As Buddhism assimilates and integrates into Western culture, the expectations, roles and responsibilities placed upon Western Buddhist clergy will be contextually and culturally different than the expectations placed upon their Asian predecessors and counterparts. The Institute for Contemporary Buddhist Ministry (ICBM) was created with the awareness and recognition that the modern world we live in is multicultural and multi-religious, and that the psychological, emotional, spiritual, and existential needs of individuals, families, groups, systems, and the environment are diverse and complex.
Buddhist teachers in the West have an ethical obligation to promote healing, wholeness, awakening, justice, and harmony in not only their own ministerial practice but also in their communities as well. Competent, confident, and compassionate ministerial presence is best cultivated and supported by ongoing education, practice, and reflection; all practices that aim to help alleviate suffering through awareness and skillfulness.
In the West, there are very few systematic educational platforms, or ongoing curricula, available to help support ordained clergy and lay teachers already engaged in ministry, teaching, and outreach. The few programs that do exists are often inaccessible to many due to distance or costs.
ICBM is committed in helping to offer education and support that is widely available and more easily accessible. ICBM will achieve its mission through training, endorsing, and supporting persons working in communities within a spiritual/religious context, and provide those individuals with a solid theoretical background in practical areas of need.
If you are interested in learning how ICBM can help support your teaching and ministry, contact us here