This article recently appeared in the Journal Do Brasil. An English translation can be found below.
The Books of the Buddha
Arrive for Brazil campaign to preserve the Tibetan sacred texts
The thousands of readers that transform the Dalai Lama books into best sellers hardly know that they can contribute directly to preserve the ancient Tibetan sacred texts. This support is possible through the program Adopt a Book (www.adoptabook.us), presented in Brazil last week by the director of Dharma Publishing International, Arnaud Maitland. Everyone can help through volunteer work of typing, that is done at the press in California, or with a donation that will pay the costs for the reprint (ink and paper) of the thousands of volumes produced every year - explains Maitland, student of the Tibetan Lama Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche for 30 years.
The texts are part of what survived of the Chinese invasion in Tibet, in 1959. At that time, thousands of Tibetans became refugees in neighboring countries, carrying sacred texts in their luggage, as all religious materials were prohibited and would have been destroyed by the Maoist government. In two decades, the Lama Tarthang Tulku has been collecting these sacred texts so that the tradition does not get lost.
- We know that in Brazil there are many problems that need attention, but I believe that it is possible to make people sensitive to the preservation of this ancient culture that is in these sacred texts - cheers Maitland. The texts are retyped in Tibetan, a process that demands special computer programs and a careful proofreading by the Lama. Approximately 50 people work on the project in California, and each volume is handmade and takes 3 days to get ready. The books are then sent to monasteries in India, an action which catalyzes the rebuilding of libraries there. The distribution of the books is done once a year in January, during the World Peace Ceremony in Bodh Gaya, India.
- These are not religious texts: Dharma means "timeless truth", and the importance is very valuable for humanity. These truths are over 2,500 years old and are still important today, in any part of the world - says Maitland, the author of the books Living Without Regret and Master Work (both form Dharma Publishing).
Besides presenting the project Adopt a Book, Maitland was in Brazil to lead a workshop on Training the Mind for Leadership, according to the traditional teachings of Tibetan Buddhism at the Nyingma Insitute in Rio and São Paulo. For those who are interested in participating in this effort of restoring the sacred texts, on June 11th, at 7 PM, there will be a video exhibition at the Institute at Humait´, that show all the process of making the books and the World Peace Ceremony