Shambhala: Boston, 1994.
430 pp., $18.00 (paper).
Compiled by the Orient Foundation, which since 1982 has been working to consolidate an international resource guide to Tibetan culture, this book is excellent for anyone interested in finding out where to study, what to study, and with whom to study just about any aspect of Tibetan culture. The Handbook synopsizes the five major Tibetan cultural traditions (including Bon) and includes a section of brief biographies of prominent lamas and rinpoches. Its bulk, however, is devoted to country-by-country listings of names, addresses, and contacts at academic and cultural organizations, medical institutions, monasteries, nunneries, museums, journals, publishing companies, and other Tibetan cultural organizations throughout the world. Unabashedly exhaustive, the Handbook chronicles Tibetan Buddhist Outposts from the Ulan Bator office of Buddhists for Peace to the Tibetan Computer Company (which produces Tibetan word-processing software) in Boulder, Colorado, to the Polish-Tibetan Friendship Society in Warsaw. While the Do-Ngag Zungjug Ling Retreat Center in Paros, Greece may surprise some, it is listings within the United States that are the most extensive in the book. Tibetan art collections, museum pieces, and manuscripts from public and private galleries and organizations have been catalogued from across the country, and a list of eighty-two teaching centers includes contacts, addresses, and center affiliations. The book’s coup de grace is a 143-page glossary of Tibetan, Buddhist, and Sanskrit terms, each accompanied by Tibetan script and English phoneticization.