Education With Compassion

Trungram Gyalwa Foundation funds a wide range of projects: Schools. Student housing. Scholarships. Compassion curricula and scientific research.  And organizations around the globe dedicated to preserving and sharing the wisdom traditions. One common thread unites these initiatives: the power of education—both intellectual and emotional—to transform lives. 

Educational Environments
When children don’t have the opportunity to study at the right moment, often that moment passes. They lose interest. Their parents encourage them to work instead of attending school. They are embarrassed to be an older student. We want help these children stay in school, and make education a priority.
TIA is a highly regarded private English Medium day and boarding school near Kathmandu, Nepal. Its more than 800 students span kindergarten through twelfth grade; many graduate with distinction every year. Ultimately, we plan to found Trungram University, creating a comprehensive educational institution.

Many children were orphaned or made homeless by the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal. We are building and supporting regional homes that will give these children food and shelter, clothing and school materials. Local villagers will work at the centers, caring for the children, who can continue their studies at local schools.

Living Wisdom

The ancient teachings are timeless—and now the world may need them more than ever. In order to preserve these teachings, we have centers and organizations around the world dedicated to sharing, researching and translating the teachings. 

This retreat center in Cragsmoor, New York is dedicated to training and worship in the Vajrayana Buddhist tradition. It offers teachings to students at all levels, with programs ranging from public lectures and workshops to one- to five-day retreats on topics such as meditation practices and holistic healing arts. Serious practitioners can also accomplish the traditional Buddhist retreat of three years, three months and three days.

This monastery at the United Nations’ World Heritage Site in Lumbini, Nepal, the birthplace of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni, is also called the World Center for Peace and Unity. While other Lumbini monasteries are devoted to pilgrims from specific countries, this one is open to all, enabling people worldwide to study peace, then take that message home, spreading it globally. The Center presents programs for international and local practitioners, hosts meditation retreats, and offers both intellectual and practical teachings. It also welcomes groups who translate Buddhist teachings into modern and local languages, so that ordinary people may understand and benefit from them directly.

Both monastery and nunnery serve multiple purposes: They provide essential housing and education for children from poorer communities in the surrounding areas. They preserve and promote the teachings of the Karma Kagyu lineage through rigorous religious training. Finally, their resident monks and nuns care for members of the area communities, especially in times of crisis and hardship.

An outgrowth of the United Trungram Buddhist Foundation, the Fellowship is an international association of not-for-profit Buddhist centers, most of which are nationally registered societies across Asia. These centers disseminate Buddhist teachings and practices, specifically those from the Trungram tradition, through discourse, meditation and community services. They are committed to creating harmonious environments and helping all beings develop their full potential of boundless wisdom and compassion.

Scholarships and Grants

A series of scholarships—including Trungram Wisdom Scholarship and Grants, Sangha Scholarship and Grants, Grants for Poor Children and the Scholarship for Outstanding Students—are designed to encourage more students to pursue a quality education. These include merit-based scholarships for superior students and compassion-based scholarships for underprivileged students.

Often, children are victims of their environment, born to parents who aren’t themselves educated, who don’t encourage their children to pursue schooling and who may not be able to provide the necessary finances. Even though these children may not be scholars, we must support them, too, in the name of compassion.

Given to those who excel academically, merit-based scholarships enable TIA to attract good students, both rich and poor, encourage the students’ academic achievements and fuel their ability to shine.

Our support for young children in monasteries and nunneries will serve a dual purpose: For many children, it is the best or only opportunity for an education. At the same time, these children are mastering the ancient teachings, ensuring that the teachings survive for the next generation. They will take both educations—intellectual and emotional—out into the world.

The education of young monks and nuns requires teachers—many of whom have spent lifetimes deepening their knowledge and understanding of the ancient wisdom traditions. These grants will pay for living expenses while the teachers share their wisdom.

Educational Initiatives

Much important learning happens beyond the classroom walls. We are constantly exploring opportunities to share compassion teachings with the broadest possible audience—be it school children or retirees, scientists or corporate groups.

There are many values we believe are beneficial to humans, values such as compassion, care and tolerance. We will work with research universities to produce scientific evidence of those benefits. Such proof can help foster broader imperatives to embrace and nurture these values worldwide.

While intellectual learning is important, to be able to live in peace, students also need to cultivate their hearts. Yet busy families rely on schools to provide an education, schools rely on textbooks, and ultimately no one addresses the students’ emotional well-being. We will fill that void through curricula that can be used by any school, as well as summer programs and extra-curricular programs.