The Tibetans living in exile today in India, Nepal, and in the West are engaged in a struggle to preserve their culture and identity as China’s repressive policies inside Tibet continues. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has publicly stated that China’s current policies in Tibet constitute cultural genocide.
TANC’s Arts & Culture and the Tibetan School programs represents a small and local effort to stem the erosion of Tibetan culture. However, our efforts would not be complete if we didn’t complement these programs with one that preserves and educates our younger community members and the general public about Tibet’s unique Buddhist heritage and Buddhist values. Buddhism has exerted a particularly strong influence on Tibetan culture since its introduction in the 7th Century. Tibetan language, art, literature, and music all contain elements of Buddhist religion. We are fortunate to have many experienced elders and learned teachers in Northern California, either residing here or visiting, who can transfer the extraordinary learning and wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism accumulated over centuries to the next generation.
TANC’s Heritage Preservation program seeks to build a deeper understanding and appreciation of Buddhist values. Our activities and classes emphasize Buddhist values of non-violence, wisdom, mindfulness, the importance of learning from your mistakes, of taking responsibility for your own actions, and cultivating compassion. This is a new program area which we hope to gradually ramp up once we have our own facility. Activities planned include meditation classes, teachings, workshops, seminars, etc. Programs and activities will be open to everyone. Current and prospective partners include: Dharmata Foundation, Ewam Choden Tibetan Buddhist Center, Gyuto Vajrayana Center, Nechung Buddhist Center, and Interntional Buddhist Film Festival.