When Pam Cayton, the founder of CCC, returned to the United States after many years living in Nepal, she found that the educational options for her young children did not embody essential qualities needed to educate the whole child.

For inspiration, she turned to the work of Lama Yeshe, a Tibetan Buddhist teacher who, in the 1970s, shared his ideas about a “universal education” that would expand the philosophies of compassion and mindfulness found in contemplative traditions so they could benefit people of different backgrounds and faiths all over the world. Cayton then began to develop educational methods that blended the practical Western approach to learning and acquiring scientific knowledge with the East’s depth of logic, wisdom, and compassion. As a result, Cayton opened Tara Preschool in 1989 and Tara Redwood School, PreK through 3rd grade, in 1996, with the goal of developing these qualities in children and youth.

In 2007, in response to the strong interest of educators, counselors, and parents, Cayton began to offer workshops on the curriculum and materials she developed at Tara Redwood School, taking the program worldwide in 2008. In 2012, she formed the non-profit organization Creating Compassionate Cultures to bring this educational program, which she called The Seven Steps to Knowledge, Strength, and Compassion, to youth around the world.

What is Universal Education?

The content and methodology of Universal Education for Compassion and Wisdom are rooted in Buddhist philosophy and psychology fused with up-to-date findings from the natural and social sciences, and with complementary material from other wisdom and spiritual traditions. There is a particular emphasis on promoting positive role models, based on true and inspirational stories from around the world.

Universal Education is based on the work of Tibetan Buddhist teacher Lama Yeshe, who in the 1970s called for “a new kind of education in the world.” It works to create a more peaceful world by providing resources, training and connections that enable people to set up Universal Education programs in their own community: in schools, hospitals and hospices, prisons, the workplace, and the home.

Vision | A more peaceful, compassionate and sustainable world built on long-lasting personal social change.

Mission | To enable positive personal and social change through educational programs and resources on universal human values.

Universal Education for Compassion and Wisdom is:

  • Accessible suitable for people of all ages and cultures, and of any faith or none
  • Practical immediately applicable to everyday life, from birth up until death
  • Appreciative celebrating the unique potential of every individual
  • Non-dogmatic encouraging critical thinking and self-reflection
  • Integrated promoting learning methods that bring together both head and heart
  • Authentic rooted in Buddhist philosophy and psychology and compatible with modern scientific research

For more information, visit www.compassionandwisdom.org

Our Inspiration

“The highest potential of each human being is great kindness and understanding, having sensitivity to each other; and the understanding of immediate and ultimate needs of others. This is the human totality and each of us possesses the potential to achieve it.”
~Lama Yeshe

We also take inspiration from our Patron, the Dalai Lama, who is one of the world’s leading advocates for the promotion of human values and universal ethics in education and society.

“The key to a happier and more successful world is the growth of compassion. We do not need to become religious, nor do we need to believe in an ideology. All that is necessary is for each of us to develop our good human qualities.”
~The Dalai Lama

Since the inception of The Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom, our Honorary President, Lama Zopa, has provided guidance on our development and programs.

“May Universal Education for compassion and wisdom spread all over the world – especially in countries where there is violence.

“May it open our hearts, so that all beings become vessels of universal compassion and wisdom.

“May we all become living antidotes to war, torture and sickness, and to physical and mental problems.

“Through the education of the good heart may all beings practice kindness, rejoicing, patience, contentment, forgiveness, apologising and courage.”
~Lama Zopa, FDCW Honorary President