A word from Rudy Demo, co-founder of The Dharma Store:
The-dharma-store.com is a retail platform selling ethical material to meditators, Dharma centres and therapists in Europe. Through our platform, we want to create a 'Virtuous Circle' in which special attention is given to ethical relationships between ourselves selling meditation and ritual objects, the artisans who produce them, the practitioners who use them and the Buddhist centres.
With this motivation in mind, and also because we know ROKPA since 20+ years, here are the activities we are already doing:
Propose material purchased with an ethical motivation:
From associations like ROKPA with humanitarian and social goals: for example, we buy part of our cushion stock from ROKPA Women Workshop in Kathmandu. These workshops help women with children, rejected by their husbands and families, teach them a job and reintegrate them socially by giving them a skilled job.
At Buddhist centres: a number of our excellent incenses are traditionally elaborated in monasteries. For example, the monastery of Shechen.
Help preserve traditional quality craftsmanship:
Whether for musical instruments, ritual objects, incense, therapeutic objects, paintings, etc. we always favour craftsmen who have been active for several generations and follow a traditional line of transmission. For example, our paintings are executed by craftsmen who have been trained at the Norbulingka Institute (Dharamshala), which has been working for decades on the preservation of classical Tibetan Buddhist crafts (paintings, sculptures, appliqué, etc.)
Create a customer interaction / craftsman:
The craftsmen we encountered are capable, experienced and very ingenious. Life has made so that they live and work in India and Nepal, relatively poor countries according to the criteria of the World Bank while we live in Europe in more cosy environments. At TDS, we believe that it is possible through the platform to link the best of both worlds and improve the lives of these people in various ways by feeding ideas and suggestions so they can adapt their crafts to the European market.