Who We Are

About Us 

Middle Way Education

Buddhist Wisdom • Modern Education

Middle Way Education (MWE) is a not-for-profit organization established in 2017 and guided by the vision of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and other masters from Buddhist traditions. Our mission is to create pathways for traditional Buddhist wisdom and knowledge to enhance modern education for the benefit of this and future generations.

Our History

Middle Way Education was formally incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 2017, with a mission to create a comprehensive model for Buddhist education. Guiding this model is the vision of Bhutanese Buddhist teacher Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, who for years has searched for ways to help parents and educators create pathways for traditional wisdom and knowledge to enter their children’s lives.

“We are trying to prepare and train some of the next generation of human beings through Buddhist values and Buddha’s teaching of love, compassion, and wisdom. We are also hoping that through training the next generation of Buddhists, the authentic Buddhadharma can continue to flourish and that knowledgeable practitioners of the dharma will carry on the lineage through their love and support, and through the study and practice of the teachings. So we are developing a model of education.” — Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche

Khyentse Foundation, a Buddhist not-for-profit organization established in 2001 to support all traditions of Buddhist study and practice, is a primary sponsor of Middle Way Education, through a special grant.

Core Projects

Research  The Middle Way School

Middle Way Education is investing significant resources to support the establishment of the Middle Way School, an independently operated pilot school in Upstate New York, with a long-term goal of developing a comprehensive model of Buddhist education for children. The school opened in September, 2018 on a five-acre campus in the Hudson Valley. Students ages 2-10 are currently enrolled and the school plans to expand by one grade each year. The curriculum is progressive, constructivist, and meets common core standards while encouraging students to sharpen their awareness, follow their wisdom, and practice their innate compassion. Advisors on the project include scholars and teachers from all three yanas, education specialists, neuroscientists, parents, and others. The school is exploring how to create an inclusive education model, arising from the Buddhist view of wisdom and compassion and enhancing modern education for the benefit of this and future generations.

Research  MWE Camps

Many Buddhist families with children and teenagers are seeking opportunities to connect with the dharma, to create a sense of belonging, do relevant “playful and fun” dharma practices, and be inspired to walk the path of Buddha together.

Around the world, Buddhist sanghas and organizations offer non-formal education for children but they are dispersed, organization-specific, and often inconsistent. There is a need for a centralized platform where people can go for relevant, practical guidelines, tools, general knowledge, discussions, support, and other resources.

To address this need, MWE is researching and creating practical resources and teacher training modules for nonformal education and short programs. These materials will be shared extensively through the cultivation of a global community of sanghas and through the MWE website.

Community Building  The Middle Way Education Website

Middle Way conducted years of research and development before launching this website as an online hub for Buddhist educators worldwide. The site offers a database of course materials, news, articles, and resources to engage young people in the Buddha’s view of wisdom and compassion. MWE features materials from across Buddhist schools and traditions, brought to you by our global network of schools and organizations. Many Buddhist education initiatives are taking shape all over the world and this site is designed to help them share resources and link together. For more on how to use the site, click here.

Who We Are

Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche | Spiritual Advisor

Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, is the inspiration behind Middle Way Education and the Middle Way School. He is the founder of Khyentse Foundation, a not for profit organization that supports all traditions of Buddhist study and practice. KF is the lead sponsor of the school through a special grant. Born in 1961 in Bhutan, Rinpoche was recognized as a tulku of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lödro by H.H. Sakya Trizin, and received empowerments and teachings from many of the greatest masters of Tibetan Buddhism, including H.H. the 16th Karmapa; H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche and Lama Sonam Zangpo (his paternal and maternal grandfathers); Chatral Rinpoche; Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, Khenpo Appey, and many others. His root guru was Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, who began training Rinpoche from the age of 7.

He also oversees two monasteries in Bhutan, one in India and one in Tibet, and has established dharma centers in Australia, Europe, North America, and Asia. He has written several books including What Makes You Not a Buddhist, Not For Happiness, and The Guru Drinks Bourbon?. On the side, he as directed award-winning feature films including The Cup. His work was selected for the 2019 Venice Biennale. Rinpoche continuously travels all over the world, practicing and teaching the dharma.

Noa Jones | Executive Director and Chair of the Board

Noa founded Middle Way Education (MWE) and the Middle Way School (MWS) on behalf of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. She is the Executive Director of Middle Way Education and Chair of the MWE Board of Directors. She also serves as Dharma Curriculum Coordinator at MWS, where she is in charge of the action research and development of the model.

Noa has worked for Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche since 2001 in a variety of roles. In 2010, Rinpoche sent her to the Kingdom of Bhutan to develop education alternatives in association with the Ministry of Education, the Royal Education Council, monasteries, and a number of NGOs. She coordinated professional development and integrated curriculum design workshops for teachers while observing and participating in local classrooms. The Druk 3020 curriculum she developed to introduce progressive education into the monastic setting is currently being implemented in Eastern Bhutan.

