The mission of Kamalashila Initiative is:
To offer Visiting Buddhist Scholars immersive language and capacity building programs in western academic communities; and
Simultaneously facilitate enriching cultural exchange between them and the local community, rooted in the Buddhist philosophy of cultivating a peaceful and altruistic mind.
In order to achieve this goal, KI has three strategic focus areas that drive its programming:
Language: increasing dialogue between Buddhist scholars and westerners is essential. However, the first step to facilitating effective and engaging dialogue between the two cultural systems is to increase participants’ ability to understand each other.
As such, KI endeavors to offer language studies, particularly, English language training, for its Visiting Scholars. In return, the Visiting Scholars have also offered introductory Tibetan language classes for the local community to engage in as well.
Exchange: a starting point for the modernization of education at Buddhist monastic institutions (in furtherance of HHDL's vision) is to expose lead scholars there to western academic life and methodology.
KI makes a humble contribution toward this end by facilitating an exchange program between Buddhist monastic institutions in India and western University Partners in the United States.
Wellbeing: Buddhist philosophy (regardless of faith) can be an antidote to the depression, anxiety, and hopelessness that are products of increased individuality, exceptionalism, and materialism.
Through guided meditation sessions and dialogue exchanges, KI's Visiting Scholars can offer local community members wisdom gained from a lifetime of dedicated study and practice to Buddhist philosophy - wisdom that can help contribute to increased wellbeing through the cultivation of a calm, altruistic mind.