May 2021


Buddhist Education for Children: Rinpoche’s Vision

Khyentse Foundation 2020 Annual Report 


On this auspicious day commemorating Buddha’s birthday, we present the foundation’s 2020 Annual Report, highlighting Rinpoche’s vision of Buddhist Education for Children, KF’s school projects, and other important programs to preserve and promote the buddhadharma.

Thinking broadly, if a child grows up in a situation where there is information about Buddha, dharma, and sangha, bodhicitta and dependent arising, that is already a success. I think Buddhist values and wisdom are important, but in a Buddhist kindergarten, school, or university, the purpose should not be to make more Buddhists. The purpose should be to make more kind, visionary, caring, refined, creative, elegant, and outrageous people.

I would like to create an atmosphere at the schools so that classes can be taught under a big tree, by the bank of a river, or in a paddy field so that lessons can involve getting up at 3 in the morning to watch the colors of the sky and listen to the sound of silence.

— Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Rinpoche’s vision for children’s education has led to the establishment of four schools over the last 10 years: Lhomon Education and the Kanishka School for young monks, and the Middle Way School and the Blue Lion Preschool for lay children.


Read the full text of Rinpoche’s vision of education and his address to the board of directors, and more on our school projects and other activities. 


Rinpoche with young Lhomon monks, Kanishka students at play,
MWS kids outdoors with teacher, BLS child in his classroom.

Lhomon Education (LME) was launched in Bhutan, May 2011 with 20 young monks receiving 3 hours a day of integrated project-based holistic education. The rest of their day was devoted to shedra studies. Ten years later, the program is going strong, with 70 students and a wide range of well-developed curricula, innovative teaching methods, and creative activities. Watch young monks at Dewathang offer a fun video, “Mask”.
The Kanishka School is a 5-year school with a Buddhist foundation operating under the Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö Institute (DKCLI) in India. It focuses on proficiency in languages, including Tibetan, English, Chinese, and Hindi, and on preparing the children for higher education in the DKCLI shedra. Beginning with a group of 50 young boys, the school now has 129 children, ages 7 to 16, from underprivileged Buddhist families of the trans-Himalayan region. The ultimate goal of the school is to create a legion of Buddhist stakeholders who as lifelong learners will be torchbearers, leading their communities to uphold Buddha’s wisdom teachings for future generations.
September 2020 marked the third year of the Middle Way School (MWS) of the Hudson Valley in upstate New York, USA. Rinpoche decided to open the school in 2018, and through the support of KF donors and Rinpoche’s blessings, the school has grown rapidly. The campus can now accommodate six classes, nursery through fifth grade, for students ages 3 through 10. Visit the Middle Way Education website for free resources on Buddhist education.
Blue Lion Preschool (BLP) is a contemplative preschool inspired by the vision of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. The school was launched in Singapore in late 2020. BLP operates as a registered childcare center, offering half-day and full-day programs for children ages 18 months to 6 years. BLP’s goal is to implement a curriculum that provides early learners and their families, teachers, and staff with an experiential and embodied immersion into the foundations of Buddhist dharma principles, helping them to know and respect their own and others’ fundamental goodness.
In addition to these four schools, Khyentse Foundation supports a number of children’s education initiatives through the Ashoka Grants program. Read more about these programs in our next newsletter.

KF Activities in 2020

With Rinpoche’s guidance and direction, KF continues to focus on eight project areas in two main categories: one aims to preserve Buddhist heritage and the other to propagate the Buddha’s teaching and to help the dharma reach a wider audience.
During the last, unstable year, Rinpoche encouraged KF to reach a wider audience and expand the scope of our activities from Buddhist study and practice to develop support programs in natural resilience, well-being, and mental health, based on Buddhist views and practices. Efforts are now being made in this new area.


Khyentse Vision Project was launched in July 2020. on the occasion of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo’s 200th birthday. Its aim is to collect and translate the major writings of the Khyentse lineage masters, starting with Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo the Great, the first Khyentse.
In early March 2020, Rinpoche visited Buddha Pada, a new collaborative center of Siddhartha’s Intent India, where he gave a 6-day inaugural teaching. KF welcomed the opportunity to support Buddha Pada as an effort to revive interest in Buddhism in India and to develop a main center of study and practice for the area.
In 2020, KF awarded more than 100 scholarships for Buddhist studies and practice, for PhD and translation studies, and through our joint scholarship programs with Rangjung Yeshe Institute and the International Buddhist College. We offered 37 Ashoka Grants to a wide array of projects, including children’s schools, nunneries, prison outreach, and translations.
To help aspiring western instructors to become authentic Buddhist teachers, we continued to sponsor the Milinda Program, a 10-year hybrid shedra program to study important Buddhist classics in depth. Milinda completed its fourth year with a 3-month course of full-time study of the Prajnaparamita hosted by Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts in Taiwan.
During the past year, we finalized arrangements with Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich to establish a lifetime professorship in Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, which we support together with the Tara Foundation (Germany). We also confirmed a permanent tenure-track faculty position in Buddhist Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, just before the year’s end. With these two positions, and the two previously endowed chairs, at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Michigan, we hope to strengthen our long-term position in academic Buddhist Studies.
Left: Milinda participants with Ven. Huemin and Khenpo Choying Dorjee (center front).
Right: School children paying homage at Buddha Pada.

A special acknowledgement of appreciation to the KF volunteer team
and our generous sponsors, without whose dedication, effort, and
financial support the work of the foundation would not be possible.


—KF is pleased to announce the Trisong Grant, a new global grant program to support people and projects that promote general well-being, mental health, and natural resilience, based on Buddhist views and practices. In the spirit of King Trisong Deutsen, we hope that this new grant program will help KF reach a larger audience and help more people benefit from Buddha’s wisdom.

The application is now open and all are welcome to apply. Read more.

—The chant Dharani for Pacifying the Pandemic was taught by Buddha Shakyamuni in The Mahāsūtra “On Entering the City of Vaiśālī.” The Kumarajiva Project, a Khyentse Foundation initiative, is completing the Chinese translation of this text and will make it available soon.

“Let us all, with this kind and compassionate mind and attitude, recite this dharani. ”
—Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

—Join the weekly Triratna practice to strengthen your connection to the Buddha, dharma, and sangha.

—Join 1000 coffee, a Lotus Outreach event

“Sacrifice one cappuccino. Yes, spend that money on changing a girl’s life for her whole life. I’m not even exaggerating. This is not a metaphor, this is a reality.”
—Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Lotus Outreach Founder

—Stay connected with Bhumisparsha (Touching the Earth) and plant a tree today to pay homage to Mother Earth and to Buddha Shakyamuni. Watch Rinpoche introduce the second chapter of Bhumisparsha—planting 84,000 trees in 2021.

—Get connected with the LessMeatMoreLove project. Listen to its theme song by the Dharma Kids Collective.