GBTS, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Sumi Loundon Kim, President (Theravada)
David Iozzi, Treasurer (Vajrayana)
Nina La Rosa, Clerk (Theravada)
Rebecca Li, Director (Chan)
Vimalasara Mason-John, Director (Triratna)
Grace Song, Director (Won)
Gabe Keller Flores, Administrative Assistant
GBTS grew out of a conference of “NextGen” Buddhist teachers in 2011 at the Garrison Institute in upstate New York. Fueled by the joy of meeting peers learning how to practice and teach the dharma across lineages, the group decided to meet every two years. We shifted from defining the community by age, which would have had the effect of a continuously changing constituency, to defining our group by birth year. For a variety of reasons, after lively and substantive discussions, we settled on 1960 to 1982.
From the very beginning, GBTS has actively cultivated a culture of peership, viewed as the intention to put our teacher role to one side and relate to each other as friends on the path, helping each other learn and grow personally and in our profession. In addition, GBTS aims for diversity in many ways—foremost across Buddhist lineages, followed by ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, gender, and monastic/lay status.
2011. June 5-8. Garrison Institute, New York
2013. June 5-9. Deer Park Monastery, California.
West Coast. Mahayana – Thien.
2015. June 6-10. Dharma Drum Retreat Center, Pine Bush, New York.
Northeast. Mahayana – Chan.
2017. June 6-11. Dharma Ocean Retreat Center, Crestone, Colorado.
2019. June 12-16. Great Vow Zen Monastery, Clatskanie, Oregon.
Northwest. Mahayana – Zen.
2021. June 5. Online daylong.
2022. July 6-10. Won Dharma Center, upstate New York.
Northeast. Mahayana – Won.
GenX Buddhist Teachers Sangha helps our generation of Buddhist teachers meet the needs of the ever-changing Buddhist landscape in the West. We support committed, active Buddhist teachers to learn from and inspire each other by coming together as a community. Our biannual conferences welcome diversity, curiosity, integrity and reflect a strong grounding in the Dharma.
A few of our goals:
- To foster collaborative learning, respect, and community engagement for our generation of Buddhist teachers across lineages.
- To explore salient issues of teaching the dharma: including authenticity, lineage, diversity, colonialism, race, gender, ethics, and power. To foster relationship-building while exploring these issues.
- To provide support for professional development through a formalized association.
Our Gatherings have a distinct nonsectarian, pan-Buddhist character. We are dedicated to fostering communication and collaboration across different traditions of Buddhism. The conference has hosted teachers representing traditions and lineages across the Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana and Ekayana vehicles. In terms of geography, teachers have traveled from the United States, Canada, Mexico, the UK, and France and beyond to attend. Our four-day gatherings are also unique in their emphasis on dharma practice. In that regard, the gatherings are much like a retreat, providing much-needed renewal for many of our teachers.
Topics of gathering discussion range from the practical: utilizing online teaching resources, developing communities and training new teachers, and navigating the Buddhist publishing world; to the philosophical: the relationship of Buddhism and mindfulness, the role of form and ritual in modern practice, as well as understanding different forms of renunciation; to the personal: our own spiritual development, relationship to senior teachers, learning edges, and so much more.
“There is a lot of wisdom in the room when you have a group of dedicated Buddhist practitioners sharing and learning from each other,” said Abhaya Korrigan, a Buddhist prison chaplain who has attended all the previous gatherings. “When everyone is your peer, you can be open in a way that isn’t always possible in other situations.”