The Story Behind the New BMCM Website


The story behind this website is an intensive, exciting year-long journey which has spanned two continents, drawn on feedback and teamwork from hundreds of people, and led to the creation of a new BMCM logo, visual design, and BMCM voice in our communications.  We’re thrilled to be sharing this new website with you, and hope you’ll enjoy this look behind the scenes. 

How It All Began

A year ago, we took a close look at our website analytics: the information about where our website visitors (you!) were located, which pages they visited, how long they stayed on them, and what technology they were using. We were surprised to see that:

  • Over 50% of website visitors were visiting the website on a mobile or tablet.
  • In the last five years, the number of international visitors had more than doubled, and now accounts for more than 20%.
  • In 2015 we had over 250,000 new visitors.

So far, so good – our website clearly needed to meet the needs of an international audience who were new to meditation and visiting the site on their phone or tablet. But there was another statistic that we needed to consider more closely: 

  • Our “bounce rate” was high – 80% – which meant that most of our new visitors were leaving the website within five seconds of arriving. 

What was keeping these visitors from staying longer? Friends told us that our website had a lot of useful material, but that it was sometimes hard to find the articles, audios and videos they were looking for. And time-pressed newcomers needed something that we weren’t yet offering – a brief, simple, easy-to-read section for finding out about the practice.

Our conclusion: we needed a fresh, appealing re-design with some new material to represent the practice of Easwaran’s passage meditation in today’s world.

The Young Adult Communications Team (YACT) Was Born

The BMCM’s President’s Office (PO), which manages all the operations of BMCM, looked at the website analytics and decided it wanted the new website to meet the needs of our whole audience – newcomers and returnees – and especially those in the 20–50 age range. It’s this age group in particular that goes online to search for meditation and build spiritual community.

The PO invited a small group of young adults in their 20s and 30s who were practicing passage meditation and already volunteering or working at the BMCM to form a “Young Adult Communications Team” (YACT). The YACT had the goal of creating a design brief, and then helping to choose a web firm who would design and build the actual website. What an exciting project!

Over the next four months, the YACT met on monthly video calls to learn more about the BMCM’s work and our audience’s needs. They surveyed members of our audience to find out what they needed on the new BMCM website, and which other websites they liked. 

In October 2015 they came together for a working weekend to dive into the survey results and brainstorm the new site’s features and design. The YACT combed through hundreds of other existing websites to find inspiration.

As they picked their top websites, they saw that all three had visual appeal, easy navigation, simplicity, and . . . something else. 

The Wow Factor

The YACT wanted the new website to have a “wow factor” – an impact that would make you actually say to yourself: “Wow!”

Unexpectedly, one website with a major “wow” factor was that of the Dutch national museum, the Rijksmuseum, with its inbuilt “Rijksstudio”. A friend had recommended the museum’s website and the “studio” feature, which enables you to select your favorite artwork and then place that in your own personal virtual studio. Wow!

One of the YAs casually mentioned this website to a family member, who did a bit of research and found out that the web firm behind the Rijksmuseum also built the Vincent Van Gogh Museum website. The Van Gogh site was also simple, striking, informative, and easy to navigate. Interestingly, visitors to this site were encouraged to “Meet Vincent” – to learn about his life, his philosophy, and his contribution to the world. Could our friends “Meet Easwaran” in a similar way?


And what was the name of this interesting web firm? It was a Dutch company called Fabrique. At first it seemed an unlikely pairing for us at the BMCM in rural Tomales, California, to collaborate with a prize-winning website and design firm on a different continent. And yet our intuition was that they were the ones for us. We dutifully researched tens of different firms in the US, and interviewed many, but it was Fabrique that kept standing out.

The very first video call with Fabrique was impressive. They were interested in Easwaran, in passage meditation, in our goals, and our history. The technical and online aspects were secondary. From our side, we felt an immediate warmth and connection between us, and enjoyed their international perspective and challenging questions.

