The sole purpose of the Bodhi Manda Zen Center (“The Bodhi”) is to promote universal well being, helping people to experience their true selfless and symbiotic nature through providing genuine teachings and training in Rinzai Zen Buddhist practices for the immense benefit of current and future generations.
Michele E. Martin founded the Jemez Bodhi Mandala in 1973 as a place for Buddhist practice and teaching, drawn by its natural hot springs and scenic location. Over the years, the spirit of her donation has grown into a quiet and reflective retreat, meditation, and teaching space. We are indebted to Michele’s vision, passion, and generosity, and for finding and helping acquire this site (and look forward to her occasional visit). We will continue to grow and develop from Michele’s original intention.
‘Bodhi Manda’ is Sanskrit for “Place of Enlightenment,” the fundamental purpose of The Bodhi being to promote universal wellbeing and unexcelled tranquility by providing genuine teachings on Zen Buddhism. Located in a high desert river canyon in the stunning and secluded Jemez Mountains, the harmonious practices of Bodhi Manda invite and encourage the cultivation of symbiotic relationship in every aspect of life, while the serene environment supports both visitors and residents in attentively deepening the understanding of our collective ‘true nature.’
Since its incorporation on November 29, 1973 as a non-profit religious organization based on the firm foundation of Zen practice, The Bodhi has continually transformed itself, constantly adapting to the needs of its participants and responding to the demands of the environment. Thanks to countless people having contributed to its growth and development over the years, the Bodhi Manda Zen Center has a particularly rich history and now offers an exceptionally wide variety of educational and enriching opportunities.
In the spring and autumn The Bodhi focuses primarily on providing formal monastic training in Zen Buddhist practices for committed students, while during the off-season the Center opens to the public and functions as a guest house, giving visitors the option to participate in the daily monastic activities or enjoy the facilities on their own schedule. Throughout the summer the Bodhi rents out the property to a diverse mixture of independent retreat groups, some of which have been returning for over thirty years. In the midst of the groups’ programs all are encouraged to perform a service for Bodhi Manda, inviting everyone to form relationships through fully engaging with one another, the environment, and the Bodhi staff, simultaneously bridging the gap between the ideas of Buddhist and non-Buddhist.
All through the year members of The Bodhi, as well as harvesting fruits, vegetables, and herbs grown in various plots on the land, receives from the local farmers market in Albuquerque weekly food donations called “Takuhatsu,” a tradition of fostering community support that extends back to the time of the historical Buddha. Consisting mainly of produce that the market has deemed unsellable, Bodhi residents sort through the products, saving what is still fresh to be cooked for the students, staff, and groups, and composting what has spoiled to supply nutrients for the gardens’ soil and crops.
The Bodhi extends itself to local middle and high schools as well, offering week-long programs where the students engage in a daily monastic schedule that include early wakeup, zazen meditation, chanting, work practice, and silent meals. In addition, Bodhi Manda conducts traditional Buddhist ceremonies that are always open to the public, zazen-kais (weekend-long meditation intensives), weddings, and funerals.
Entering The Bodhi’s forty first year, the Board of Directors now has many important goals and projects aimed at the continued expansion of The Bodhi’s outreach and enhancement of the Center’s service and benefit for generations to come, projects that won’t be possible to realize without your support!
Thank you for your interest and support! Please call or write for more information.