Living Buddha Lian-sheng once said, "I feel deeply that those who take a long-term perspective must start by engaging in the work of education... Only education will sustain the course and go the farthest. I also deeply feel that for the future, if the True Buddha School (TBS) is to broadly deliver sentient beings, demonstrate supreme wisdom, continuously have talented individuals in large numbers, propagate Buddha dharma worldwide, and be strong and complete -- it all comes down to one word: Education."
(excerpt from Living Buddha Lian-sheng Book 85, The Supreme Dharma Seal)
With a view toward fulfilling Grandmaster's vision for the future of TBS, the True Buddha Foundation Education (TB Education) Department has, since its inception, worked tirelessly on building a system to educate Dharma propagation personnel and all disciples. To date, in places such as Taiwan, Seattle, Indonesia, and Malaysia, the TB Education Department has organized workshops on topics such as guest prefects and Buddhist hymning for Dharma propagation personnel. The impact of these educational initiatives has been truly remarkable!
On January 1, 2021, with the instruction and blessings of Grandmaster and through serious long-term planning, the TB Education team established the TBS Online University. The objective of TBS Online University focuses on enhancing overall knowledge of Buddhism, propagating True Buddha Tantric Dharma, and cultivating talent in Dharma propagation. Other objectives include ensuring the longevity of True Buddha wisdom; lighting lamps within the hearts of True Buddha disciples; and enabling more sentient beings with affinity to take refuge in TBS.
Since the beginning of 2020, despite the difficulties experienced during the pandemic, TBS Online University has risen to the challenge of the times and made an outstanding effort through five learning channels:
- Providing Zoom workshops for Dharma propagation personnel;
- Using YouTube to webcast a comprehensive curriculum for all disciples;
- Working with cultivation venues to provide a program of Celebrity Talks for disciples;
- Using Zoom and YouTube as a “cloud classroom” where disciples can study True Buddha Tantra; and
- The "Cloud Classroom": Using Zoom,Facebook, and YouTube simultaneously to host live webcasts of formal TBS Online University courses.
The course also answers questions that people are always curious about and constantly seek answers to, such as “How Buddhism relates to money”, “Whether one must be ordained prior to learning Buddhism”, "Must one donate in order to be a Buddhist?" and "As a Buddhist, how should one view life?"
The depth and breadth of this course increases Buddhist knowledge and provides fresh perspectives. In line with the requirements of a university level education, this course requires participants to complete coursework and assignments and pass an examination at the conclusion of the course. This was a difficult and challenging curriculum, not child's play!
The "Cloud Classroom" heralds a new beginning for TB Education. The implementation of this teaching channel promotes and expands our mission of propagating True Buddha Tantric Dharma and embodies our ideals for the future development of TBS. With the blessings of Grandmaster, buddhas, and bodhisattvas, the TB Education team is endeavoring to apply modern technology to achieve our fundamental educational goals.
Since the formal inception of the "Cloud Classroom" at the beginning of 2021, our online courses have attracted worldwide participation. Students attend Dharma lessons online three times per week. Their enthusiasm and positive attitude toward learning encourages and energizes everyone on the TBS Education team!
The large influx of participants has necessitated the new role of "course assistant." Despite the pressing worldly commitments of their daily lives, Dharma propagation personnel at cultivation venues have enthusiastically taken on the role of course counseling and coordination -- from course preparation, enrollment assistance, and distribution of course notes, to course notifications to all students. In addition to these responsibilities, they also assist in collecting and answering questions on site. This interaction between assistants and Online University students activates learning in both directions; disciples receive timely answers to their questions, and Dharma propagation personnel gain experience in helping sentient beings.
The growth and development of these modern learning channels is appropriately showcased in TBS Education’s logo which denotes a pair of wings ascending to greater heights. The future of the education team and its work will require everyone’s continued effort and support. We therefore welcome and encourage everyone’s sponsorship of our goals and activities. Plant the seeds of merit for yourself and your family! The merit will last for generations to come! Thank you very much for your bodhi heart and may auspiciousness be with you always!