Jivaka Project Philadelphia

Jivaka Project Philadelphia Trailer

This part of the website uses ethnographic methods and documentary filmmaking to explore the role of Buddhist institutions, practices, and cultural orientations in the health landscape of Greater Philadelphia between 2015 and 2020. Buddhism plays an important—though often unappreciated—role in the city’s healthcare landscape, especially for Asian immigrants and refugees. We invite you to begin to explore these intersections by visiting one of the six themes below, looking up a specific location in the Location Finder, or reading some of the detailed info and articles about the project.

Themes to explore…

Won Institute meditation room


How do Buddhist communities in Philadelphia link meditation to health and wellbeing?

Healing Rituals

What kinds of Buddhist rituals are performed in Philadelphia to ensure health or fight disease?

Giving food donations

Food & Health

What are the health implications of traditional foodways that are celebrated in Buddhist spaces in Philadelphia?

Chinese herbal medicine dispensary

Traditional Medicine

How do Buddhist organizations in Philadelphia promote traditional forms of Asian medical care?

Lao new year celebration 2018

Social Dimensions of Health

How do Buddhist communities in Philadelphia support their members’ psychological and social wellbeing?

Blood pressure monitoring station

Intersections with Mainstream Healthcare

How do Buddhist institutions in Philadelphia interface with mainstream healthcare infrastructure, such as hospitals and health insurance?