Message from our Executive Director, Wangmo Dixey
“Working with great Theravada masters from so many countries over the past eleven years has been an extraordinary experience as we reaffirm our commitment to sit together and chant the Pali Canon at the seat of Enlightenment and the other great sites of pilgrimage. I could not imagine a greater honor than serving the precious Mahasangha in this lifetime. May our collective efforts result in reviving these precious teachings for the benefit of all.”

UPCOMING EVENTS IN THE BAY AREA, CALIFORNIA (USA)

An Evening with Light of the Buddhadharma Foundation International
Saturday, May 13th from 6:30 – 8:30pm
LBDFI Headquarters, 2018 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA

LBDFI is dedicated to revitalizing the ancient Buddhist culture of India. This talk will look at Buddhist India in early times, the disappearance of Buddhism from its homeland, and the situation in India today. The directors, Dr. Richard and Wangmo Dixey, will describe their work over the past ten years to restart the tradition of chanting the teachings of the Buddha in Pali at the great sites of pilgrimage in Northern India. They will also discuss improving the amenities at those sites, distributing books, initiating programs to retrain a new generation of Indian Buddhist monks, as well as the importance of Buddhism as a unifying element in the cultures of South East Asia, India and China. Proceeds will be matched and support the purchase of new tents/equipment for ceremonies.

Click here to register for the event!

Two Dharma talks given by Venerable Ananda from the Mahabodhi Society of Bangalore
Friday, May 19th and Saturday, May 20th, starting at 6:30pm
LBDFI Headquarters, 2018 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA

Mangalam Center and LBDFI are pleased to announce two Dharma talks by Venerable Ananda Bhante. Born in North Karnataka in 1967, Venerable Bhikkhu Ananda took ordination as a Buddhist monk under the Most Venerable Acharya Buddharakkhita, one of the foremost Buddhist scholars in the world and the founder of the Maha Bodhi Society, Bangalore. Venerable Ananda is the General Secretary of Maha Bodhi Society, Bangalore and is one of the main teachers at the Mahabodhi Monastic Institute, the largest Theravada monastic school in India.

On Friday, May 19th Venerable Ananda will discuss the Early Disciples of the Buddha. On Saturday, May 20th,  he will give an overview of the Buddhadharma in India from the time of the Buddha to the current period. The conditions of the Buddhadharma especially with respect to the Sangha and the various groups within India will be discussed. Both Dharma talks are open to the public and all are welcome.

We welcome you to join us for the 4th International Tipitaka Chanting Program, Berkeley California 

We invite you to attend our 4th International Tipitaka chanting at our headquarters in Berkeley, California which is set for September 22nd, 23rd, and 24th 2017.

This year we are looking for accommodation for the visiting monastics who are coming to this ceremony. If you have local accommodation available, please contact us at admin@lbdfi.org. 

ACTIVITIES IN INDIA IN 2017, LAND OF ARYADESHA

Over the past eleven years, LBDFI has been working to develop its historic mission, that of revitalizing the Buddhist culture of India. Central to this effort has been the program of restoring the tradition of reciting the words of the Buddha from the Pali Canon under the most sacred Bodhi Tree in Bodhgaya.

Now, LBDFI has built on this ceremony by initiating the Dharma Training Wheel, in which chanting ceremonies are also held in the eight great pilgrimage sites ofSarnath, New Delhi, Sankisa, Kushnigara, Sravasti, Vaishali, Rajgir, and Orissa.Monks and pilgrims attracted to these events are supported to come to Bodhgaya, where conferences on the Vinaya and the training of monks are held, along with the full chanting of the monks rule, the Prātimokṣa.

Here is a calendar of our annual program events in India, Aryadesha:

To view the flyer for each chanting ceremony please click on the names of the holy sites that follow:  Sarnath, New Delhi, Sankisa, Sravasti, Kushnigara, Vaisali,Bodhgaya, Rajgir, and Orissa.

Registration information can also be found on the LBDFI website

Working on the sites of pilgrimage
LBDFI has carried out programs of renovation at the sites of Buddhist pilgrimage in India. This year the final phase in the completion of the Tapovan garden project at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya is underway, with a full planting program to take place this autumn to complete the meditation garden on the Southernmost quadrant of the main temple complex. A full set of Prajnaparamita plaques in marble have been mounted on the garden walls, and a second set of the life story of the Buddha are being mounted beside the Dhanakosa lake to create a unique mediation walkway.

