Khyentse Foundation, a nonprofit founded by the renowned Bhutanese lama, filmmaker, and author Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, has announced the launches of two new resources sharing the teaching of the Buddhadharma: and book and a website, both for practicing Buddhists and aspiring students alike.
Discovering Buddhism is a new book written by scholar and educator Dominique Side aimed at introducing Buddhism as a culture, a system of thought, and a religion, presenting the practices and views of all of the main Buddhist traditions.
“I hope to present a clear and comprehensive overview of Buddhism as a whole to the general public, as well as to those already interested,” said Side. “I think it’s always stimulating to drill into another religion and culture. I hope to also clarify myths and misunderstandings about what the Buddha said.” (Khyentse Foundation)
Side is a practicing Buddhist and experienced Dharma teacher, holding a doctorate in Buddhist philosophy. She is the author of Buddhism (Philip Allan 2005) and a participant of the Milinda Program: Training Western Buddhist Teachers for the 21st Century, an initiative of the Khyentse Foundation.
Discovering Buddhism also introduces the history of Buddhism and the Buddha’s key teachings, as well as providing a critical examination of the links between traditional texts and contemporary Buddhist scholarship.
“As long as I have known Dominique Side, she has not only been a critical searcher and academic, but she has also personally seen the value of the Buddhist path and encountered many great masters of this century. That’s why her book is not like most introductory books that present Buddhism as a religion along with lots of facts, figures, and logical arguments,” Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche observes in his foreword to Discovering Buddhism. “Instead, it presents a different way of looking at life and the world, and it encourages the kind of critical exploration, questioning, and reflection that can actually enrich the reader’s personal understanding. That’s why I’d sooner recommend this book than some compilation of materials based primarily on academic credentials and references.” (Khyentse Foundation)
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.
The foundation has also announced the imminent launch of “Windows into Buddhism,” a new website, scheduled to go online in July as a free Buddhist educational resource.
A project of the European Buddhist Union, funded by Khyentse Foundation, 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. The website is managed by a team of content developers headed by Discovering Buddhism author Dominique Side.
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)
“The site will make resources easily available by topic and age group, and will feature the main Buddhist traditions existing today-Theravada, Zen/Ch’an, Pure Land and Tibetan Buddhism. Resources will draw directly on expertise in each of those traditions.” (Windows into Buddhism)
Born in Bhutan in 1961, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche is the son of Thinley Norbu Rinpoche and was a close student of the Nyingma master Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910–91). He is recognized as the third incarnation of the 19th century Tibetan terton Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–1892), founder of the Khyentse lineage, and the immediate incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö (1893–1959).
In addition to Khyentse Foundation, his projects include Siddhartha’s Intent, an international collective of Buddhist groups supporting Rinpoche’s Buddhadharma activities by organizing teachings and retreats, distributing and archiving recorded teachings, and transcribing, editing, and translating manuscripts and practice texts; 84000, a non-profit global initiative to translate the words of the Buddha and make them available to all; Lotus Outreach, which directs a range of projects to ensure the education, health, and safety of vulnerable women and children in the developing world; and Lhomon Society, which promotes sustainable development in Bhutan through education.
Rinpoche is the author of several books, including: What Makes You Not a Buddhist (2006), Not For Happiness (2012), The Guru Drinks Bourbon? (2016), and Poison is Medicine: Clarifying the Vajrayana (2021), and has garnered renown inside and outside of the global Buddhist community for the feature-length films he has written and directed: The Cup (1999), Travellers and Magicians (2004), Vara: A Blessing (2012), Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I wait (2016), and Looking For A Lady With Fangs And A Moustache (2019).
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