Leaving a Legacy

If one gives food to others, one will improve one’s own lot, just as, for example, if one lights a fire for others, one will brighten one’s own way.

Nichiren, 1278

Candle Legacy PictureGiving nourishment, and using your flame to light a flame for others, will help sustain and continue dharma teachings and practice for the benefit of generations to come. It can be very satisfying to leave something of your life and work that helps guide and nourish those who will come after you.

Legacy gifts benefit both the donor and Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community. The advantages to the donor are many—tax benefits, recognition, and the satisfaction of knowing that they are helping to uphold the heart of the practice in practical, dynamic, and forever relevant ways.

Such gifts benefit the community by providing a reliable and steady flow of income, allowing for Bread Loaf Mountain to support hands-on community projects, maintain a temple in this region, support future teachers to lead the worldwide sangha, and train future Zen practitioners to work in future contexts we can barely imagine now.

Legacy giving is a term that covers all kinds of structured or deferred charitable gifts, such as bequests (gifts from a person’s will), trusts, and gifts of retirement benefits. These gifts benefit the donor and Bread Loaf Mountain, while creating a legacy that will last for generations.

By including Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community in their will, a donor can ensure that their generosity will continue for a long time into the future. Bread Loaf Mountain is committed to the best possible use for these gifts, in fulfilling the mission to make accessible, and embody, the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha, as determined by the spiritual leaders of BLMZC and its Board of Directors.

Donors may find that gifts of retirement assets can save heirs undue tax burdens, while allowing them to accomplish their charitable objectives. Unlike when bequeathing to individual heirs, bequests of retirement plan assets to Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community are not subject to income taxes on the assets. This allows donors to make a larger gift and possibly save other nontaxable assets for donation to heirs.

There are other tax-wise ways to have your work and life offer a gift of great value for the future.

If you want to support (one of) the many service projects and general operations of Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community by leaving us a legacy or testamentary gift, please contact Joshin Byrnes.