On their part, they were interested in the prospect of working with a spiritual nonprofit teaching meditation – this would be a first for them. And we were based in the US – also a first. 

We could also offer them some considerable challenges, as our needs were far from simple! We wanted a website that offered opportunities to access Easwaran’s talks and writings directly, to build spiritual community, to sell many types of books and programs, and to donate and support our BMCM work.

By the third video call, they had watched Easwaran’s talks on YouTube, read his articles, and googled our local town of Tomales. They could tell that Easwaran’s message was an important one to share with the world, and that we needed their expertise in reshaping our online presence.

All was going well, and we actually saw the challenges of different countries, time zones, languages and cultures as an asset. We were creating a new website for a worldwide audience, and our collaboration reflected that. 

Fabrique Visits Tomales

Fabrique told us early on that they wanted to visit us in Tomales to meet in person and understand – at a deep level – Easwaran’s teachings and the BMCM’s work. They wanted to learn passage meditation and try it out, see the Ashram, meet the staff, and learn about our core values, goals, and organizational culture.

Five members of the Fabrique team visited us for three days of intense workshops, relaxed meals, and a meditation workshop. The workshops were interesting. They asked us questions like, “What drew you to passage mediation?” “When you say it feels like Easwaran’s talking to you through his books and talks, how do you experience that?” “How do people find his books?” “Why do you use a lamp as your logo?” We were impressed with their insights, perception, clear thinking, business sense, and shared values. By the end of three days, we felt like close friends, and it had been a moving experience to share our practice and learn about each others’ lives. 

We came away with a new understanding of the website’s goals – that our focus would be to help new people explore and learn passage meditation, while providing lots of resources, inspiration and community to support longtime meditators. Perhaps the biggest change was a shift in our mindset – rather than thinking about all the things we wanted to share with our website visitors, we thought about what the needs were of each type of visitor, and how to best meet those needs. 

BMCM Visits Amsterdam

Two months later, a small BMCM team visited the Fabrique office in Amsterdam to finalize the new visual identity and designs, and to start building the structure and user-interface of the new website. We were making progress!

In an unexpected but very welcome turn of events, they also asked us to hold an introductory meditation workshop at their head office so that all their staff could learn about passage meditation. We created a special workshop just for them, and it went so well that they decided to turn that in-person workshop into an online one – and put it on the homepage. Have a look at the result!

Make Your Life a Work of Art

Now we were moving on to the artistic design of the new website, which we wanted to reflect the classic elegance and beauty of Easwaran’s own style. How could we do that when describing meditation, which is such an internal journey? It’s hard to find photos that capture the essence of passage meditation. 

Fabrique’s solution was to illustrate the site with watercolors and abstract art. Artwork would add visual interest and a bit of the “wow” factor, and abstract watercolors would reflect the subtler dynamics of meditation.

Easwaran’s quote jumped out at us: to “make your life a work of art.” Sure enough, the overall design came together beautifully.

Just as others write beautiful poetry, you can make your life such a work of art that everyone who sees it will be inspired.

– Eknath Easwaran

The Result

The new is a complete transformation, with brand new content and design, using a warm, clear, friendly BMCM voice to guide you to Easwaran’s direct writings and talks. We hope you’ll like it! Here are some of the new features that you’ll find at

  • A free 10-minute workshop to explain passage meditation
  • New content to learn or refresh your passage meditation practice
  • A library of Easwaran’s writings and talks, categorized by topic so you can find answers to your questions
  • A collection of over 150 passages for meditation, with a filtering system to find ones that speak to you
  • A retreat guide and calendar to help you find your ideal online or in-person program
  • A new bookstore to help you find the talks and books you’re interested in
  • A new biography of Easwaran, with FAQs and information about the BMCM and how you can support our work
  • A new emphasis on our worldwide community through stories and discussions.

This new site was built for you, our friends, and it will evolve with your participation. We hope this site gives you what you’d like and will need for your spiritual practice, and that you visit us again and again. If you have any comments or feedback for us, we always love hearing from you, so please get in touch!