Preparing Future Generations

“After teaching Buddhist philosophy in both the East and West for many years now, I realize it is time to think seriously about future generations, and how we as a community can best prepare them for the challenges and opportunities this life presents.”

– Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Quality of a Teacher

“The most important quality of a teacher is kindness. Teaching should not be treated as a job. It is a big responsibility, you are actually responsible for somebody’s life.”

 Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

A Decent Human Being

“When it comes to Buddhist education, I’m not necessarily talking about a school where we teach sutras and make children recite shlokas. I’m talking about a school or curriculum or system that puts emphasis on being a decent human being rather than on being rich.”

– Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Khyentse Foundation is exploring ways to support Buddhist parents and teachers with resources to create the conditions for their children to live in accordance with the Dharma.

In the Buddhist tradition, the transference of the wisdom lineages from masters to disciples is well established, but there are few examples of how to introduce Buddhism to children. Through our global study of Buddhist education, we have determined that teacher training is of utmost importance. Rinpoche has said that teachers are the great “influencers” of our lives. The teacher must reflect the core values of Buddhism — nonviolence, compassion, contemplation, generosity, discipline, patience, self-awareness—and have some understanding of interdependence if hoping to influence their students to reflect the same.

Drawing of Ashoka by Sally Devorsine, commissioned by Khyentse Foundation.
Grant Recipients

  • The German Buddhist Union is generating authentic Buddhist materials and developing Buddhist teacher training programs in the German school system.
  • Bodhi Kids, USA, is developing a program model for the education of children in Buddhist centers.
  • The Foundation for Cultural Exchange with the Far East, Poland, publishes Buddhist children’s books.
  • Lhomon Education, Bhutan, in collaboration with existing education institutions and in harmony with government goals, creates education alternatives that reinforce ancient Bhutanese wisdom traditions while introducing progressive and sustainable development practices.
  • Pal Ewam Namgon Nunnery, Nepal, provides free education to poor children.
  • The Siddhartha School, Lismore, Australia, curriculum development for a proposed school centered around the concept of interdependent origination. While the school was never established, the curriculum was approved by the Australian government and is still viable.
  • A 10-day camp for kids, run parallel to a drupchen, is planned for 2016.
Steering Committee

Noa JonesEducation Coordinator

Lucie Jurikova

Heather Sanche

Candice Tsuei

Genevieve Waltcher

Jennifer Yo

“Bodhi Kids completely shares the aspirations of Khyentse Foundation: to ‘make freely available the primary teachings of all Buddhist lineages’ and ‘to extend the Buddha’s wisdom and compassion as widely as possible.’ We joyfully offer this platform in service to the Buddhadharma and for the benefit of sentient beings.

Maya van der Meer

Founder & Director, Bodhi Kids

“I’m not talking about Buddhist education for the purpose of becoming Buddhist. That is a very limited view. I’m talking about Buddhist education for decency.” – Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

“The education systems that we have right now put so much value on things like degrees. They are programming to get a job. We are completely caught up in this net of phenomena called job. Is this really going to take us comfortably beyond 20 years? I don’t think so.” – Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

“From what I can see, a lot of the suffering in our world seems to be a byproduct of how people were educated.” – Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

“As Buddhists, we can contribute to children’s understanding by offering hundreds and hundreds of years’ experience of teaching how everything is interdependent.” – Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche