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"Offering is receiving a gift." —Buddha

When the Chinese invaded Tibet in 1959, thousands of Tibetans fled over the snowy mountain passes. Some of the refugees concealed one or even more sacred books in their luggage.

For many Tibetans a Buddhist text is worth more than a bar of gold. 

While in the West the voices of our parents remain a constant echo in the background of the rest of our lives, the minds of Tibetan children resonate with the knowledge and words contained in the sacred texts.

An altar and book display used to be the center piece of every Tibetan family dwelling.

In the years following the enemy invasion, most sacred books in Tibet were deliberately destroyed, making the rescued texts even more precious.

The Tibetan Lama Tarthang Tulku collects the old texts and has begun reprinting them on a vast scale at Dharma Press in Cazadero, Northern California, with the help of volunteers and of Western technology.

Once a year at the World Peace Ceremony in Bodh Gaya, India, hundreds of thousand copies of these reprinted texts are distributed to Tibetan monasteries, lamas and lay people in exile.

The Adopt a Book program offers a unique opportunity to join the efforts to preserve the endangered Tibetan culture by recreating the texts, and bringing back a culture that has been almost wiped out.

Since 1989 over 2.3 million books have been distributed to over 3300 monasteries and educational institutions of all Tibetan Buddhist schools. The total production amounts to 450 volumes, including texts by the Buddha and 200 other authors from the past 2000 years.

Over 6000 monks, nuns and lamas have attended the ceremony, each one receiving books, thankas and prayer wheels and over ten thousand lay people annually also have received sacred texts, thankas and prayer wheels.

Every December between twenty and forty feet containers leave the port of Oakland, California for Calcutta where the containers are hauled overland to the little town of Bodh Gaya. Also in January 2009 the members of thousands of monasteries from India, Nepal, Sikkim, Ladakh, Bhutan, and Tibet received free books.

When you adopt one of these precious books – a single book, a print run, or maybe an entire library – you support this huge project of reprinting and redistributing timeless wisdom. Your donation will benefit the text preservation project only.

The Tibetan teachings have touched the hearts of many Westerners, and Western culture benefits from the knowledge of transforming negativity and achieving positive change.

The effects will ripple and become global, even creating world harmony and peace.

Our global culture thrives on diversity, but though the word multiculturalism is fashionable, it is far from a reality. Participating in building Tibetan Buddhist libraries and refugee settlements contributes to cultural diversity and brings benefits on many levels.

Dedication of Merit

You may be thinking: "I wish I could help." Well, you can!

Dharma Publishing contributes at least $16,000 per month to the Tibetan Text Project to support the purchase of paper and ink. This commitment is ‘up front’, meaning we pay it before any other obligation. But to meet that goal, we need your support.

When you adopt a book, you help us meet our commitment, and you establish a relationship with the sacred texts.

Good actions produce benefits for those who take part.

In Buddhism it is common to dedicate the merit of a good action to loved ones, even if they are deceased.

Every time a Dharma text is recited or read, the benefit flows out to the reader and the immediate environment, but also to its sponsors and those who receive the merit.

The positive intention of the donor mingles with the 2,500 year-old tradition of wisdom and compassion.

Adopt a Book sponsors are formally acknowledged at the annual World Peace Ceremony in Bodh Gaya, during the month of January, where their names are read aloud three times a day during ten days.