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 is currently also a major center for Buddhist pilgrimages and the site of the Prajna Vihar School. 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 told stories to local children while meditation students delivered gifts of bananas, eggs, or rupee coins. The desperate poverty, illiteracy, and utter 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 to found the Prajna Vihar School—an interfaith project serving both boys and girls. Today, the school provides free education to hundreds of economically and socially disadvantaged youth who would otherwise receive no education. Since its beginning, Shaila has followed the development of the school and has visited it several times. 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 $60 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.

Working in Parternship with One World Children’s Fund

IMSB has partnered with One World Children’s Fund to more effectively provide support for the school. While the IMSB Outreach and Aid committee is responsible for raising funds for the school, OWCF provides financial, networking, and management services to ensure that donations for the school are efficiently managed. To support the school you may donate through either the IMSB or OWCF accounts. Designate “Prajna Vihar School” on your donation so that it will be used to support our school.

Resources and Information about the Prajna Vihar School

We maintain 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 include:

  • 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.

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, however, both routes will bring your donations to the school.

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.