This issue of the Communiqué spotlights the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center, to which Khyentse Foundation has committed long-term support; an audio New Year address from Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche; excerpts from an essay on giving by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, and a special report from Bodhgaya.
As we enter the new year, Khyentse Foundation gratefully thanks all of our donors for your support during the past year.
Khyentse Foundation is never
active in fundraising campaigns. We rely on our friends like you who
are inspired by a genuine interest in the Foundation’s work.
To follow through with our current commitments and to realize Rinpoche's vision for the next few years, we
need to continue to raise an average of US$1.3 million a year. The
monthly donations matching funds program provides 35% of that income,
and we are so grateful to everyone who has joined. We hope you will
continue to support the Foundation at whatever level is comfortable.
Whether it’s $10 per month or $100, please know that your regular
contribution, which is doubled through the generosity of our Matching
Funds sponsors, makes a significant difference to the Foundation’s
financial capability to carry out our mission.
The Foundation has become
influential in many spheres of Buddhist activity around the world. It's
almost overwhelming for our patrons to keep abreast of all the
projects, but if you read the Communiqué and browse through the KF
website, you will grasp the powerful vision behind every aspect of the
And with all of the projects that it supports, the Foundation is still an all-volunteer organization. We are committed to keeping operating costs to an irreducible minimum—less than 1% of budget. Yes, of every dollar that you contribute, $.99 goes directly to the recipients—the people and institutions that KF supports.
For information about the
projects, people, and institutions that benefited from your
contributions in 2009, look for the Khyentse Foundation Annual Report,
which will be released in March of 2010. Also see the 2008 Annual Report.
RINPOCHE'S NEW YEAR MESSAGE
Drawing by Paloma Vallonrat
Khyentse Rinpoche recently completed a year-long retreat. He recorded
this address to friends of Khyentse Foundation, whose support enables
so many practitioners to engage in the practice and study of Buddhism.
Listen to the MP3 recording
NEWS FROM SIDDHARTHA'S INTENT
WHAT TO DO AT INDIA'S HOLY SITES
Preview of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s Advice for Pilgrims
"The aim of all Buddhist
practice is to catch a glimpse of the awakened state. Going on
pilgrimage, soaking up the sacred atmosphere of holy places, and
mingling with other pilgrims are simply different ways of trying to
achieve that glimpse."
What to Do at India's Buddhist Holy Sites
is a work in progress. Its initial release date was pushed forward so
that it would be available in time for the pilgrimage season. We will
keep you informed as refinements are made to the text. The book is now
being translated into Chinese, Portuguese, and other languages. The
Chinese version will be published later this year.
|August 13-21, 2010
Ja Lung of the 8000 verses of Prajnaparamita; Praise to Dependent Arisign by Tsongkapa, based on the commentary of Gorampa.
Songtsen, Chanteloube, France
Coming in March:
The 2009 Khyentse Foundation Annual Report. Read about the progress of Khyentse Foundation’s Five Projects in 2009.
“The ultimate destination
for a user of the library is the meaning of the literature—what a
particular text means. While TBRC provides multiple points of access to
sources, it is the articulation and expression of the Tibetan worldview,
and the translation into other tongues, which will take generations and
generations and generations. The gift of TBRC is that this will be
—Jeff Wallman, new Executive Director of TBRC
“Gene, his colleagues, and
the team at TBRC have dedicated their lives to saving 1500 years of
invaluable teachings – from the medical to the mystical . . . a
chronicle of the advancements of mankind. In so doing, they have
provided a model for how to salvage the priceless history and collected
wisdom of any ancient culture. Their work is a living guidebook for
literary and policy scholars, humanitarians, and technology system
developers. This is an achievement that demands to be shared with the
—Pat Gruber, a long-term
patron of TBRC, calling for support for “Digital Dharma: One Man’s
Mission to Save a Culture,” a documentary in the works on the life and
work of Gene Smith.
Join Khyentse Foundation on Facebook where
we post volunteer opportunities, news, and other updates.
Be sure to update your information on the
Spotlight on the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center: Keeping Tibetan Wisdom Heritage Alive
TBRC Digital Library Makes Major Progress in 2009
Foundation is a major supporter of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource
Center. TBRC’s goal is nothing less than to keep the Tibetan wisdom
heritage alive. KF funds the heart of TBRC’s programs, including
providing support for digitally preserving its own collection of more
than 12,000 volumes of texts. Through the generosity of our sponsors,
the Foundation has been supporting TBRC for three years and will
continue its support to help complete the entire project by 2012.
was a busy and productive year for TBRC. An experienced team has been
assembled and is poised to complete the bulk of TBRC's work by 2012.
The text scanning is done in Noida, India, and in TBRC’s New York
offices; the formatting work is done at Parphing, Nepal, at the retreat
center of Penor Rinpoche; and the cataloging, editing, and scholarly
work is done in New York.
The TBRC team surpassed most of the benchmarks they set last year. In
fact, between January 1 and September 15, 2009, the organization
scanned more than 4,000 volumes—a substantial increase over their
projected output of 1,500 volumes for the entire year, thanks to an
equipment grant from the Tsadra Foundation.
has approximately 6,000 unscanned volumes left in its own collection,
and the team expects to complete the scanning of those volumes by
2012. However, through acquisitions, partnerships with other
institutions, and their continuing commitment to seek out rare and
important literature, the total number of volumes in the library will
be far greater than 12,000 —how much greater is not yet known.
Photo: The staff of TBRC. Gene Smith, third row, left. Jeff Wallman, front row, second from left.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche uses the TBRC Digital Archive at a puja in Tawian.
Update from TBRC
The following article is from the TBRC newsletter.
