Frequently Asked Questions

1. How did The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation For American Buddhism come to be formed?

Through the generosity of Dr. Lenz (Rama to his friends and associates), his will provided for finalizing the formation, and funding, of a foundation as described in the Foundations Mission Statement. Aside from a donation to the Audubon Society, most of the Estates assets, including all of Dr. Lenz intellectual works, were donated to the Foundation.


2. How is the Foundation organized?

At the request of Dr. Lenz, Norman Marcus and Norman Oberstein, his long-time professional advisors, were placed in charge of the Foundation. Dr. Lenz' father, the late Frederick Lenz, Jr., joined them on the Board of Directors and has now been replaced by Lisa Lewinson, a long time student and business associate of Dr. Lenz. In addition, the Board of Directors formed an Advisory Committee consisting of Dr. Lenz' former students and business associates (all practicing Buddhists), together with five nationally recognized Zen/Buddhist leaders who are in a position to give the Foundation a broad perspective and assist the Board in reaching out to the broader Buddhist community. The Advisory Committee is chaired by Board member Lisa Lewinson and is composed of:

  • Lisa Lewinson
    Advisory Committee Chairman

  • Elizabeth Cecil

  • Walter Goodwin

  • Joaquin Lievano

  • B. A. Smith

  • George (Dai En Hi Fu) Burch
    Friends of Zen, Inc., East Brookfield, MA
  • Fleet Maull
    Sensei in the Zen Peacemaker Order
    Prison Dharma Network, Providence, RI
  • Dennis (Genpo) Merzel, Roshi
    Big Mind, Inc., Salt Lake City, UT
  • James Shaheen
    Editor and Publisher - Tricycle: The Buddhist Review


"We are between the creative, open and spontaneous sense of being and approach to life and the highly disciplined, pragmatic approach. And between those two there's a doorway, if you can find it, and it leads to immortality. It leads to infinity. It leads to nirvana."

Rama -
Dr. Frederick Lenz

3. What are the plans for the Foundation?

In accordance with Dr. Lenz directions, the Foundation is to be perpetual, meaning that it is intended to continue in its work indefinitely. Accordingly, it will make grants to other Buddhist organizations and educational institutions, as well as possibly funding its own programs, to carry out the Foundations purposes while at the same time seeking to grow its endowment in order to assure its longevity. The Foundation will rely primarily on volunteer assistance (such as the Advisory Committee discussed above), investment revenue, revenue generated from the sale of Dr. Lenz intellectual property used in support of its mission, and unsolicited individual donations and bequests as its primary means of generating income and growth. Since the Foundation is not a public charity, it will not engage in fund-raising activities.


4. Who can apply for grants?

Please see the Foundations' Grant Policy on Grant-Making for details. Here is a brief summary:

  1. Grants will only be made to qualified not-for-profit organizations whose goals are commensurate with those of the Foundation and which have already received their exempt status from the appropriate governmental authorities.
  2. Unsolicited grant proposals are not requested and will not be considered. If, however, a letter outlining an idea for a grant is sent to the Foundation, and if the Foundation responds with a request for a full proposal, then a proposal may be written and submitted to the Foundation for consideration.
  3. For information on grant-making activity, click here.


5. Will Dr. Lenz's teachings and other intellectual properties be available to the public?

In an effort to make the public aware of the concept of American Buddhism, the Foundation is offering Dr. Lenz teaching audio tapes and transcripts of those audio tapes, plus additional books written by Dr. Lenz, videos and Zazen music. The intent is to make copies of these works available in attractive and high quality formats. As more of these intellectual properties become available, the Foundation will seek to add to its archives and make them available to the public. The intellectual property is accessible through an easy-to-use online storefront with immediate shipping and credit card payment capabilities. Special pricing is available to teachers of meditation.


6. Is there a way to make a donation to the Foundation or to benefit a specific grant partner?

All donations are welcome. There is no minimum amount for a donation to the Foundation. For a donation in support of one of our specific grant programs to benefit a particular grant partner, the minimum donation is $500.00.

Click Here to make a donation in support of the Foundation.

Click Here to make a donation in support of one of our specific grant programs to benefit a particular grant partner.

The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt private foundation. Please check with your accountant regarding any tax deductions related to this donation.


7. Are there American Buddhist events sponsored by the Foundation?

The Foundation recently sponsored the 2009 Buddhist Leadership Conference in Boulder, Colorado. Click here to view the videos, pictures and transcripts from the 2009 Buddhist Leadership Conference, including a video of the keynote address by Robert Thurman.


This page will be updated with more FAQs on a periodic basis, and we welcome your questions.
Questions can be sent to our contact address. Thank you!