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Buddhadharma : Winter 2007
winter 2007| 8 |buddhadharma ago. As a young bhikkhuni with little resources, she vowed to meet the challenge by founding the Tzu Chi foundation to do what World Vision did, but based on Buddhist compassion. Today, more than a million volunteers all over the world, including those in the united States, work tirelessly for the poor and disaster victims under her spiritual guidance. However, most Buddhists in the West have never even heard of Tzu Chi. To name just a few of the things Tzu Chi has done: Before 9/11, Tzu Chi was already in Afghanistan helping civil war victims. Soon after 9/11, Tzu Chi was at Ground Zero distributing cash to victims’ fami- lies and was recognized in congressional hearings. Tzu Chi’s medical team was one of the first to arrive in Sri Lanka to treat the tsunami victims. In New Orleans, in addition to distributing cash, Tzu Chi participated in many free medical care programs for the flood victims. Recently, Tzu Chi went to Bolivia and distributed household necessities to victims of a flood little known to the outside world, and followed up in August with an even big- ger distribution of goods in conjunction with a medical relief effort that treated over a thousand patients. The relief effort was supported by nearly one hundred volunteers and doctors flown in from all over the world. Closer to home in Southern California, Tzu Chi maintains a free clinic dedicated to the poor, where I am a volunteer. In addition, Tzu Chi runs a $20-per-visit community clinic for those who may not be poor but cannot afford medical care due to the escalating expenses. I invite those who are interested in engaged Buddhism to explore the world of Tzu Chi, where Buddhist compassion is practiced in actions, not on cushions. Kelvin Chen Hacienda Heights, California I read your article on saving precious recordings of pioneers of Buddhism in the West. I commend you for making this effort, but it seems that the process is somewhat ad hoc. university libraries and archives are working on a parallel path and are developing a systematic paradigm called “digital preservation” for the preserva- tion of digital objects. This paradigm is supported by the Library of Congress, the digital Library federation, and OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), a major source of library standards. I rec- ommend that you read the article “digi- tal preservation” in Wikipedia and check out the Library of Congress’s National Information Infrastructure and preserva- tion program (NdIIpp). At a minimum, there are resources available for standards of digitizing for- mats (e.g., text, sound, moving pictures, and so on). Marlene Martin New Haven, Connecticut I enjoyed your fall 2007 forum article “Book power” about the history of book publishing on Buddhist topics in the united States. While enjoying the article, I believe some of the participants in the forum reached a critically wrong conclu- sion: they proposed that the publishing of a book establishes the credibility of a teacher. The mere publishing of a book can only create the illusion of credibility, whether regarding Buddhism or any other topic. Bookstore shelves are packed with books written by supposed experts who in fact are no more or less expert than anyone else. This is especially true regard- ing spiritual topics. True credibility can only come from the student’s direct expe- rience of the teachings—from absorbing the teacher’s instruction, practicing, and then experiencing that the teachings are helping to transform one’s life. Allen Broadman Montvale, New Jersey CLARIfICATION The panel discussion as edited in the Summer issue of Buddhadharma did not fully reflect the role played by nonprofit foundations in supporting Buddhist pub- lishing and translation projects. The pan- elists correctly emphasized that nonprofit Buddhist-oriented publishers do not rely substantially on outside support to sus- tain their operations. However, it is also important to acknowledge the very posi- tive role that nonprofit foundations and individual donors play in making possible the translation and publication of specific Buddhist works. This support helps make important texts available to practitioners and creates a canon of English-language Buddhist classics that will serve dharma in the West for generations to come. 335 Meads Mt. Rd., Woodstock, NY 12498 845.679.5906x10 firstname.lastname@example.org for fullschedule and updates visit: www.kagyu.org KARMA TRIYANA DHARMACHAKRA TibetanBuddhistTeaching andMeditation Center KHENPO KARTHAR RINPOCHE JAN 11-13 Relaxing within theNatural Mind DEC 27-JAN 1 AmitabhaRetreat JAN 1 FirstLight PRAYERS FORWORLD PEACE JAN 5-6 Dharma Discussion JAN 21-25 Medicine BuddhaRetreat BARDOR TULKU RINPOCHE DEC 14-16 Bodhicharyavatara WISDOM CHAPTER JAN 18-20 Medicine Buddha