In This Issue
How Ashoka Grants help bring unique ideas to life
KF Ashoka Grants create opportunities for the most
colorful and diverse projects of
all KF funding. In this issue we focus on one recent grant recipient, Malgorzata Dobrowolska. Also in this issue:
- Rinpoche on Next-Generation Dharma
- Sample of 2016-2017 Ashoka Grant awardees
- 2017 application window now open
- New Tara Altar live on the KF website
Banner photo: Bhikkhuni candidates receive their robes after ordination.
Photo by Malgorzala Dobrowolska.
Rinpoche on Next-Generation Dharma
“If we sincerely want to carry on the traditions of Buddhism in the East, and if we are talking about establishing Buddhism in the West, we need to think ahead to the next generation. This means creating lasting structures that foster practice and make the dharma available to anyone who is interested. The whole purpose of Khyentse Foundation is to create a system of support for the continuing study and practice of the dharma.” — Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
Help us build Khyentse Foundation's funding base so that we can continue to support the study and practice of all traditions of Buddhism around the world.
Monthly Donations Matched
When you become a monthly donor, every dollar you donate is matched by the Patrons of Manjushri.
KF Social Media Updates
Here are a few of the stories we posted on Facebook and Instagram this month:
Christopher Jones wins the
Tara Altar Live on KF Website
The Tara altar is now live on the KF website. You can download
all of the vivid Tara images that Rinpoche commissioned, along with teachings, commentaries, mantras, videos, and much more. Thanks to everyone who helped put this valuable resource together.
New Film About Ordaining Modern Bhikkhunis
KF Ashoka Grants Support Creative Projects from
Vision to Realization
Many people are working to preserve and promote the dharma and to increase dharma activity around the world in creative and long-lasting ways. Not all projects or activities fall within the parameters of KF’s original funding channels: Buddhist Studies Scholarships, Translation Grants, Individual Practice Grants, and other support for Buddhist monasteries, universities, and academia. Nonetheless, these creative projects embody inspiring Buddhist vision. Khyentse Foundation created the Ashoka Grants Program to help bring such creative visions to realization, and as yet another means of helping the dharma flourish in the 21st century and beyond. Buddhist children's books, a teen meditation program in Israel, unique translation projects, research on various Buddhist topics, preserving an ancient form of Buddhist art – these are just a few of the many projects that KF has funded through Ashoka Grants.
Women in the Theravada Tradition
With the help of a 2016 KF Ashoka Grant, Malgorzata Dobrowolska from Poland created an inspiring and empowering documentary about women’s ordination in Theravada Buddhism. The film, Bhikkhuni: Buddhism, Sri Lanka, Revolution, follows the first modern bhikkhunis (nuns) from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Thailand, exploring what motivated each woman to seek ordination, as well as the challenges they have met and overcome on the path.
The eleven newly ordained bhikkhunis (front row), from Thailand, Vietnam, and Bangladesh, with fellow Theravada monks and nuns seated behind. Photo by Malgorzata Dobrowloska.
Shakyamuni Buddha ordained both women and men, and for the first several centuries after Buddha’s time, Theravada bhikkhunis flourished in Sri Lanka. However, over time and for a variety of reasons, the Theravada tradition of bhikkhunis had dwindled to the point of extinction. In recent years, after a 1000-year break, women in Theravada countries once again have the chance to become bhikkhunis. Witnessing these important changes, Dobrowolska envisioned making a documentary film about the rebirth of the tradition of ordaining women, both to demonstrate that the Theravada bhikkhuni order is flourishing, and also to inspire modern Theravada women around the world who aspire to this path of renunciation, merit, and realization.
Dobrowolska's documentary focuses on three women – Venerable Bhikkhuni Kusuma of Sri Lanka, Venerable Bhikkhuni Dhammananda of Thailand, and Venerable Bhikkhuni Gautami of Bangladesh. These three are the first modern bhikkhunis in their respective countries. The film begins in Sri Lanka, where eleven new bhikkhunis – three from Thailand, three from Vietnam, and five from Bangladesh – are seeking ordination. Dobrowolska captured daily life in the Bhikkhuni Kusuma center in Sri Lanka. She also interviewed the three main characters of the film about their motivations for choosing ordination, as well as the obstacles they have encountered and how they have overcome them in pursuing this path.
The film is being submitted to festivals around the world, and is being shown at Baldwin Wallace University for educational purposes.
KF is delighted to have supported Dobrowolska with an Ashoka Grant so that she was able to bring her vision to life. We hope that her film inspires others to follow the path of dharma.
Recent KF Ashoka Grants
Here's a sample of recent programs and projects that Khyentse Foundation has supported through Ashoka Grants
- Installing 108 Buddhist library collections around the world
- Publishing a children’s picture book about Tibetan Buddhist heritage
- Training young meditation instructors in the Mekong Region through the Youth Leadership and Mind Training Camp model
- Cataloging, digitizing, and preserving Pali manuscripts from Thar Lake Monastery in Burma, and digitizing Myanmar texts from Japan
- Creating and publishing 10 peer-reviewed biographies of female masters for the Treasury of Lives biographical encyclopedia
- Sponsoring working conference focused on education and outreach at community gompas in remote areas of Nepal
- Filming a documentary about tukdam (dying in meditative equipoise)
- Digitally archiving footage of Pema Lingpa's masked dances at Yonphula Monastery
- Creating an updated, easy-to-use edition of the “Primer for Classical Literary Tibetan” by John Rockwell, to support those studying classical literary Tibetan
- Translating Chokgyur Lingpa Green Tara teaching into Arabic
- Developing a fund to provide financial assistance to Buddhist practitioners who wish to train in contemplative care for those suffering from illness, aging, and death
- Translating Mathieu Ricard’s book “On the Path to Enlightenment: Heart Advice from the Great Tibetan Masters” into Polish
- Assisting a Tibetan Buddhist meditation center in Cleveland, Ohio, United States
- Creating an educational center for girls and young women in Bhutan to pursue basic and higher education in Buddhist philosophy
- Backing the Nalanda Scholar Program, through which a Buddhist monk or nun visits Nalanda University’s School of Buddhist Studies for 2 months each academic year, offering classes on a Buddhist scripture from his or her tradition to second year master's degree students
- Introducing teenagers and young adults in Israel to the practice of Buddhism and meditation
- Creating a manual for how to preserve and protect sacred art and texts in monasteries
- Aiding a Tibetan film archive
Ashoka Grant Application Window Now Open
KF accepts Ashoka Grant applications twice a year, from January 15 – February 15 and from July 15 – August 15.
For more information, read the criteria on the Apply page of the website.
This program identifies and supports organizations and individuals working to increase Dharma activity around the world. Have you written a Buddhist short story for kids? We’d like to read it. Do you have a proposal for research on a Buddhist topic, a Buddhist television program, or some other activity? Tell us why your idea would help the Dharma flourish.
The Ashoka Grants Committee considers applications from a broad array of organizations and individuals who are actively engaged in projects related to Buddhism. The only applications that are not considered are applications requesting funds for building and construction projects; applications that are incomplete or that do not adequately explain the scope of the project; and applications that have no relevance to Buddhism or Buddhist activity.
Rinpoche's Teaching Schedule
July 29, 2017, Auckland, New Zealand
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