Universal Education

for FPMT Centres


What is Universal Education?

This page was created for FPMT Centres to help them bring Universal Education (UE) to their community. Universal Education is one of the five pillars of service that FPMT centres provide. FDCW supports, inspires and encourages FPMT Centres to provide Universal Education by offering resources, training and success stories from around the world demonstrating the wide number of creative ways people are introducing UE.

Universal Education is a place where we can all meet to share our values, understand one another better and develop a sense of caring for each other and our world. Lama talked about Big Love – caring for everyone and our planet, wishing everyone to be happy, free and reach their full human potential. 

At FDCW we believe building communities that practice together is key. Coming together for a weekend course or retreat is wonderful but it’s just the beginning. That’s why, alongside our courses, we have created resources for regular practice together on strengthening values, compassion and wisdom.

We have to get rid of people’s old concepts and give them a new imagination; a new, broad way of looking at themselves and the world. That’s what I mean by universal.” – Lama Yeshe

The Benefits

Why Integrate UE at your Centre?

Introducing Universal Education at your Centre brings benefit not just to the students but also to the Centre itself by:-

  1. Following His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s vision for secular ethics and compassion to reach as many people as possible, at this particular time.
  2. Fulfilling Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s UE pillar of service
  3. Building communities of practice for long term change
  4. Increasing inclusivity by offering a path without assumptions about people’s background, beliefs or faith, attracting new audiences
  5. Promoting harmony among staff and volunteers and can even form the basis of the Centre’s statement of values.
  6. Weaving UE tools and methods into the fabric of the Centre’s social projects eg hospice, school visits, community work, prisons etc.
  7. Cultivating a culture of kindness and empathy, reinforcing a positive, supportive environment for both new and existing members and students.

Our Inspiration

FDCW's Inspiration for UE

Lama Yeshe first shared his vision for Universal Education back in the 1970s.  FDCW was founded in 2005 to actualise that vision with His Holiness the Dalai Lama agreeing to be FDCW’s Honorary President. Lama Zopa Rinpoche was FDCW’s Honorary President offering advice for many decades on the development of UE.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Vision
"My religion is simple, my religion is kindness"

His Holiness the Dalai Lama emphasises the importance of developing a sense of universal responsibility, highlighting its role in spreading peace and ethical values across the globe. He advocates for an education system that not only imparts knowledge but also cultivates a deep sense of compassion and empathy among individuals.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Insights
"Everyone in the world cannot become Buddhist, cannot become Muslim, cannot become Hindu and so forth. But you need some method, education for the better life, better world, more happiness, solve problems. UE is the method."

In this 90 minute video, Lama Zopa Rinpoche explains why Universal Education is an important method for showing people how to live a better life with more happiness, more compassion and correct wisdom. Rinpoche explains why he chose the Sixteen Human Dharmas as the source text for UE and discusses other UE topics like science of mind and the 7 Foundations.
Watch it here
Lama Yeshe's Big Love
Lama Yeshe had a vision for Universal Education back in the 1970's. Lama said:

"Let me try to explain what Universal Education is and why we need it. The world needs a new system of education because the old one is too dated for the intelligent people of today and produces a great deal of conflict and dissatisfaction in the present generation... The reason I call it universal is that people need to understand the entirety of human reality... I started thinking that there must be a middle way, whereby people are educated both spiritually and scientifically such that they can take care of themselves physically and mentally and free themselves from any kind of material or psychological problem... ​​"
Learn more here
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Getting Started

How to Bring UE to Your Centre

Based on FDCW’s consultations with many FPMT Centre during the past 3 years, we have devised a three step process that Centres can follow to get started with UE.


1. Appoint a UE Ambassador

A UE Ambassador will act as a point of contact for information and guidance on Universal Education at the Centre. They will be a focal point for building communities practising UE.

The Centre’s UE Ambassador does not have to be a qualified FDCW facilitator. Any volunteer or staff member who is enthusiastic about UE and wishes to learn more about it in order to share with others would be ideal.

We know that many Centres have hosted UE courses and we strongly encourage this. Our list of facilitators is here. Appointing a UE ambassador empowers Centres to explore and deliver UE as well while being supported by facilitators and by FDCW. It is another method of sharing UE.


2. Familiarise with UE

The next step is for the UE Ambassador to familiarise themselves with the theory and practice of UE. The best way to do this is by exploring the 16 Guidelines for Life which is FDCW’s core program. 

We offer three tools for familiarising with the 16 Guidelines. These are the 16G book, the Bulding Inner Strength course and 16G App. By reading, reflecting and practising, your UE ambassador will learn how to embody the Guidelines so they can be authentic when introducing 16G resources to others. We expect the familiarisation process to take about 4 to 6 weeks.

In this short video Nicole Zito, explains her experience of leading Conversations that Matter.


3. Share UE with your Community

Now your Ambassador has begun to embody Universal Education, you are ready to weave UE tools into your Centre’s activities. We recommend starting a UE group with regular meet ups.

You can run events either at your centre, like discussion groups and meditations, or outside of your centre, like support groups in local care homes or prisons. We have a range of free resources to help.

With Conversations that Matter, you can get started now and begin guiding meaningful discussions that inspire and empower. In this video, Nicole Zito shares her experience of leading Conversations That Matter at Thubten Kunga Ling in Florida.

*You may wish to invite an FDCW facilitator to offer one of our courses at the Centre. We have a number of facilitators active in many different countries listed here. Please contact us if you need an introduction to any of them.


Stories that Inspire

There are many examples here of how Centres have weaved UE tools into the fabric of their communities. Some Centres run 16 Guideline discussion groups for their staff and volunteers so that they can share values. Karuna Hospice in Brisbane now has a Statement of Values inspired by 16 Guidelines. Nalanda Monastery has run 16 Guidelines groups for their volunteers. The Great Stupa introduces 16 Guidelines to groups of schoolchildren who visit the Stupa.

Here’s a few ideas from our growing collection of stories from our community that have inspired us. We hope they inspire you too!


Frequently Asked Questions

FDCW has an international community of facilitators around the world that can offer 16 Guidelines courses, Levels 1 and 2. We encourage you to invite facilitators to deliver a course at your Centre. 
But this are not the only way in which people can become familiar with the guidelines, that’s why we are encouraging people to become familiar with the Guidelines by reading the 16G book, completing the Bulding Inner Strength course and downloading 16G App and then  start using our free resources like  Conversations that Matter.

 A facilitator is only needed if the Centre wishes to offer an official 16 Guidelines Level 1 course but you don’t need to be a facilitator to use our Free resources , if there is a volunteer at your centre with interest in UE, this person could become your UE ambassador after gaining some familiarity with the 16G program…At the end of the day, the 16 Guidelines are a set of universal values that everyone is familiar with, what we offer is a method to explore them more deeply in community.

Absolutely! We strongly feel that for UE to flourish we need to build communities of practice, people coming together to practice and support each other…. Offering regular UE sessions based on Conversations that Matter and getting people talking and reflecting about shared values will help plant the seeds for this community to grow… and once people become familiar with the 16G and the program, the interest to know more will arise quite naturally… then the opportunity to offer a level 1 course might manifest as a natural progression.

Do you have any questions or feedback?

If you’re have any questions, or would like to leave us any feedback, please get in touch. We’re here to help you bring UE to your community.