Foundation History


Bon Foundation

Under the Guidance of the Abbott of Bon, the Bon Foundations supports Menri Monastery (Medicine Mountain), situated in Northern India, through provides basic needs including food, clothing, shelter, and education to the monks, nuns, and children of Menri as they are the future of Bon.  The Bon Foundation also helps to maintain the magnificent monastery complex known as The Shining City so that it can continue to inspire residents, practitioners, scholars and sitters to work together to preserve this extraordinary ancient culture.

Foundation History

Established in 1989, the organization was first called the Yungdrung Bon Temple Foundation. It’s creation came as a result of increased awareness and research of Bon and the existing monastery. After the organization was founded two people interested in the history and existence of Bon made the trip to the monastery where they found His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin and a few monks, tending to several children, living in modest mud structures. They were excited to see the vision of His Holiness and the opportunity to increase knowledge about Bon. The Bon Foundation, then and now, has played a intergral role in delivering humanitarian, infrastructure, and educational opportunities to Menri Monastery (Medicine Mountain) and Redna Menling Nunnery.

Since it was first created there have been thousands of refugees, adult and children(many orphaned) from Nepal and other bordering areas who have come to Menri seeking religious vocations, sustenance and education. In addition, there has been a focus on building structures including a library, temples, residences, and teaching facilities and the Menri complex has become the new World Center of Bon. As a result of these efforts monks, nuns and visiting practitioners are able to pass on Bon teachings, worldwide, on the indigenous religion of Tibet. There are now thousands of individuals throughout the world learning of Bon Culture and the practices of this ancient religion.

The name of the organization was changed to the Bon Foundation in 2001 and the mission has remained the same. The Bon Foundation provides ongoing financial support to help presever Bon culture, maintain the grounds of Menri Monastery through The Shining City fund, and to meed the medical, nutrional, educational needs of the hundreds of monks, nuns and children who now reside at Menri.


The Bon Foundation humbly expresses gratitude to the following individuals who have served the Yungdrung Bon Temple Foundation and/or Bon Foundation from 1989 to current:

  • Chelsea Ambrose, LCSW – Secretary and Treasurer
  • Frances Baker – Former Treasurer
  • John Barrett – Former Treasurer
  • Rosalyn Bruyere – Founder, Former President
  • JoAnn Clough – President
  • Lynn Dates – Former Administrator
  • Maya Dunzig
  • Cathy Granett
  • Jeffrey Granett, MD
  • Nancy Gottwald – Administrator
  • Vicki Jenkins, PhD
  • Jonathan Kramer, MD
  • Judy Marz
  • Susan Newstead – Former Administrator
  • Vasilka Nicolova – Former Treasurer
  • Dixie O’Connor
  • Joseph Optiker
  • David Peteler – Former Vice President
  • Kit Sawyer – Former President and Secretary
  • Karan Shelley – Former President and Secretary
  • Alysia Tromblay
  • Lynn Winters
  • Jean Zaharakos

Board of Directors

Chelsea Ambrose is a Social Worker and healthcare administrator in upstate New York.  She is committed to serving her local and global community including through her work with the Bon Foundation.  She began providing volunteer support to the Sponsorship Committee of the Bon Foundation in 2004 and has been part of the Bon Foundation Board of Directors since 2008.

Vicki Jenkins currently teaches philosophy in the Indiana University system. Committed to introducing people to the compassionate, healing wisdom of the Bon tradition, while a professor at Hanover College she hosted numerous teachings by Bon Geshe Chongtul Rinpoche. Visits to Menri Monastery deepened her desire to help ensure that the Bon culture continues to thrive. She joined the Bon Foundation Board in 2020.

JoAnn Clough is a Social Worker and Psychotherapist in upstate New York. She is dedicated to helping care for the children in her community and around the world. She has been part of the Bon Foundation Board of Directors since ____ and became the Bon Foundation President in 2019. She is committed to the continued preservation of Bon culture and serving Menri Monastery.

Kit Sawyer is a retired License Massage Therapist in Cleveland, Ohio. Kit has served the Bon Foundation as President and as Secretary since 2001. Her commitment to the Menri community continues.

Lynn Winters is a Performing Artist, Reiki Master and Certified in Hypnosis. She is devoted to the betterment of all sentient beings, especially the children. Lynn has been studying and practicing Bon since 2004 and Joined the Bon Foundation Board in 2020.


Coming Soon!