Who we are

We are a non-profit entity with the mission of contributing to human development, social transformation and a culture of peace.

We seek to awaken and highlight the positive qualities naturally present in every human being, so that everyone can establish better relationships with themselves, with others, with society and with the biosphere. To this end, we carry out activities in the areas of social assistance, culture, education, health, sustainable development and human rights.

Instituto Caminho do Meio (ICM) was founded in 2008, consolidating the actions of social transformation of the Buddhist master Lama Padma Samten and his students, practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism linked to the Center for Bodhisattva Buddhist Studies (CEBB).

ICM activities take place in several cities in Brazil, together with CEBB villages – communities that emerge around CEBB Buddhist centers. Currently, they are mainly based in five of these villages: Viamão (RS), Timbaúba (PE), Alto Paraíso (GO), Canelinha (SC) and Quatro Barras (PR).


Our story

Instituto Caminho do Meio was legally constituted in 2008, but its activities began much earlier, due to the vision and action of Lama Padma Samten

Institutional Relations

Instituto Caminho do Meio seeks to act in a network, developing positive relationships with all social actors and promoting the protagonism of the communities with which we are involved.


On July 21 of 2022, ICM was approved with Consultative Status for its participation in the United NationsICM, as a consultant, has access to all UN mechanisms and procedural bodies, events and programmes.

Where we operate

We carry out various activities of public interest, in addition to promoting studies, research, development of alternative technologies, and the production and dissemination of technical and scientific knowledge in our areas of activity:

Education for happiness

This objective is to offer formative and educational actions for the Culture of Peace, based on the recognition of the internal world, on positive values and on a more fraternal and sustainable way of life. In addition to open courses and training in various areas, the ICM maintains three schools for Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education.

Social action and strengthening relationships

This purpose is to develop positive relationships with society, supporting and offering social assistance actions, coexistence and strengthening bonds, professional training workshops and sports, cultural and social activities.

Agroecology and regenerative practices

It seeks to promote educational actions and continuing education in the areas of sustainability, ecology, sustainable development, food production, among other topics.
It also supports solidarity economy and family farming activities. In the region of Chapada dos Veadeiros (GO), its activities took the form of a Research Center for Syntropic Agriculture (CEPEAS).

Working with traditional communities

Valuing and exchanging knowledge with traditional Brazilian communities is the objective here.
Instituto Caminho do Meio is regularly visited by indigenous leaders of different ethnic groups, opening up space for listening and learning from the views of their cultures. In particular, we have worked with the Guarani Mbya villages in Rio Grande do Sul.

Health, care and well-being

It seeks to promote approaches to health and care for life in its entirety, including the collective and psychic dimensions of the causes of illness, valuing regeneration and prevention.
For this, it has a network of therapists affiliated to different traditions, also promoting training courses in different lines.

Communication to transform the world

Its objective is to produce content and promote actions on important issues for the transformation of the world, as well as to promote dialogue between different religious traditions and diverse social, cultural and environmental movements.
The Bodhisattva Platform (Magazine and Publisher) and the “108 Hours of Peace” meeting, held annually since 1999, stand out.

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Our story

Instituto Caminho do Meio was legally constituted in 2008, but its activities began much earlier, due to the vision and action of Lama Padma Samten

Instituto Caminho do Meio (ICM) emerged as a result of the environmental and social activities carried out, since the 1970s, by the Lama Padma Samten, at the time Alfredo Aveline. Physics professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Aveline was an active voice in debates on nuclear energy in the country, in addition to being one of the founders of the Associação Gaúcha de Proteção ao Ambiente Natural (AGAPAN). Years later, he became a student of His Eminence Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche, by whom he was ordained a Lama in 1996. Since then, he has combined and expanded his world transformation activities from the broad vision brought by the Buddhist tradition, giving rise to the Institute.
  • 1986

  • 1990

    The first edition of the Bodhisattva Magazine, a periodical devoted to the dissemination of Buddhist and world transformation texts.

  • 1996

    Alfredo Aveline is ordained Lama by S.E. Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche and takes the name Padma Samten.

  • 1999

    At the turn of the year, CEBB joins other organizations to promote the first 72 Horas for Peace, an event for dialogue and promotion of a culture of peace that, since then, has been held annually.

  • 2007

    In Viamão, the first stage of the headquarters of the Assistance, Social and Educational Center Caminho do Meio (NASCEM), in the community of Jardim do Castelo.

    In Recife, Lama Padma Samten and his students approach the Educational Nucleus of the Minor Brothers of Francis of Assisi (NEIMFA), in the Coque community.

    In its ninth edition, the 72 Hours of Peace is extended, renamed 108 Hours of Peace.

  • 2008

    The Middle Way Institute, located in Viamão (RS), is legally constituted. In the same year, the opening of Middle Way School, based on a pedagogical vision structured around the Five Buddhist Wisdoms.
  • 2009

    ICM hosts, for the first time, the course Gaia Education, in partnership with the Fundação Findhorn, a UFRGS e a Amigos da Terra Brasil.
  • 2010

    NGO is founded Ação Darmata, in Recife (PE) as another expression of social action by the CEBB Buddhist Sangha.
  • 2012

    Beginning of activities Child Development Center (CEDIN).
  • 2013

    comes the Instituto Caminho do Meio Alto Paraíso (Alto Paraíso, GO) aiming to expand the action in the region. A Vila Verde School, formerly a private initiative, is now maintained and directed by ICM.
  • 2017

    is created the Instituto Caminho do Meio Canelinha (Canelinha, SC). The first edition of the Terra Pure Program: Training in Self-Organization, in which the various actors of the CEBB Villages met to share experiences on building communities. ICM offers itself as a supporter at the beginning of Retomada Mbya Guarani in Maquiné (RS), in the lands of the extinct FEPAGRO. A Bodhisattva Magazine is revitalized, with the launch of a new website and new editorial proposal.
  • 2018

    is founded the Sukhavati Middle Way Institute (Quatro Barras, PR).

    On the initiative of students of Ernst Götsch, the Syntropic Agriculture Research Center (CEPEAS), in Aldeia CEBB Alto Paraíso (GO).

    CEBB and ICM get together with other religious and social action institutions and articulate the Compassionate Network.

Institutional Relations

Instituto Caminho do Meio seeks to act in a network, developing positive relationships with all social actors and promoting the protagonism of the communities with which we are involved.

In particular, we consider it important to act in the participatory instances of public bodies, with a view to improving public policies, in their various spheres. ICM is currently present in the following instances:
In Viamão/RS
  • Viamonense Council for the Rights of Children and Adolescents (COVIDICA)
  • Viamonense Council for Food and Nutritional Security (CONVISAN)
In Alto Paraíso/GO
  • Municipal Council for the Rights of Children and Adolescents (CMDCA)
  • Municipal Health Council (CMS)
  • Municipal Board of Education (CME)
  • Community Council, which aims to assist the local Judiciary in the rehabilitation activities of the prison population of the Municipality.
  • Board of Programs and Projects of the UnB Cerrado, developing projects such as the Environment Week and encouraging academic research to bring development to the region.
  • Advisory Board of the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park (CONPARQUE), in which ICM participates as a Research Institute, due to developments in the area of syntropic agriculture.