The Board of Directors of
Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center (TBRC) is happy to announce that
having successfully established a robust organization over the last ten
years Gene Smith is now able to step back from the administrative
duties as Executive Director and devote his time and energies to the
critical scholarly work of TBRC.
We are also very pleased to
announce with full confidence the election of Jeff Wallman as TBRC's
new Executive Director and member of the board. Jeff is a long time
colleague of Gene's and has all the skills and technological knowledge
to succeed in this role. We are very pleased with the smooth transition
and are delighted that this new alignment will ensure that TBRC can
fully serve its various communities. Jeff will continue to serve as
TBRC's Director of Technology.
The Board expresses its most
sincere gratitude to Gene for his enormous contributions and welcomes
his ongoing role as ’Founder and Senior Research Scholar' of TBRC.
—The TBRC Board of Directors
KF SUPPORT FOR THE TBRC DIGITAL LIBRARY
the [TBRC] Digital Library, no future disaster, whether natural,
political, or economic, will destroy these precious Buddhist texts
—Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
Foundation has committed $1.2 million to support the TBRC Digital
Library over a 5-year period. More than $500,000 has been granted, and
we are still raising funds to bring this project to fruition.
| LETTER FROM BODHGAYA
Nyingma Sect Bestows Lifetime Achievement Award on Gene Smith
A Special Ceremony Amidst the Color and Chaos of the Nyingma Monlam Festival in Bodhgaya
Gene Smith accepts Sambhota Award from Nyingma lamas, January 2010.
By Noa Jones
January, 2010, our friend E. Gene Smith traveled to Bodhgaya, India,
the site of Shakyamuni Buddha's enlightenment, at the request of an
organization representing more than 300 Nyingma monasteries in Tibet,
India, and Bhutan. The Nyingma Monlam Chenmo International Foundation
unanimously nominated Gene to receive the first-ever Sambhota Award, a
lifetime achievement award for his contributions to the preservation of
was an unusually cold and foggy day, one of the last days of the Monlam
festival (January 15-25). Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche, the abbot of
Chokling Monastery in Bir (and star of “The Cup”), introduced Gene to
an audience of more than 13,000 monks and nuns. Rinpoche led Gene to
each side of the monument, where different sanghas took a break from
their pujas to hear Gene's life story. At each side, the monks greeted
Gene’s story with huge applause. Under the Bodhi tree on the east side
of the temple, Sechen Rabjam Rinpoche presented the award, a golden
gong. A long line of rinpoches, tulkus, and khenpos presented katags to
Gene— so many katags that only his face and hands were left uncovered.
A number of monks approached Gene to offer him their thanks for the
digital libraries that TBRC has donated to their monasteries. By the
time Gene left the temple, the sun was shining.
recently stepped down as executive director of the Tibetan Buddhist
Resource Center (TBRC), which he founded in 1999, so that he can devote
his time and energies to the critical scholarly work of TBRC. The
center so far has scanned and digitally archived more than 4
million pages of Tibetan texts, with the aim of making them
available throughout the world. Jeff Wallman is the new executive
is known for his work with the Library of Congress. In 1968 he joined
the New Delhi Field Office and initiated a campaign to reprint every
Tibetan text he could find. Many of the texts were brought to him by
Tibetan exiles from Sikkim, Bhutan, India, and Nepal. For the
next two decades, he led a tireless effort to seek out every available
text, rescuing numerous traditions from extinction. In 1985 he was
transferred to Jakarta, Indonesia, where he continued his work in text
preservation. In 1994 he was assigned to the Middle Eastern Office in
Cairo. In 1997 he took early retirement from the U.S. Library of
is not an exaggeration at all for us to say it is because of Gene’s
hard work and concerted efforts that we have access to many of the
precious texts we are using today,” said Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche.
Calligraphy by Professor Susing Chow
THE PRACTICE OF GIVING
(Sanskrit and Pali) means "generosity" or "giving." In Buddhism it also
refers to the practice of cultivating generosity. Ultimately, the
practice culminates in one of the Six Perfections, the Perfection of
Giving, which can be characterized by unattached and unconditional
generosity, giving and letting go. The following excerpts are from an inspiring essay on generosity, “No Strings Attached: The Buddha’s Culture of Generosity,” by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
“It's well known that dana
lies at the beginning of Buddhist practice. Dana, quite literally, has
kept the Dhamma alive. If it weren't for the Indian tradition of giving
to mendicants, the Buddha would never have had the opportunity to
explore and find the path to Awakening. The monastic sangha wouldn't
have had the time and opportunity to follow his way. Dana is the first
teaching in the graduated discourse: the list of topics the Buddha used
to lead listeners step-by-step to an appreciation of the four noble
truths, and often from there to their own first taste of Awakening.
When stating the basic principles of karma, he would begin with the
statement, ‘There is what is given.’”
“[The] Buddha, in his introduction to the teaching on karma, began by saying that there is what is given…. Giving does give results both now and on into the future, and it is
the result of the donor's free choice. However, … the Buddha took the
principle of freedom one step further. When asked where a gift should
be given, he stated simply, “Wherever the mind feels inspired.” In
other words—aside from repaying one's debt to one's parents—there is no
obligation to give. This means that the choice to give is an act of
true freedom, and thus the perfect place to start the path to total
retreats, dana could be discussed in a general way, in the context of
the many Dhamma talks given on how best to integrate Dhamma practice in
daily life. At the end of the retreat, a basket could be left out for
donations, with a note that the teacher hasn't been paid to teach the
retreat. That's all. No appeals for mercy. No flashcards. Sensitive
retreatants will be able to put two and two together, and will feel
glad, inspired, and gratified that they were trusted to do the math for
"No Strings Attached: The Buddha's Culture of Generosity," by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, November 22, 2009.
Thank You for Reading