Windows into Buddhism, a new online resource sharing the teaching of the Buddhadharma that is aimed at helping to educate young Buddhists and aspiring students alike, has announced its official public launch.
A project of the European Buddhist Union, with financial assistance from Khyentse Foundation, a nonprofit founded by the renowned Bhutanese lama, filmmaker, and author Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche,* Windows into Buddhism will “offer a range of resources on Buddhism that will benefit teachers and students in countries where Buddhism is taught in mainstream schools, and can also serve for teaching children in Buddhist centers.” (Khyentse Foundation)
The website is managed by a team of Buddhist scholars, educators, and content developers headed by Dominique Side, and including Amalee Rycroft, Daniela Dalal, Jesse van Delft, and Andreas Schulz.
“You are warmly invited to explore the Windows into Buddhism website which is now open for public access. After many months’ dedicated work, the team is really excited with the result and we hope you will be, too,” Windows into Buddhism said in an announcement shared with BDG. “We’re pleased to offer it as an inspiring, clear, and warm online environment. The site is structured to give you access to resources by age group and topic. Resources for younger children aged 5–11 will be available next year. And in the meantime the team will continue adding more resources for teenagers every month.”
The purpose of the new resource is to offer a platform where educational materials are freely available for teachers who teach Buddhism to children and teenagers—whether in schools, Buddhist centers, community centers, or familial environments.
“Windows into Buddhism brings together in one place trusted, original and interesting resources on Buddhism from all traditions in a lively and engaging way. It especially aims to serve those who are teaching and studying Buddhism in schools. The website is freely accessible from around the world both to the education sector and the general public,” Windows to Buddhism explains in its mission statement. “Over the last 30 years, more and more countries include the teaching of Buddhism within their national curricula on world faiths, philosophy, or ethics. Despite this development, reliable teaching resources remain scarce, limited, scattered and difficult for busy teachers to locate. It is hoped that Windows into Buddhism will contribute to better teaching and understanding of Buddhism at a basic level of general knowledge. As a site dedicated to educational needs Windows into Buddhism will become the go-to site for anyone teaching Buddhism to children and teenagers.” (Windows into Buddhism)
The European Buddhist Union is an international umbrella association of Buddhist organizations and national Buddhist unions in Europe that envisions “a fellowship of European Buddhists bringing Buddhist ideas and principles into European society.” (European Buddhist Union)
Khyentse Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche in 2001 with the aim of promoting the Buddha’s teaching and supporting all traditions of Buddhist study and practice. The foundation’s activities include major text preservation and translation projects, support for monastic colleges in Asia, a worldwide scholarship and awards program, development of Buddhist studies at major universities, training and development for Buddhist teachers, and developing new modes of Dharma-inspired education for children.
“Windows into Buddhism can be distinguished by the way it combines academic knowledge with the personal understanding and experience of those inside the tradition,” the website’s team explained. “A small survey of school teachers in Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK, carried out as preparation for this site, clearly showed a strong appetite for personal testimonies from within the tradition to complement basic subject knowledge. The site therefore aims to offer an appropriate balance between the two while always safeguarding high standards of scholarship. . . . Buddhism is not presented as an ancient system of anthropological interest but as a living and vibrant spiritual path.” (Windows into Buddhism)
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