Knocking on Buddha's door: a journey into the cultural context of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhist art as a spiritual journey towards compassion




Mata, Veda

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Within the field of Curriculum Vision, educators are presently engaged in a conversation about Spiritual Education. Due to the multicultural/multi-religious aspects of today's social demographics and the pluralistic backgrounds of students, it is required that dialogue and curriculum avoid religious content. Also, multiculturalism is tending to adopt themes of exclusion rather than inclusion, contrary to the nature of its original envisioning. Consequently, spiritual education is bound within this potentially volatile discussion, implicating spiritual with religious. The tendency is to avoid spiritual curriculum altogether. There is, however, a need to address the growing problematic arising within schools and society as a whole. Values of community, peace, justice, equality, freedom, and interconnectedness,(values inherent in our national constitution) need to be re-instated in classrooms in ways that can be understood and received within a diverse cultural context. As a concerned educator and parent, it has been my intention to investigate one particular aspect of my spiritual journey, Tibetan Buddhism, within its cultural context to evaluate whether the foundation premises of Buddhism could be transposed into the framework of spiritual curriculum in a generic way, that would be appealing rather than offensive. The value of art as a means of self expression and meaning making offers education an avenue through which this could be accomplished. This project offers insight into another culture and an innovative perspective to the field of spiritual education, pointing towards a curriculum that embraces a Pedagogy of Happiness.



Spiritual Education, Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan Art, Spiritual Journey