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About the Essential Teachings project

The Essential Teachings project began over twenty years ago . As a professor of Religious Studies, I wanted to expose my students to a wide range of viewpoints on questions of ultimate concern such as the nature of selfhood and the purpose of human existence. I began interviewing extraordinary teachers from a variety of different faiths and backgrounds and I used these programs to spark discussions with the students. Thirteen of the programs were used in an ETV series called "Transmission of Essential Teachings" which aired in the Fall of 1980. Since then. I have continued to do the interviews whenever and wherever I can sit down with a teacher who I believe has something special to offer. There are more than thirty in the series and the number will continue to grow as long as I am able. I believe they have a timeless value for seekers everywhere. The advent of this web site is the logical progression in the project. Please let me know what you think of it.

My Bio

I was born in NYC in December 1944. I became interested in the fields of Philosophy and Religion as an undergraduate at the University of Vermont. I went on to do graduate work in these fields at McGill University in Montreal and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. My special interest area is Eastern thought, particularly Buddhism. I had the good fortune to travel to India with some students in 1972. After obtaining my doctorate in 1976, I returned to the University of Vermont as an Assistant Professor. After five years of teaching, I left to explore the world of biomedical communications at the teaching hospital affiliated with UVM. I continue to work at this institution, now called Fletcher Allen Healthcare. I coordinate video productions and advanced telecommunications there, and live in a small town outside Burlington, Vt. (Underhill Center, pop. 3000).

Thank you.

Michael McKnight

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