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Buddhadharma : Spring 2010
89 spring 2 01 0 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly being better than this or worse than that. We’re just presenting Tibetan culture.” Tibet House is particularly keen to present Tibetan culture to audiences that are not familiar with it, so they strive to share those elements of the culture that will appeal to the public at large. “Traditional Tibetan footwear might be a passing fancy of ours,” explains Ganden, “but it’s not ever going to be a major focus. It’s just not that useful.” Buddhism, on the other hand, is one of Tibet’s most interesting exports, he says, “because inquiries into the func- tion of the brain and whether there is such thing as a self are as germane today in the West as they were centuries ago in the Himalayas. Tibet House offers workshops and lectures on Buddhism as well as medita- tion classes; however, it is not a dharma center. If it were, Tibet House organizers say they might feel limited to working with just one lineage and it’s important to their mission that they’re able work with all Tibetan groups. “We’re a gate- way or hub,” says Ganden. “We talk about Tibetan Buddhist traditions but we are not any of them ourselves. We direct people to other organizations.” Preserving Tibetan artifacts is another key function of Tibet House. In 1992, they initiated their old Tibet photo archive when they received through donation the photographic collection and journal writings of missionary Marion Grant Griebenow Sr. Also since 1992, they’ve been collecting and hold- ing in trust donated art and cultural artifacts with the hope that they’ll one day be able to give them to a national museum in an autonomous Tibet. This growing repatriation collection contains more than six hundred items dating from the thirteenth to the twentieth centuries. Various pieces are displayed at Tibet House and are also available for travel- ing exhibitions. Tibet House’s exhibitions are not limited to Tibetan antiquities. They also show work by non-Tibetan artists dealing with Tibetan themes, as well as all stripes of modern Tibetan artists. Some contemporary Tibetans create (topANDLEFt)SArAKruLwich,MArtiNBrADiNg©2006 ➤ www.dharmacrafts.com 800.794.9862 Buddhadharma readers please use keycode: BDA meditation cushions incense bells & gongs statues contemplative garden home furnishings jewelry & gifts DharmaCraf ts THE CATALOG OF MEDITATION SUPPLIES since 1979