Universal responsibility is the real key to human survival. It is the best foundation for world peace, the equitable use of natural resources, and the proper care of the environment……
This urgent need for cooperation can only strengthen mankind, because it helps us recognize that the most secure foundation for the new world order is not simply broader political and economic alliances, but each individual's genuine practice of love and compassion. These qualities are the ultimate source of human happiness, and our need for them lies at the very core of our being.- H.H. Dalai Lama (Washington, D.C., April 1993, ‘Buddhism and Democracy’ - https://www.dalailama.com/messages/buddhism/buddhism-and-democracy
Since 1987, Tibet House US, a non-profit cultural center founded at the request of H.H. the Dalai Lama, has been quietly promoting a broad vision of Buddhism through various events and publications. Located on 15th Street in New York City, USA, Tibet House US, fondly known as ‘THUS’, is also a thriving center, inviting secular and traditional Buddhist practitioners, as well as interested visitors, to learn about its repository of amazing and rare Tibetan Buddhist artifacts.
In the 1980s and 1990s, THUS’s specific mandate was the political one of creating awareness about the plight of Tibetans and the Tibet issue to engage public understanding and policy changes. Over the decades, THUS has evolved to include greater social engagement. Today, one of THUS’ prime achievements is the nurturing of contemporary American Buddhist teachers, meditators, arts and culture by talented secular practitioners while it continues to support the sutra-based teachings of dharma by recognized sanghas.
If you visit the center’s website, you will see the great variety of offerings offered by the center.
Offerings from Tibet House US
Here are some of the ways Tibet House US has contributed to promoting a broad and non-sectarian approach to Buddhism:
Education and Workshops: The center offers programs on meditation, mindfulness, compassion, and ethics. These programs provide practical tools and teachings that can be applied in secular contexts, such as healthcare, education, and personal development.
Guest Lectures and Teachings: Tibet House US invites renowned Buddhist teachers, scholars, and practitioners to give lectures and teachings on secular applications of Buddhism. These experts offer insights into Buddhist philosophy, psychology, and meditation techniques, providing valuable guidance for individuals seeking to incorporate these practices into their secular lives.
Mindfulness-Based Programs: These programs explore the value of mindfulness in diverse areas, including healthcare, psychology, and corporate settings. Tibet House US staff collaborate with professionals in these fields to develop and implement mindfulness-based programs, such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which are secular adaptations of traditional Buddhist practices.
Research and Publications: The center supports research initiatives that explore the intersection of Buddhism, science, and secularism. Tibet House US publishes books, articles, and other resources that bridge the gap between traditional Buddhist teachings and contemporary secular contexts, making this wisdom more accessible to a wider audience.
Community Building: Tibet House US fosters a supportive community for secular and traditional Buddhists through gatherings, study groups, and online forums. These platforms facilitate dialogue, the sharing of experiences, and the cultivation of a Buddhist community where individuals can find support and inspiration on their spiritual journeys.
Preservation of Tibetan Buddhist Culture: While focusing on the application of Buddhism in secular contexts, Tibet House US continues the crucial role of preserving and promoting Tibetan Buddhist culture and enriching the understanding of Buddhist heritage among North American audiences.
Through these initiatives, Tibet House US has contributed to the growth of Buddhism in North America, offering a valuable bridge between traditional Buddhist teachings and the modern secular world.
We hope you will find something valuable on thus.org. Also, please consider checking out the ‘Love Tibet Readers Collection’ on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LoveTibetClub.
Cedar Thokme is a Digital Specialist at Tibet House US