Membership, a Matter of the Heart...
Dharma Refuge Members are people who, on a monthly or annual basis, make a gift of financial support to sustain our operations. See the FAQ's below for more information on suggested giving for Membership.
While joining our sangha (community) helps you and others to engage the path of love and wisdom based on the teachings of the Buddha, it does not mean you must identify as Buddhist. Many of our members are part of other spiritual (or religious) communities and find their own inner life is enriched by engaging in our practices and teachings.
Knowing that spiritual friendship is a source of joy, courage, and inspiration, we warmly welcome you to consider becoming a Member of Dharma Refuge.
If you'd like to donate via check, please email Membership to arrange your membership giving.
If you are concerned about your capacity to provide financial support, but would like to become a Member, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. No one who wishes to be a Member will be turned away.
What are the benefits & opportunities of Membership?
Serving the Sangha
The balance of the work associated with running our Dharma Center, online via zoom and in-person at our center is done by our Members serving in a volunteer capacity. In the spirit of the tradition, we recognize service as a form of practice—the practice of generosity. When you become a new Member, your time and talents will be welcomed. We have committees and teams that work together for the benefit everyone who attends our practices, teaching, and retreats. If you'd like to be involved, we will find a place for you!
Library of Teachings
Our Members have unlimited, on-demand access to years of recorded talks, special programs, and retreats. This includes three years of lineage training offered by our Spiritual Director, Sue Kochan, as well as recordings of guest teachers who've joined us over the years. Our library of weekly Dharma talks also features Bodhisattva Everywhere talks offered by senior practitioners in the sangha. Weekly talks and recordings from special programs and retreats cover a wide range of Buddhist wisdom to inspire your practice and your life.
Can I attend as a guest before joining?
Dharma Refuge offers weekly practice opportunities and Dharma talks freely (at no cost) and we warmly invite you to use these opportunities get to know us as you consider Membership. See our newsletter for details. Dharma Refuge is open to everyone. (Read our Sanctuary Statement.)
We do often charge for special programs and retreats to help cover our operating expenses, although we never turn anyone away because of financial hardship.
While commitments and contributions are not required for participation, we are supported entirely by the generosity of our guests and Members. Please consider either one-time giving or Membership if you value what we offer, for you and for others.
How much is appropriate to give for Membership?
Nationally the average contribution by household to a spiritual/religious organization is estimated at roughly 2% of annual income. We encourage you to use 2% as a guideline for your giving. Your circumstances may not allow giving at this level. We are delighted to include you as a Member at a level of giving compatible with your current circumstances. (If you can give at a level higher than 2% we hope you will consider that; it helps balance out those whose capacity is more limited.) All donations are tax deductible. Dharma Refuge is a NYS 501(c)(3) Corporation.
If You Have Questions:
Please send an email to our membership team and someone will be more than happy to answer your questions and share more about our sangha.
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We'll keep you posted on programs, retreats and all-around good stuff! :)
Our regular, weekly practices are held over Zoom and (usually) also in person at our Dharma Center.
Dharma Refuge is located at Covenant United Methodist Church (2nd Floor, parking in the rear lot behind the church. Elevator off the lobby at the rear door.)
1124 Culver Rd, Rochester, NY 14609
Copyright 2023 Dharma Refuge; Dharma Refuge is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit corporation.