The Hinman Foundation’s mission is to preserve the culture and heritage of Buddhism through community development and cultural preservation projects that reflect the spirit of the Buddha’s teachings. The foundation provides grants to various Buddhist communities to improve the quality of life, strengthen sustainable initiative, and enhance access to Buddhist teachings and spaces of practice. Currently, the Hinman Foundation has projects in Bhutan, Burma (Myanmar), India, Mongolia, Nepal, Tibet and the United States.
Since 2009, the Hinman Foundation has provided several grants to support the restoration of the historic Buddhist temple in Shangkar, Bhutan. The Hinman Foundation also supports the Bhutan Nuns Foundation which was established to provide Bhutanese women with improved living conditions and access to education to promost socio-economic development.
The Hinman Foundation launched an online campaign to help raise funds for one of their partners in Burma to help buy a rice milling machine for a Buddhist monastic school to help the school feed itself and generate income for ongoing school costs. Since 2011, the Hinman Foundation has made grants directly to monasteries and nunneries to help support education and community development and alleviate poverty.
The Hinman Foundation has supported the Padmasambhava Buddhist Center since 2004 in its construction of a stupa, a place of worship that contains Buddhist relics, in Shravasti, India. The stupid is a representation of the Buddha and a permanent offering bringing merit to the world, “The Miracle Stupa is intended to last a thousand years, radiating the energy of love and compassion to all beings.” The Hinman Foundation also helped build the Orygen Samye Chokhor Ling Nunnery in Sarnath, India. The nunnery is a manifestation f the Venerable Khenpo’s commitment to providing equal access to education for both women and men.
In 2007, the Hinman Foundation made a grant to the Foundation for the Perservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a non-profit organization established in 1999 to help the resurgence of Tibetan Buddhism in Mongolia. The FPMT provides integrated education to help students achieve the highest potential for the benefit of others, inspired by an attitude of universal responsibility. In an effort to share information about traditional Mongolian artists, the Hinman Foundation supported a grant to enable the curation of a photo exhibit, Mongol Visions: Winged Horses and Shamanic Skies – Contemporary Masters from the Land of Chinggis Khaan, held at Tibet House in New York in 2011.
he Hinman Foundation helped support the creation and publication of unique historical documentation of the Tibetan refugee situation in Nepal. Caught in Nepal: Tibetan Refugees Photographing Tibetan Refugees is a photography book that documents the daily lives of Tibetan refugees in Nepal. It is both a historical document and cultural commentary. The photographs were taken exclusively by the refugees.
The project began in 2009 as a collaboration between the Foundation and the author and activist Mikel Dunham, when ten inexpensive digital cameras were given to refugees in Nepal. None of the recipients had ever owned cameras and only three exhibited any knowledge or experience with photographic equipment. They were empowered to use these cameras to capture the reality of their lives in Nepal. This includes lack of legal status, denial of the right to own property or business, inability to register births or marriages, and inadequate education.
The Foundation began working with the Samye Monastery in 2006. The Monastery serves as a place of practice and education. The architectural design of this space has strong roots and symbolism in the practice of Buddhism, and its preservation has a symbolic as well as practical value for Vajrayana Buddhism. The project included replacing molded, rotten, and broken pillars that provided structural support to both the core of the monastery and the inner chapels. The chapels are used for both meditation and as a sacred place for pilgrims to make offerings, making this reconstruction a critical priority for the community.
The United States
The Hinman Foundation is committed to supporting the manifestation and sharing of traditional Buddhist culture in the United States. It seeks to support initiatives to provide space for meditative practice, cultural exchange and engagement, and meaningful dialogue about Buddhist principles.
If you are interested in learning even more about the Hinman Foundation you can visit http://www.hinmanfoundation.org