Every kind of work can be a pleasure. Even simple household tasks can be an opportunity to exercise and expand our caring, our effectiveness, our responsiveness. As we respond with caring and vision to all work, we develop our capacity to respond fully to all of life. Every action generates positive energy which can be shared with others. These qualities of caring and responsiveness are the greatest gift we can offer.
Founded by the Tibetan Buddhist master Tarthang Tulku shortly after he arrived in the US in 1969, the Tibetan Aid Project, or TAP, is a widely respected, all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which seeks to rebuild, preserve, strengthen, and perpetuate the cultural and spiritual heritage of Tibet.
As a result of the Communist invasion and occupation of Tibet that began in the 1950s which continues to this day, many lives have been lost and Tibet’s unique spiritual and cultural identity itself has been put in jeopardy. In the early years of the organization, Tarthang Tulku and the Tibetan Aid Project’s efforts were focused on one basic need: survival. Through the implementation of a successful and far-reaching “Pen Friend Program,” TAP was able to provide many Tibetan refugees in dire need with food, clothing, medicine, and supplies.
In the 80s the scope of TAP’s work expanded as they joined the ranks of the many great organizations that seek not only to preserve, but to also advance Tibetan culture. Currently, the Tibetan Aid Project’s primary emphasis is on providing funding for the production, shipment, and distribution of practice materials such as sacred texts, art, and prayer wheels to individuals and organizations in the Himalayas. Their work also includes the sponsorship of Buddhist ceremonies, providing financial support for monastic centers, lamas, monks, nuns, and lay people, and the promotion of awareness of Tibet’s heritage in the West through publications, presentations, exhibits, and the production and sale of culturally significant items.
On June 1st TAP will be hosting their 6th annual Taste & Tribute Benefit Gala in New York, an “intimate evening of fabulous food, fine wine and an exciting live auction.” Their 11th annual Taste & Tribute Benefit in San Franciso will take place on November 18th.
The Guiding Principles of the Tibetan Aid Project:
Tibetan Aid Project’s staff and Board members are committed to the values articulated in our guiding principles:
* We value Tibet’s ancient tradition of meditative insight into the potential of human consciousness, passed down from teacher to student as a living lineage for more than twelve centuries.
* We respect the knowledge that Tibet can offer the world as a means to secure peace on Earth and honor the worth of all beings.
* We apply in our work the practice of skillful means, making work a means of deep satisfaction and inner growth.
* We strive to practice generosity, ethical conduct, patience, intensity of effort, focus, and wisdom in our work and in our interactions.
* We focus to meet the most urgent needs of the Tibetan people and maximize the value of each donor’s contribution.
* We support the education of young Tibetans, mindful that the next generation will determine the future of this great civilization.
* We collaborate with a network of nonprofit Buddhist organizations, each working in its own way to preserve the heritage of Tibet.
* We donate our services as individuals, so that funds can go directly to programs that benefit Tibetans, enabling them to share their wisdom and compassion worldwide.
To learn more about the Tibetan Aid Project and ways to support their work, please visit their website here.
From the TAP Video Gallery:
Gift of Compassion
Preserving the Living Legacy of Tibet
Photo: Prayer Flags. ©Greg Hale via the TAP Photo Gallery
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