A History of A Buddhist Library, and A Statement of Purpose

I did not originally set out to compile and upload such a range of teachings.  If I had thought of doing this from the beginning I probably would never have started!

In January of 2000 I bought a computer and started browsing Buddhist websites on the internet.  I began slowly, downloading whatever I found useful.

Years ago I had the opportunity to study the different Buddhist and World Religions, and so I began to search, by keyword, the authors and teachings I remembered.  Soon I had enough so that I wanted to back up this material, in case I would have had any problems with the computer.

I organized the files and burned them onto a disc with the title ‘A Buddhist Library’.  The first version had a little over a hundred books on it.

As this project grew, I thought a few of my friends might like to have a copy.  From that point on (about 2002) I made a conscious decision to look for useful teachings and add them to this collection. 

In 2003 I started mailing this Data Cd to people and organizations around the world I thought might benefit from it.  At this point I also started to think of placing all of this material, organized in this way, back on the internet.

My thinking has been that, 1: Some of this material is no longer available on the internet, and I’d like it to continue to be out there for everyone; and 2: it’s good to have all this together in one place.  People familiar with one subject or teacher can find more, related material in that section, and can also find material that is new to them.  Hopefully people will find this useful for their own study and practice.

Over the years I’ve added some of my own transcripts of talks (made years ago and saved, previously, on ‘floppy-discs’ – remember those?).  I’ve also included my notes, in some cases long excerpts from books I’ve found most helpful over the years.

Being something of a ‘Dharma-gypsy’ has allowed me to learn from many traditions, and many teachers.  This has been a wonderful experience, a great blessing.  At the same time, I’ve noticed that a lot of the criticism of other traditions I’ve heard has been uninformed criticism.  Perhaps now with the internet, and the broad study of traditions, the prejudice and misconceptions that people have can gradually be removed.

With this site therefore, we intend: to offer beneficial teachings, and to promote mutual understanding and respect between the different Buddhist and World Traditions.

For me, one of the purposes of religious teachings in general, and Buddhism in particular is to help people to understand and to solve problems. In response to the great needs and sufferings of this world, my motivation with the data cd and this website is simply to promote the most helpful, healing, and encouraging teachings I can find.  I hope to do this for as long as I can.