Dharmadatta Community is a spiritual community grounded in friendship. As four Spanish-speaking women walking the Buddhist path together, we founded this community in 2009 as a place to cultivate our hearts and minds in both the Dharma and vinaya, or monastic training. We trained in India and soon began traveling to Latin America to serve a growing lay community. We lived in Mexico for several years offering spiritual instruction and leading retreats, and continue to do so now while based in rural Virginia. We remain committed to serving our Spanish-language community, with nearly all our activities—from weekly Dharma talks to sutra recitation to meditation courses—now taking place online, completely free of charge.
All the women in our residential community had professional and personal lives before becoming nuns. We were journalists, accountants, lawyers and schoolteachers. We led lives that met most worldly definitions of success, and had an ample share of life’s enjoyments. Yet in our own way we each experienced a lingering sense of dissatisfaction, an unspoken longing for a life of greater substance and more lasting value.
We have heard all the arguments that monasticism is irrelevant, outdated or inappropriate for Westerners. Yet we are walking this monastic path—and we walk it together—in the firm conviction that Buddhist monasticism is more relevant, appropriate and necessary now than ever before, and in the West more than anywhere else. To face our century’s unprecedented environmental and social crises, we believe that Buddhist monasticism has an important role to play, by demonstrating that it is absolutely possible to live rich and joyful lives with far less than our society would insist is indispensable for a happy life. Solving our environment and social ills will also require that we restructure our relationships with each other and with the planet, so that we can live together in ways that honor our interdependence and allow for mutual flourishing. In this area, too, we have found that Buddhist monasticism has much to offer to inspire rethinking and new ways of relating.
Land stewardship as integral to spiritual practice.
For us, the time has come to put down roots.
We envision caring for a large tract of land that either extends an existing habitat or is situated between currently fragmented habitats, so that we could restore and serve to link habitats. If it is not forested, we would love to reforest and will work with conservationists to ensure we do so responsibly. We are currently open to locations, with an eye on the eastern seaboard. Please contact us with suggestions or learn how you can offer any other form of support. We cannot do this alone.
Online Meditation Halls
Explore dozens of guided meditations, secular and Buddhist. Open to all and free of charge.