“Universal Education” Dharma for the 21st Century
“In Buddhism we have an incredible arrangement, universal education from beginning at birth until death, as an old person. I feel these things could be put into a universal language…” – Lama Yeshe
“ The main aim is to reach more people. Help stop the violence, war, and help decrease destruction in the world…”
– Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Around thirty years ago, Lama Yeshe began to outline his vision of a new educational initiative that would make both the depth and the breadth of the Buddhist teachings on compassion and wisdom accessible to the modern world. Lama spoke of bringing together the wisdom of every country and religion “without culture games,” of healing the rift between science and spirituality, and of achieving this by using straightforward logical language free from any dogma. He described how the FPMT and “universal education” (UE) needed to evolve a symbiotic relationship, in which each would provide resources for the other and share their skills and experience.
Over the past few years, Lama Zopa Rinpoche has been developing this vision in response to the deepening political, social, educational, and environmental problems that he observes in the contemporary world. “Some may be afraid of the name religion yet may relate to talking about kindness and love. The main goal is to educate others in techniques to have a peaceful life.” Rinpoche has also encouraged UE to develop fresh learning methods and styles, such as computer games and drama.
Under Rinpoche’s guidance, a new international organization is being set up in London, UK, to take this vision forward. Over 300 people have joined the UE network since its launch in August 2004. The network will offer quarterly newsletters, a program of national and international gatherings, and a range of mechanisms for connecting with people who share similar interests and areas of work. A website is in progress that will help to raise the profile of UE and make it easier to raise the funds that will be needed, both centrally and in support of the work of individual UE projects.
From October 25 to 30, 2005 there will be a five-day international gathering just outside of London, UK, which promises to be a pivotal moment in the development of Lama and Rinpoche’s UE vision. If you are interested in Universal Education, please don’t miss it. For further details, and to join the UE network, send your name, country of residence, and preferred language to email@example.com. We also welcome any offers of financial or volunteer support.