Structure of the Foundation
The Foundation is a charitable organisation based on international collaboration, initially consisting of Yongdzin Lopön Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche as honorary member and Dmitry Ermakov and Carol Ermakova as founding members.
Proceeds from all materials produced by the Foundation, such as books, documentaries, videos, practice manuals, are reinvested into the Foundation.
Objectives of the Foundation
The Foundation seeks to preserve the rich knowledge encapsulated in the Yungdrung Bön tradition for the benefit of all peoples the world over.
Its charitable activities take a two-pronged approach:
– ensuring the teachings of Yungdrung Bön are preserved in the West;
– ensuring the teachings of Yungdrung Bön are preserved in situ.
The Foundation implements its aims through the following broad charitable activities:
1. Translation of key texts and production of books and other educational study materials
2. Transcription of teaching seminars given in English by erudite, bona-fide teachers
3. Facilitation of practical seminars and retreats
4. Creation of an archive containing both digital and physical records. This shall be made available to the international academic community.
5. Facilitation of research into all aspects of Bön, Zhang Zhung and other geographical areas where Bön is or was practised
6. Education, including Tibetan language courses and seminars covering the art, medicine, astrology and other aspects of the Yungdrung Bön tradition
7. Support of institutions and individuals pertaining to the Yungdrung Bön religion in situ, largely through education; the world is changing and modern skills are needed to survive in modern times and to ensure this ancient tradition is preserved on an international level. The Foundation shall therefore actively seek funds to invest into the education of teachers, including English language and IT courses. It shall also support traditional skills such as religious art, medicine etc.
With the support and blessings of Yongdzin Lopön Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, Foundation for the Preservation of Yungdrung Bön was founded in July, 2012 by Carol Ermakova and Dmitry Ermakov. The organisation was officially registered as a UK Charity in July 2017. We are delighted to have Yongdzin Rinpoche is our Honorary Member.
Photo by Largen Lama.
Since leaving Tibet during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Yongdzin Rinpoche has devoted his whole life to preserving his lineage for future generations, and an important aspect of this is publishing books. His first mission in exile was to collect the scattered copies of the Bön Kanjur and Katen which had either been miraculously smuggled out of Tibet or had survived in ancient Bön temples in Nepal. Yongdzin Rinpoche’s aim was to gather and reprint the necessary texts to re-establish the Geshe training programme in exile, and it is thanks to his tireless efforts that many contemporary Bönpo lamas now have the knowledge and qualifications to teach.
Here in the West, we are very fortunate. We can simply browse the internet or look in a bookstore to find many books on Buddhism, and even a few on Bön. However, authentic translations by erudite masters are very rare indeed, so it is our joint responsibility to do all we can to ensure the teachings of great master, Yongdzin Rinpoche and other erudite Bönpo lamas, are recorded intact, seriously and respectfully, not only as study and practice aids for ourselves, but also as an invaluable legacy for future generations. As Yongdzin Rinpoche is the current, supreme lineage holder and because many contemporary teachers received teaching and empowerments from him, his teachings and translations are especially precious as they are imbued with the powerful blessings of the living lineage transmission.
For over 20 years, our Founding Members Carol Ermakova and Dmitry Ermakov have been working closely with Yongdzin Rinpoche and other lamas transcribing and editing Bönpo texts. They have recently been joined by a team of translators for Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Russian. All our staff are unpaid volunteers.
As Yongdzin Rinpoche says: ‘Books are my friends.’