Alec Peterson Memorial Scholarship Fund
The Alec Peterson Memorial Scholarship Fund honors the memory of a young man who was truly an example of basic goodness in the world.
The Scholarship Fund also makes possible Karmê Chöling’s commitment to making the benefits of meditation and the vision of basic goodness available to all those who are interested – regardless of financial means. Every year, practitioners in need receive nearly $250,000 in scholarships and financial aid for trainings and retreats at Karmê Chöling.
Remembering his example of compassion, wisdom, and unconditional love, your gift is a wonderful way to help welcome all the people who come to share in the vision of Shambhala.
How it Began
The Alec Peterson Memorial Scholarship Fund was created in 2009 by Alec's mother, Ms. Karen Gillies. It was created to honor Alec's memory by supporting Karmê Chöling — Alec's dharma home.
Alec John Peterson was born on May 16, 1986 in Corvallis, Oregon. At 18, he set off on an intense journey of personal and spiritual growth.
Alec found his “home” at Karmê Chöling shortly before his 19th birthday. Here, he felt accepted for who he was, encountered his basic goodness, and fell in love with the dharma. After a year, he left to share his heart and abilities with the world.
After Karmê Chöling, Alec worked for a year in a wilderness therapy program. There he helped young boys find their inner strength and goodness. He also continued his education at Heartwood Institute in California, where he completed coursework in Asian Healing Arts and Whole Foods Nutrition.
In 2008, Alec attended Vajrayana Seminary and the 30th Anniversary Magyal Pomra Encampment. After this intense summer of dharma study and practice, Alec moved to Boulder, Colorado where he was an active member of the Shambhala community.
Sadly, Alec died on March 14, 2009 in Boulder, at the age of 22. Alec touched countless souls in his young life and is remembered for his gentleness, beautiful smile, unconditional love and passion for life.
His memory will live on in all the hearts he touched as well as with the Karmê Chöling Scholarship Fund. Donations to this fund will help others find their way in this often-confusing world. Karmê Chöling and Alec's family are grateful for any offering you can make to help support practitioners to deepen their understanding and commitment along the Shambhala Buddhist path.