensate guest teachers and develop new Dojo offerings.
- Creative : We have earmarked a small amount of funds to have a monthly creative / web budget each month. This helps us improve & maintain buddhistgeeks.com and can be used for various design projects that need some outside design talent.
Support Our Efforts Now
There are a couple ways you can donate to support our efforts next year:
You will receive an electronic record of your donation suitable for tax purposes.
Analog Donation :
Send a check directly to:
Buddhist Geeks HQ
32 Morris St.
Asheville, NC 28806
Buddhist Geeks is a 501(c)3 is an educational non-profit.
EIN #: 47-1139341