The English definition of boon is ‘a thing that is helpful or beneficial’.
In Thai, the word บุญ (pronounced: boon) translates into ‘good deeds’ or ‘merit’. The concept of merit is fundamental to Buddhist ethics, and making merit by performing good deeds is a key practice for Buddhists throughout the world.
boon.org is currently being used as my personal domain, but it will be used for a project in the future. The specific mission is still vague, though it is anchored to the core principle that meditation should be freely available to all people throughout the world regardless of gender, race, age, or socioeconomic status.
Since 2010, I have met inspiring people who have helped to advance this idea in various ways. Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu, also known as Ajaan Geoff, is the abbot of the Metta Forest Monastery near Escondido, CA. In addition to translating an incredible volume of Buddhist texts from Pali to English and Thai to English, he authors his own books that share lessons learned through a long career as a monk. These books are all freely available digitally and in print at DhammaTalks.org, and visitors are able to stay at the Metta Forest Monastery free of charge in order to learn meditation and practice with the community.
Hal Roth is a professor of religious studies at Brown University and founded the Contemplative Studies Initiative. He has brought together faculty from a range of disciplines, from neuroscience to physics to philosophy to education, and created a space to investigate contemplative traditions. My first exposure to meditation was as a sophomore at Brown, and I’m quite certain that this wouldn’t have happened without the great community that was built up on campus by Hal Roth.
Fleet Maull founded the Prison Mindfulness Institute in 1989 in order to support the transformation of prisoners through contemplative practice. Members of the Prison Mindfulness Institute have taught meditation in prisons and provided free books to prison library systems throughout the U.S., and early studies have demonstrated great promise in lowering recidivism and improving reintegration of prisoners after release.
Willoughby Britton, my former lab advisor, has been documenting the impacts of teaching mindfulness to middle school and university students. She has published a number of papers that have helped advance our understanding of the effects of meditation on young adults.
Countless others are using their unique skill sets in order to develop a personal practice and share with others in accordance with their abilities. I am thankful to all of those who dedicate their time and energy to this endeavour!