Listening to the Buddhists in Our Backyard


Listening to the Buddhists in Our Backyard

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About This Resource

Summary This initiative, co-created by high school students and faculty at Phillips Andover Academy in Massachusetts, might inspire teachers to link their classrooms to their local Buddhist communities. Through active engagement, the students were guided to explore the Buddhist resources and traditions that were flourishing around their campus community. They presented their findings in this thoughtful presentation.


This “Listening to the Buddhists in Our Backyard” website documents the incredible work of a small group of students, educators and local Buddhists in Massachusetts. The site includes a video presentation of their findings, research papers, and a gallery of images from the visits they made to local temples and centers. It’s inspiring to see how these engaged and articulate students connected with and contributed to projects, made connections for others via social media, and connecting with the wealth of many different traditions that flourish around them. The students were able to appreciate the diversity of Buddhism in authentic and tangible ways. The mentors used a See Think Wonder format for their inquiry, which is explained in the video.

“Listening to the Buddhists in Our Backyard” can serve as a model for parents and educators who wish to inspire their students to connect with the Dharma as a diverse living tradition. Who are the Buddhists in your backyard? There are many ways to learn from the work this group has accomplished and shared here.

The program was co-mentored by Chenxing Han, author of Be the Refuge: Raising the Voices of Asian American Buddhists, and Andrew Housiaux, Director of the Tang Institute at Phillips Academy.

Please be sure to check out Be the Refuge: Raising the Voices of Asian American Buddhists by Chenxing Han (one of the project leaders) to understand even more about the context and approach of this project.