In May, the International Merit Box Project disbursed sixteen new grants for Dharma projects and activities in six countries, totaling US$37,455 for the year. This was the fifteenth cycle of annual of Merit Box grants. Since the Project was created in 2001, there have been 248 grants—totaling US$1,014,785—awarded!

Individuals and FPMT communities all over the world make offerings into their ”Merit Box” throughout the year. During collection season, students and communities turn in their accumulated offerings. These offerings are then pooled together and distributed as grants to a variety of projects and services that are working to fulfill the FPMT mission.

A broad range of activities and communities in a number of countries have benefited from Merit Box grants. Book publishing, building holy objects and retreat cabins, repairing practice facilities, aiding social services, helping practitioners do retreat, and digital Dharma initiatives are just some of the activities that have been supported by the International Merit Box Project over the years. On many occasions these grants have made the difference between whether small Dharma communities find the necessary funding to complete their projects or not.

Kurukulla Center in Medford, MA, USA, received a 2017 grant to help with both cosmetic and more serious structural repairs needed for its building, which is over 100 years old. Photo courtesy Kurukulla Center.

Listed below are the projects that received a Merit Box grant in 2017:

  • FPMT Education Services (USA) – Master’s Program Study Manual
  • FPMT Hispana (Spain) – Master’s Program translation support
  • Le Service de traduction francophone de la FPMT (France) – Publication of Bodhisattva Attitude in French
  • International Mahayana Institute (France) – Support for IMI Sangha attending retreats with Lama Zopa Rinpoche
  • Jamyang Buddhist Centre (UK) – Repaying the Kindness Project
  • Kadampa Center (USA) – Media support for Light of the Path
  • Kunsang Yeshe Centre (Australia) – Yellow Tara statue
  • Kurukulla Center (USA) – Repairs and Restoration of Building Exterior Project
  • Land of Calm Abiding (USA) – Propane for staff housing
  • Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive (USA) – Big Love biography
  • Mahamudra Centre (Australia) – Foundation Service Seminar airfare for facilitators
  • MAITRI Charitable Trust (India) – Care of Animal Beings Project   
  • Maitripa College (USA) – Library and/or education initiatives
  • Milarepa Center (USA) – Renovations and repair projects
  • Centro La Sabiduría de Nagarjuna (Spain) – New center project
  • Tara Home (USA) – End of life services

The project for this new large Yellow Tara statue for Kunsang Yeshe Centre in Australia is nearing completion. Photo courtesy Kunsang Yeshe Centre.

The new cycle of accumulation has begun already for 2018. If you would like start accumulating offerings with your own Merit Box practice, you can order a free Merit Box for your home or office altar on the Foundation Store website.