Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Note to Publishers

Something was bothering me all weekend.

It came to me that we have all sorts of beautiful books of commentary. Yet, the real treasures are typically consigned to dog-eared, xeroxed pages. Look around your house. Look at your practice texts: stapled in the corners, or cheaply wire-bound -- in many cases the Tibetan is handwritten -- yet, these are the texts you use every day. These are the texts that actually give you something. When OENAB finally grows up ("OENAB" = Obnoxiously Ethnocentric North American Buddhism), the practice texts should be the golden nuggets that have actually endured (well, one can only hope).

With few exceptions, most of our sadhanas and liturgical texts are ephemeral, whereas the supporting commentaries (and commentaries on the commentaries) evince generous production values.

Seems like it should be the other way around.

Through the years, there have been a few attempts to produce Buddhist "prayer books," and so forth, but not to the degree that one might expect. I think this is a useful area to develop, and I hope that the publishers who visit here (frequently -- although they're too chicken to admit it) will take the cue.

Speaking personally, I'd like to see a whole series. Start with Mipham's Shower of Blessings, pocket-sized, sewn to lay flat, with a stain-resistant cover. Visit here (and here) for inspiration, and then do it proud.

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1 reader comments:

Fishy said...

I was gifted a copy of this marvelous tome when visiting Geshe Loden's 'Peaceful Land of Joy' near Melbourne a couple of years ago.
I'd never before seen anything like it and haven't since but I think this is the sort of thing you were suggesting:
Prayers for the Path of Indivisible Great Bliss and Emptiness