Distribution of Dharma books
The Dharma Training Wheel creates unique opportunities to distribute Dharma books in the heartland of the Buddhadharma. In collaboration with the the Corporate Body of the Buddha Educational Foundation, LBDFI distributed:

  • 3,000 copies of the Dhammapada in English,
  • 1,000 copies of Dhammapada in Hindi
  • 5,000 copies of a book of daily prayers in English and Hindi
  • 5,200 copies of sections of Pali Tipitaka in eight different scripts (Thai, English, Sinhalese, Khmer, Burmese, Devanagari, Vietnamese, Bengali)
Total: 14,200 books
BRINGING ALL THREE YANAS TO THE MOTHERLAND OF INDIA:
A SACRED JOURNEY IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE BUDDHA PILGRIMAGE
DECEMBER 10
th to 22nd, 2017

 
This extraordinary pilgrimage centers around the thirteenth international Tipitaka chanting ceremony in Bodhgaya, the first Mahayana chanting ceremony in Rajgir and finally an optional first chanting to take place at the ancient sites of Udagiri and Ratnagiri in Orissa. By joining together on this sacred pilgrimage, we have a chance to walk directly in the footsteps of the Blessed One where these great sutras were recited according to each vehicle, strengthening our resolve as a Buddhist family to reconnect to our lineage. We hope that these ceremonies and dharma talks will inspire others to come forward and see the great merit in offering our collective service to strengthening the Buddhadharma in its Motherland as well as in our heartland of the United States of America where so many Buddhist temples are located. If you are interested in joining our pilgrimage, please reach out to us soon! This is a rare and precious opportunity to be seated at the sites where the Blessed One walked and taught and to heard the sounds of the Dharma resounding in the lands of the Aryadesh. Here is a video of our most recent pilgrimage: https://vimeo.com/205319607
 

To learn more about the pilgrimage and
find out about how to register, click here.
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS:  1st MAHAYANA CHANTING PROGRAM
TO BE HELD AT VULTURE PEAK, RAJGIR, AND NALANDA

It is a great honor to begin the first International Mahayana Chanting program to be held from December 11th-17th, 2017 at the sacred site of Vulture Peak, Rajgir and Nalanda. Indeed, it is truly magnificent to imagine the Mahasangha from China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea and Japan returning back to their roots to recite the precious sutras authentic to the Mahayana tradition. We will begin the chanting on the opening day at the top of Vulture Peak on December 14th  and continue the next day at the Rajgir Convention Hall. We will also be holding Dharma talks by Mahayana elders on the grounds of Nalanda and concluding the event with a blessing at the Xuanzang memorial at the Nalanda Mahavihara. Please see our link: http://lbdfi.org/pilgrim-tours/2017-pilgrimage/

The Mahayana Chanting Program flyer is also available in the following languages: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Hindi.

THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF THE BUDDHIST ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA (IBAA) 

The mission of the International Buddhist Association of America is to promote, preserve and protect Buddhism within the United States of America and abroad, in collaboration with all branches (yanas), for the benefit of all beings. The IBAA will act as a voice for all American Buddhists in the nation’s capital of Washington DC.

The board members of IBAA represent all Buddhist traditions. At the recent meeting in Maryland, USA at the Buddhist Vihara of Venerable Uparatana, it was resolved that the Association would concentrate on the following six activities for the calendar year of 2017-18:

  1. Formation of an outreach committee to celebrate Vesak at the White House: May 2018 (Spring initiative)
  2. Formation of a diplomatic committee to contact Ambassadors of all Buddhist countries in America
  3. Formation of an International Consortium for Buddhist Pilgrimage from USA
  4. Support for the International Tipitaka Chanting Ceremonies in Bodhgaya and the 1st International Mahayana Chanting Program at Vulture Peak and Nalanda.
  5. Planning for the International Tipitaka Chanting Ceremonies -West and East Coast of USA this Fall and Spring.
  6. Formation of an educational committee to develop a book with all three yanas that can be distributed and offered to schools as a free resource. 

