Tibetan Flag - larger  image
Preserving Tibet
people and culture
om mani padme hum

Dharma Haven's Tibetan Pages

Today Tibet, with its unique cultural heritage which incorporates Buddhist spirituality, is truly facing the threat of extinction. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, some kind of cultural genocide is taking place. Time is running out.

Efforts to preserve Tibet -- its environment, its people, and their culture -- come in two forms: direct preservation projects involving Tibetan people and those who support their efforts, and educational projects providing resources for people, mainly non Tibetans, who want to learn more about Tibet or some aspect of its culture.

A vivid example of the success of the latter approach is the rapid spread of Tibetan Buddhism and the Way of Shambhala into Western countries, fueled by the avid interest of Western students hungry for genuine spiritual insight. Fortunately, many of the most accomplished Tibetan Buddhist meditation masters were able to escape from Tibet  during the invasion, and to bring with them many of their treasured scriptures, art works and ritual implements.

Direct help is needed, as well. For example, it is not enough to save examples of religious paintings in museums -- the skills involved in creating the paintings must be passed on from teacher to student, along with the understanding of the meaning of the images and their function in the meditation practice -- but Tibetans living in countries where they are allowed to really practice Buddhism simply cannot afford to devote their time and energy to dharma study and art work, unless someone helps to pay their living expenses. In old Tibet, the tradition of supporting monks and nuns and monasteries was strong.

In setting our goals we should face certain realities af the current situation: It is highly unlikely that classical Tibetan culture will survive anywhere, even in free countries. Given the choice, many Tibetan people appreciate Western medicine and other aspects of Western culture. A more realistic goal would simply be to protect their lives, and to restore their freedom to live by their own choices; and to make available, to anyone who may be interested, the insights and wisdom of this amazing culture.

It is sometimes important to remember that the meaning of the word "Tibet" is in dispute.  In 1965 China created the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), roughly the Western half of historic Tibet. The Eastern portions of Tibet were annexed to the ajacent Chinese provinces. When Chinese officials use the term "Tibet" they are only referring to the TAR. Tibetans, however, mean all of Tibet, as it was before it was occupied by the Chinese. 

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Spiritual Treasures of Tibet
Tibetan Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhist Art

The Ancient Wisdom of Shambhala

Tools for Spiritual Healing
Meditation, Prayer Wheels, Prayer Flags, Mantra, Incense

You can contribute to Tibetan Buddhist centers, either financially or by contributing your time and skills for various projects.

You can study meditation practice, and make it part of your life. 

You can build stupas or help pay for them, hang prayer flags, or put up prayer wheels. It's especially good to do these projects with other people.

You can sponsor monks and nuns in training, and support projects working to preserve the teachings -- the actual physical texts and audio or video recordings -- or efforts to translate tibetan dharma teachings into Western languages. Most Tibetan Buddhist centers are involved in such projects. Here are a few specific projects:

Tibetan Sponsorship Project -- Sponsor monks, nuns, children.

Naropa's Tibetan Language Library -- Preserve sacred treasures and support a nunnery at the same time.

Shang Sung Institute

Worldview -- Home of the Asian Classics Input Project

Discovery and Preservation of Ancient Tibetan Manuscripts

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Tibetan Traditions of Health and Healing
Tibetan Medicine

The Medicine Buddha

Tools for Spiritual Healing
Meditation, Prayer Wheels, Prayer Flags, Mantra, Incense

Preserving Tibetan Medicine
Of all the various irreplacible treasures of traditional Tibetan Buddhist culture, the threat of extinction may be greatest for Tibetan Medicine.

The Herbal Sources of Tibetan Medicine

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Tibetan People and Tibetan Culture 

General Information -- Helping People -- Culture -- Crafts

DharamsalaNet -- Tibetan Community in Exile

Oficial Web site of the Tibetan Government in Exile

A Brief History of Tibet

Films and Videos on Tibet

Tibet Links

Japan Tibet Homepage -- Lots of Links (Some in English)

People Helping People

Tibet Support Groups: Global Directory

Canada Tibet Committee -- Australia Tibet Council

Friends of Tibet

Granny G's Tribute to the Tibetan Womens Association

Tibetan Aid Project -- Tibetan Refugee Health Care Project

Surmang Foundation -- Kham Aid Foundation

School for Hiamlayan Children -- Tibetan Students Project

Milarepa Foundation
Beastie Boys support Tibetans and Australian Aboriginies

Cultural Survival "helps indigenous peoples and ethnic groups deal as equals in their relations with national and international societies." 

Tibetan School Project: Katsel, Tibet
Tibetan Weaving Project: Nepal

See also: handicrafts


Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts Multimedia Web site

WorldBridges: Tibet -- Visit to Dharamsala

See also: documentaries -- Tibetan Buddhist Art -- handicrafts

spiritual treasures -- health and healing -- language
Tibetan Handicrafts

dZi - The Tibet Collection -"the wholesale and retail marketing arm of the Tibetan Handcraft Development Project."

Ringing Mountain Imports --  Traditional, exquisite hand-knotted carpets, made by Tibetan Refugees in Nepal, who are thus "able to support their whole complex of culture in exile. We call this 'Heritage Preservation through Craft.' We'd like to become a stable source of income to the exiled Tibetans."

Tara Healing Incense (Agar 31) -- symptomatic relief from stress, depression and tension, headache, and asthma; totally natural, safe, non-toxic and non-habit-forming. Can be used by many people who have allergic reactions to ordinary incense. 

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The Tibetan Language

The Languge of Tibet

Tibetan Language tutorials on the Web
Information about the language
Books, Training Aids and Translation Tools
Tibetan Language Software
News Read in Tibetan (Internet Radio)

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Tibet's Environment: Links

The Environment in Tibet

Inside Tibet: Geography

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News and Documentaries on Tibet
recent news -- documentaries

Tibet in Exile: Oficial Web site of the Tibetan Government in Exile

World Tibet Network News -- Tibet Information Network - TIN

Inside China Today -- Inside Tibet

News read in Tibetan, Hindi and Nepali Languages


Changing and Unchanged: Images and articles on Tibet from the New York Times.  (Requires free registration)

Dreams of Tibet: PBS Frontline Special

Wild Life, Tamed Mind: The Spirit of Tibet. Glow Online Magazine

Glow Magazine Archives: Special focus on Tibet

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The Political Situation

The Realpolitik of Spirituality -- Interview with H.H. The Dalai Lama.

Tibetan Politics from the Tibetan Studies WWW Virtual Library 

The Office of Tibet, the official agency of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. 

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Tibet Online Resources Gathering
Tibet Support Groups: Global Directory

Australia Tibet Council

Canada Tibet Committee

Arizona Friends of Tibet

The Tibet Global Link -- giving Tibetan refugees access to e-mail.

News read in Tibetan, Hindi and Nepali Languages
Internet broadcasts of interest to Tibetan refugees.

The Skull Mantra -- Eliot Pattison 

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The Mantra Om Mani Padme Hum

The background of this page, and this prayer wheel show the mantra of Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, in Tibetan script. This is the most common prayer in Tibetan Buddhist regions.

The Meaning of the Mantra
Explanations of the Tibetan Buddhist prayer (mantra)
Om Mani Padme Hung

Advice on the Benefits of Prayer Wheels -- Lama Zopa

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Revised on February 21, 2001

Copyright © 2001 Dharma Haven
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