In the Pali language of ancient Buddhism, the word for compassion is karuna, and the word for generosity is dana. Compassion is at the heart of a mature spiritual practice. As we meditate, our feelings of compassion extend from a close circle of family and friends to a global outreach.

To expand our practice and engage with international and local needs, Insight Meditation South Bay’s Outreach and Aid Team supports various charitable projects by organizing fundraising events, service teams, or related projects.

We Support Projects In Three Areas

  • International aid
  • Scholarship support for IMSB and Bodhi-Retreats programs
  • Local charity projects for the needy.

Specific Projects

IMSB offers ongoing support for The Prajna Vihar School in Bodh Gaya, India.
Coordinates of the school: 24.692041,84.988
Visit The Prajna Vihar School Website:

Our Connection With The Prajna Vihar School

Bodh Gaya is the place where the Buddha attained his full awakening. It has become a major center for Buddhist pilgrimages. The Prajna Vihar School serves children in the nearby village. In the early 1990’s Shaila Catherine participated in a meditation retreat in Bodh Gaya taught by Christopher Titmuss. Each morning during the retreat, Christopher met with and shared stories with local children while meditation students delivered gifts of bananas, eggs, or rupee coins. The desperate poverty, illiteracy, and lack of health care were heart-wrenching. Shaila later learned that a fellow participant in the retreat had remained in Bodh Gaya with a goal of helping these children.

He took the initiative and founded the Prajna Vihar School—an interfaith project serving both boys and girls. Since 1990, Shaila has followed the development of the school. She has visited it several times, and remains in touch with the founder, principal, and visitors to the school. The school has developed from a vision of hope to a multistory building serving the primary educational needs of over 550 impoverished children. Ongoing running costs are approximately $75 per student per academic year. It is with full confidence in the integrity and value of this school that Shaila Catherine, the Insight Meditation South Bay (IMSB) Outreach and Aid Team, and One World Children’s Fund (OWCF) are championing this worthy cause.

One World Children’s Fund

One World Children’s Fund is the fiscal sponsor for the Prajna Vihar school, providing financial, networking, training, and management services to ensure that donations for the school are efficiently managed, transferred, and appropriately utilized. To support the school you may donate through the Prajna Vihar School page on the OWCF website.

Resources and Information about the Prajna Vihar School

We maintain a Scholarship Funds for lay and monastic participants who need financial support to attend our retreats and programs.

Insight Meditation South Bay periodically supports local actions and charitable projects that are important to our members. Our activities have included:

  • Collecting household furnishings to help situate a local homeless man in an apartment.
  • Participating in the annual school supplies drive organized by the Santa Maria Urban Ministry to benefit needy San Jose youths.
  • Raising funds for projects of interest to our speakers and members including hunger-relief projects of Buddhist Global Relief, Mindfulness in the Schools, and One World Children’s Fund.
  • Serving at local soup kitchens, and various other charitable efforts in the Bay Area.
  • Organizing Joy of Giving Programs in which we give members funds that they in turn give to local charitable causes. We meet together to discuss the joys, fears, and issues that surround the decisions and acts involved in giving. The program encourages generosity and simultaneously offers tangible support to those in need.

The IMSB Care Committee has provided food, rides to medical appointments, companionship, and household assistant to members who are disabled or recovering from surgery, accidents, or illness.

Ways to Give

We welcome your support!

You may Donate Now toward any of our projects by making a donation to IMSB and designating the gift for:

  • Karuna Outreach and Aid Fund
  • Scholarship fund
  • Prajna Vihar School
  • Undesignated funds may be used where most needed to support any IMSB activity.

Employer Matching Gift Programs

If your employer offers a matching gift program, please increase the value of your gift by requesting a match at your place of business, and qualify by donating to the Prajna Vihar School through OWCF’s account. Please designate the Prajna Vihar School as the recipient of your generosity. Many businesses will readily match donations made through One World Children’s Fund, but may hesitate due to the religious associations of IMSB.

Join Us!

We welcome your involvement and interest in our Outreach Projects. We are particularly interested in hands-on group activities.

To suggest projects or get involved contact: karuna.
Contact treasurer for financial questions.