Buddhist Ideas Project

This project is initiated to encourage Buddhist community members to come forward with their big ideas and plans to make their ideas a reality. These ideas must be solidly grounded in the teachings of the Buddha, embody compassion and wisdom in action, and are relevant to the people in contemporary society.

2016 Contest for the Best Proposals for a Buddhist College to be created in Toronto, Canada

The Greater Toronto Area is home to the most numerous Buddhists as well as to the most immigrant Buddhists in Canada, and also home to the largest number of Buddhist temples, centres and groups in Canada, representing the diversity of Buddhism in the world. Our Founding President the Late Rev. Shi Wu De had over the years discussed with the executives about creating a Buddhist college in Toronto. Perhaps sufficient conditions for this had not come together and he passed away in 2014. Since the inception of our Foundation in 2001, we have supported several Buddhist studies initiatives at the University of Toronto to build its strengths in Buddhist studies to give opportunities to students to learn the teachings of the Buddha. With strong community support, we have been successful in various projects. Visit www.BuddhistEduFoundation.com for a history of our operations.

Universities in Canada generally take a secular materialistic approach to Buddhist studies and do not consider an insider approach as worthy of serious academic endeavours. This is partly due to the developing trend of Buddhist studies in North America and the west that only values Buddhism as a secular area of study, and also the cultural predisposition that looks at Buddhism as being similar to western monotheistic religions that are not amenable to being seriously studied academically or scientifically.

In his speech at the convocation ceremony that conferred an honorary doctorate degree to H.H. the Dalai Lama in 2004, he explained to the audience that Buddhism is in fact very suited for being studied in a western university both academically and scientifically. We believe that this suitability also encompasses an insider’s approach to studying Buddhism.

We invite individuals and collaborative teams of practitioners of various Buddhist traditions to explore the idea of a Buddhist college in Toronto where Buddhism is studied from an insider’s perspective, where the academic study of Buddhism and the practice of Buddhism encompassing both personal cultivation as well as community services and social engagements are taken seriously. If your original proposal is not written in English, please submit it with at least an abridged English translation. Please submit your Proposal for a Buddhist College in Toronto to: BuddhistEduFoundation@rogers.com by April 30, 2017.  Wherever possible, we would facilitate exchange of ideas and collaboration along this process.

Your proposal should include:

  • An analysis of the environment of Buddhist studies in North America, Canada and Toronto.
  • An analysis of the opportunities and issues in the creation of a Buddhist college in Toronto.
  • An analysis of the current and future needs locally and globally for a Buddhist College in Toronto and how these needs are being met and how they are not being met.
  • Your vision for a Buddhist College in Toronto.
  • Your proposed plans to fulfil this vision including plans for programming (in-person and virtual), funding and recruitment of administrative staff, faculty and students.

Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd best project ideas. The monetary awards are $1000, $400 and $200 respectively. Contestants must waive any right or claim to the ideas presented in the proposals whether they are being adopted in part or in its entirety or not.

Assessment of the proposals will be made by our executive committee together with academic, community and student representatives and the winners will be announced in the fall of 2017.