Do you remember how you first learned about Zen? You might have heard about it from a friend, or maybe you saw a reference to it in a television show or movie, but if you're like me, you really learned more about it from one or more of the great Zen books you discovered.
To help other people discover Zen, our mission is very simple: We want to make classic Zen literature freely available so other people can discover Zen, just like we did.
We've intentionally streamlined our mission to keep our business very simple: We want to put classic Zen literature in places where people can easily discover them. We think that if people see the books in friendly environments -- schools, libraries, healthcare facilities, and eventually other locations like motels, hotels, and B&Bs -- they'll be drawn to pick them up and explore them, just as we did.
As you can imagine, our primary business process looks like this:
By keeping our mission simple, not only is it easy to explain, it's easy to execute. We believe that the easier it is to execute, the more we'll be able to keep costs down, and turn more donations into more books.
While our mission is simple, the numbers are very large:
- Over 98,000 public schools
- Over 9,000 public libraries, and 12,000 types of "other" libraries
- Over 5,000 hospitals
- Over 16,000 nursing homes
If we send four books to each of these facilities, that's 560,000 Zen books we need to ship(!). Even if we could somehow buy and ship every book for only $10, we'd need $5,600,000 just to accomplish this task. (And this doesn't even include shipping books to motels, hotels, B&B's, or other locations. So while our task is "simple", it's also big.
why this mission?
If you've practiced Zen meditation, you know that it changes you. You become calmer, more peaceful, more aware of your actions and the actions of others. You become more respectful of others. I like to think that if the world was a more peaceful place, the billions (trillions?) of dollars our nations spend on military activities can be spent on other things. Beyond that, a world that is more peaceful, polite, and aware really sounds like a wonderful place. Imagine having someone as kind and compassionate as the Dalai Lama as your neighbor!
Please join in our mission to help more people discover Zen, and as a friend of mine likes to say, help “change the consciousness of the world.”