FROM THE METTA SUTTA

May all beings be happy and secure; may their minds be contented. Whatever living beings there may be – feeble or strong, long (or tall), stout, or medium, short, small, or large, seen or unseen, those dwelling far or near, those who are born and those who are yet to be born – may all beings, without exception, be happy minded!
(Suttanipata, I. 8)

OUR 2016 FINANCIAL REPORT
MESSAGE FROM OUR CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER LINDA COPENHAGEN

Over the last eleven years LBDFI has invested $2,625,731 to accomplish the four elements of its mission to revitalize the Buddhadharma in the land of its origin.  I am happy to present a summary of the resources we generated in 2016 and how they were applied.The primary funding source for our activities is a core grant from the Mangalam Light Foundation under patronage of Venerable Tarthang Tulku which provides the continuity that allows our work to happen.  In addition to this core grant, over the years we have received an increasing number of offerings from the countries who participate in the Bodhgaya ceremony, in particular to support the food offering and the facilities required to offer food to very large numbers of participants.  In 2016 we also received a five year grant from the Khyentse Foundation to help us build the Dharma Training Wheel and monastic education training programs. The makeup of our income is outlined in the chart below.

In order to analyze funding per project, the chart below shows how our spending in 2016 was allocated to individual elements with our mission. The majority of our spending went to support the Tipitaka chanting ceremonies, which were held in Bodhgaya, Sankasya, Kushnigar and New Delhi in India and in Berkeley, California in the United States. We also undertook a special project to offer tents, food and blankets for earthquake relief in Nepal, using our network of monastic contacts to deliver aid. Thousands of Dharma books were also distributed, and a monastic conference on the training of monks was held in Bodhgaya.

*LBDFI is a completely run volunteer organization
with its headquarters in Berkeley, California.
Please find below for reference a chart showing the number of participants participating in the ceremony from 2006-2016:

WAYS YOU CAN HELP
FOR EVERY DOLLAR, WE WILL MATCH YOUR DONATION

OUR IMPACT AND YOUR MATCHING GRANT

As we move forward in this historical mission, we are calling on like-minded individuals to share it with us. Matching grants are available for all of our projects, and we hope to expand our activities through your support. We firmly believe that by nurturing the roots of the great wisdom culture of the Buddhadharma, its branches, like those of the Bodhi Tree itself, will spread offering refuge and benefit to all sentient beings. We have also worked on the historical UNESCO site of the Mahabodhi Mahavihara and will continue to make effort towards the beautification and clean up of this area. Our strong network and excellent relationships with local government allows us to get projects done.

INTERNATIONAL TIPITAKA CHANTING PROGRAM
Our series of Chanting programs creates a Dharma Training Wheel in all Sacred Sites of the Blessed One. These gatherings create a community of blessings that radiate out from all sacred Sites of the Buddha, creating the virtuous conditions for the Dharma to arise in the Motherland of India, offering opportunities for the training of monks and venues for distribution of Dharma books.

ARYA SANGHA TRAINING PROGRAM
LBDFI has now initiated a nine year training program for Indian monks. Candidate monks will be sponsored to spend three years in training centers in Thailand (Vinaya training), Sri Lanka (Sutta Training) and Myanmar (Abhidamma and Meditation training). Every year five monks will be enrolled into this program, and be sponsored to fly to the respective countries, spending nine months in training and three months returning to India to their home viharas. It is hoped over the course of twenty five years 100 monks can be trained in this fashion, and create a sangha of highly trained monks who will start their own training facilities in India. We have identified our first four candidates and will be sending them to Sri Lanka this summer. 

REVIVING THE SACRED JETHIAN VALLEY 
By creating a home for the Arya Sangha Training Program, we will be able to offer a place for meditation and training for our Indian bhikkhus. We have the land, but we are looking for special friends in Dharma to lay the foundation of a future home. 

COMPLETING THE TAPOVAN GARDENS AT THE MAHABODHI MAHAVIHARA
LBDFI is working to complete the landscaping of a major portion of the World Heritage Temple grounds, and is working with award winning landscape designers to create a meditation garden that overlooks the main Temple itself. This is an ongoing program for all those who love beauty. 

CREATING A DOCUMENTARY FILM, Evam me sutaṃ
We are seeking funding a short film which will document the ancient sites associated with the Blessed One along with the significance of the Mahasangha, with attention to the oral tradition of the Theravada. Production to begin Spring 2017-2018

OFFERINGS
You may donate to our online system by clicking on the following link: http://lbdfi.org/partnerships/support-our-work/

When you make a contribution, please consider dedicating the merit, primarily to the revitalization of the Buddhadharma throughout India, and also to whatever you wish for personally, such as the health of a loved one or a cause that you care about.
WE ARE COMPLETELY A VOLUNTEER BASED ORGANIZATION 
If you would like to help in any way,
please feel free to contact us at lbdfiorg@gmail.com

WWW.LBDFI.ORG