Buddha’s teachings describe his view of reality. He is not a creator, so he’s not asking us to merely believe him but to prove it for ourselves. If what he describes is indeed reality and can be known, then it can be expressed in universal terms, beyond dogma, beyond religion.
Our co-founder Lama Yeshe expressed his vision of Universal Education in the late 1970s. His ideas and those of Lama Zopa Rinpoche are now taught by the Foundation for the Development of Compassion and Wisdom (FDCW).
This approach is particularly conducive for young people, who might shy away from religion but who would benefit from the down-to-earth approaches to dealing with fears, depression and anxiety.
And these days, neuroscientists and psychologists are increasingly influenced by Buddhist ideas about the mind, for example, causing them to question longheld assumptions about the nature of consciousness.
UE1 | Foundation for the Development of Compassion and Wisdom
FDCW was established in 2005 to help create a more peaceful, compassionate and sustainable world. FDCW provides excellent quality educational programs and training that help transform minds and make people happier.
These programs are based on Universal Education for Compassion and Wisdom, a system of inner learning allowing people to break through their self-limiting beliefs, step outside their destructive patterns, build better relationships, and ultimately develop their own innate capacity to be wise and compassionate.
Building Balanced Empathy
This six-hour module is designed to explore empathy, vulnerability and emotional resilience. Participants learn to develop better self-understanding and therefore real empathy for others; to identify what pushes us out of balance and learn to allow the space for wiser choices; and to build closer, more nurturing relationships with family, friends and co-workers.
Unlocking Your Potential
This six-hour module is designed to explore how conditioning shapes our experience. It provides tools to explore the lifelong process of conditioning that influences who we are today; to understand that the way we experience and interact with the world through conditioning may support or limit the fulfillment of our potential; and reflect on how to unlock our potential.
16 Guidelines for Life
The 16 Guidelines program draws on the knowledge of ancient wisdom traditions and contemporary science to explore how we think, act, relate to others and create a meaningful life.
These guidelines are universal human values such as humility, gratitude and patience. They are organized in four wisdom themes and explored through the qualities of mindfulness and compassion in guided reflections as well as a range of interactive activities in pairs and smalls groups.
UE2 | Children and Teens
Happy Toolbox for Kids
Created by FDCW and based on the 16 Guidelines, this is a fun, playful way to explore mindfulness and ethical values such as kindness, honesty and forgiveness with children between 5-11 years old.
Duration: 30 minutes
UE3 | Interfaith
In keeping with the approach of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, we will hold from time talks that bring together people from various religious philosophies.
UE4 | Science and Spirituality
Again, His Holiness shows us the way to bring together various views of the world. We will invite scientists and others to discuss their work in this growing field.
UE5 | Social Justice
There’s a misconception the Buddhism opposes social action. On the contrary, doing everything we can to help bring about change for the suffering of the world is an expression of the compassion teachings of the Buddha. It is our responsibility.
UE6 | Movement
The Five Elements: Beginner Qigong
Taught by Gina de la Chesnaye. Learning how to cultivate the conscious connection between mind and body and self and nature can increase our well-being and resiliency through energy (qi) cultivation (gong).
All practices are trauma-informed and suitable for people of varying ages and abilities. Breath work, seated meditation and moving meditation will be offered. Comfortable clothes and a curious mind are all that are needed — a meditation cushion is always helpful though.
Gina will share from the wisdom tradition of the Xing Ming Gong School of Qi Gong.
Duration: 30 minutes.
Our teacher Wendy Cook says that it’s not necessary for yoga to be fancy in order to be effective in supporting your well-being. This yoga class is designed to be accessible to people with a wide range of bodies and abilities.
You will learn and practice yoga asanas and techniques that ground and calm your nervous system while also being rejuvenating and energizing.
Wendy’s classes provide an encouraging environment for you to develop embodied mindfulness, learning to listen to your experience while cultivating attitudes of joy, kindness, and curiosity.
Props: It’s helpful if you have a yoga mat and a firm blanket (or large bath towel or two). If you have yoga blocks they are useful, too. However, do feel free to join class even without these yoga props.