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Bhavana Society’s Library Mission Statement


  1. To support Bhante Gunaratana in his endeavors
  2. To educate Bhavana Society monastics and lay residents (to the extent this can be accomplished by books)
    1. In the Theravada understanding of Vinaya, Dhamma and Abhidhamma
    2. In meditation or mental development
    3. In the perspective of outsiders - historians, philosophers, and others who sometimes can help us see the Theravada more accurately.
    4. In the realities of how Buddhism is actually understood and practiced in the world.
    5. In the generic skills of a religious professional/spiritual teacher
    6. In the beliefs and practices of other Buddhist denominations, other religions, and the "one Dhamma" school - to the extent that interfaith and interdenominational dialogue is beneficial
  3. For use in the Advanced Teachers Training courses
  4. For the edification of general visitors to the Bhavana Society
  5. To be a resource for friends of the Bhavana Society—monastic or lay scholars and Dhamma teachers—who may visit the Bhavana Society for the purpose of study

As a result of this mission, the priorities for acquiring and keeping books are:

  1. Highest Priority, aiming for a complete, comprehensive collection
    1. The Pāli Canon and its ancient and modern commentaries
    2. The Pāli language
    3. Dhamma discourses by reliable Theravada teachers
    4. Pāli Vinaya and modern commentary on it
    5. Handbooks of Abhidhamma
    6. Writings of Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
  2. Medium Priority.  Books which are relevant to Theravada and helpful to our training, but do not have exclusively Theravada contents or point of view.  Here we are interested in acquiring the mature writings of highly accomplished scholars, thinkers and teachers.  The books have to have some substantial connection with the Theravada. We specifically do not need to acquire Ph.D. theses, nor popularized and watered down treatments of these topics.
    1. Meditation
    2. History
    3. Psychology, medicine, science
    4. Ethics, consumerism, environmental issues
    5. War and peace
    6. Children's books
    7. Parenting and family life
    8. Monastic discipline and monastic life
    9. Biography and memoirs
  3. Medium Priority.  Books on the general skills of a religious professional, which meet an actual need of Bhavana Society residents
    1. Way of Circle, nonviolent communication,
    2. Effective speaking and writing,
    3. Pastoral counseling,
    4. Yoga, tai chi
  4. Low Priority: In this category we would accept donated books and keep them on the shelves as space permits. In pruning these sections we would keep the books which are helpful to Bhante Gunaratana and the Bhavana Society residents
    1. Mahayana and Vajrayana Dhamma teachings
    2. Other religions
    3. Books in non-English languages (except Pāli and translations of Bhante Gunaratana's writing)

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