Noa taught English at Dzongsar Institute in Himachal Pradesh, India and at Chökyi Gyatso Institute in Dewathang, Bhutan. She is also a creative fiction and nonfiction writer and editor, and has worked on Rinpoche’s books, including What Makes You Not a Buddhist and The Guru Drinks Bourbon. She contributed a chapter to Global Perspectives on Spirituality in Education (Routledge, 2013). She has a journalism degree from UMass Amherst, an MFA in creative writing from Hunter College and is a candidate for a masters degree in education (M.S.Ed) from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania (pending 2022).

Brandon A. Lee | Board Member

Brandon was appointed to oversee the relationship between Canada and the U.S. as Consul General of Canada in San Francisco and then also in Seattle and was Canada’s Ambassador to Silicon Valley.

Brandon has a strong background both as an executive and leading innovation, and he has held several executive positions with national and international governments. From 2007 to 2011, he oversaw global reform activities to strengthen Canada’s international presence and became the Department’s first Director of Innovation. From 2012 to 2014, Mr. Lee held senior positions at the World Trade Organization and the International Committee of the Red Cross (both in Geneva), spearheading major organizational and international reform initiative. 

Previously, Brandon worked in the private sector as a pioneer entrepreneur in online banking in North America and also with large- scale telecommunications management consulting.

Chagdud Khadro | Board Member

Chagdud Khadro is the spiritual director of Chagdud Gonpa in Brazil. She was ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist teacher in 1997, by Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche—a great master of the Nyingma school. Khadro and Chagdud Tulku were married in 1979. She remained his devoted student for twenty-three years.

Formerly the managing editor of Padma Publishing in the United States, Khadro has edited many translations of Tibetan works. She was instrumental in the publication of Chagdud Tulku’s autobiography Lord of the Dance. She has compiled commentaries of his teachings on the Dudjom Tersar Ngöndro, Longsal Nyingpo Phowa, and the concise version of Apang Tertön’s Red Tara practice. She is overseeing the construction projects, translation and publishing of texts in Portuguese and Spanish, and projects related to education and to death and dying. Khadro supervises the activities and teaches in all the Chagdud Gonpa Brasil centers and Chagdud Gonpa Hispanoamérica. She also teaches in Europe, United States and Australia. Khadro is a founding director of MWE.

Kuhn Sucharitakul | Board Member

Kuhn is a healthcare management professional with a focus on value-based care delivery, and a social entrepreneur with a diverse range of experience in the wellbeing sector, both academically and operationally.

Kuhn holds a master’s degree in Contemlative Education from the Buddhist-inspired Naropa University (Colorado, USA), and believes that Buddhism- far from being an archaic religion- is a multi-dimensional deposition of wisdom, knowledge, and cultural and spiritual capital. If its essence can be captured authentically, and if one’s view remains vast and open, Kuhn believes that innovative communication methods can unlock this capital, and transform the ways in which the next generation engages with the Dhamma.

Taking inspiration from his own experience as a monastic in the Thai forest tradition- as well as from his time spent studying and living in Europe, the USA, and China- Kuhn, and his friends, founded the Paccaya Foundation with the aspiration that the Buddhadhamma be made easily accessible and addictively engaging for the endless benefit of all.

Manwai Annie Ng | Board Member

 

Manwai grew up in New York City and now resides in Upstate New York at a Zen Buddhist monastery. She’s worked in healthcare technology for over 15 years, and has a BA in Religion & Economics from University of Rochester. She has been a grants manager and volunteer for Khyentse Foundation since 2017 and is a founding member of the MWE Board of Directors.

 

Michael Macioce | Board Member

Michael Macioce has been a school teacher since 2002. He most recently taught at a small Spanish-English dual-immersion elementary school in Santa Barbara California. He chose Adelante Charter School because it is a small school that was created to foster bilingualism, support Spanish speaking children, and prioritize social justice and equity alongside academics. 

Michael has completed a multi-year cycle of teachings in Buddhist studies under the guidance of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and is active in a number of Siddhartha’s Intent’s study and practice groups. He integrates many core Buddhist ideas and values into his secular teaching, including mindfulness, emotional intelligence, the values of the paramitas, and the analysis of cause and effect.  He joined MWE’s board of directors in 2020. 

Pema Abrahams | Board Member

Pema is the communications director and an executive committee member at 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha. Now based in Thailand, she serves on the board of the Neilson Hays Library (Bangkok) and considers herself fortunate to have entered the dharma as a child under the kindness of Thinley Norbu Rinpoche.

Pema has a range of experience across South and Southeast Asia: she founded northeast India’s first independent archive and research center, and her team’s work in the Himalayan state of Sikkim now sits with the British Library’s Endangered Archives Program representing the first collection of local origin to be made freely available online – a game changer for both international scholarship and in providing community access to their own untold histories. Her work has also included establishing Human Right’s Watch’s formal presence in South Asia; conducting field research in India’s Naxalite territories; managing a US State Department project to strengthen Nepal’s National Human Rights Commission; mapping gender-based violence and building access to justice in post-conflict settings; and researching possibilities around extraterritorial jurisdiction for war crimes committed in Sri Lanka.

Pema holds an MSc in Conflict Studies, focusing on International Human Rights Law, from the London School of Economics; and a bachelor’s degree in History and Art History from NYU.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or ideas to share with us, send an email to info@middlewayeducation.org.

This website was designed and developed by Totally Good Media. 

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