A warm hello to all of you! I started DharmaCrafts as a way to pass on the gifts I received from my teacher, Zen Master Seung Sahn. He taught me the practice of meditation, gave me a Great Question—What am I?—And, he gave me the aspiration to attain my true self and help others. Since 1979, the mission of DharmaCrafts has been to provide the dharma community with teaching and products to support spiritual practice and inspire everyday life.
The DharmaCrafts Story
DharmaCrafts began as a fantasy of right livelihood on a long solo meditation retreat on an island off the coast of Maine. I was a young student of Zen Master Seung Sahn's and I had gone off to look deeply into some of the fundamental questions that human beings ask themselves. Upon returning home to the Cambridge Zen Center, I spent $10 for fabric and stitched up some meditation pants to sell. Never did I imagine, as I nailed the first DharmaCrafts flyer to a pole in Harvard Square, that I would spend the next three decades reluctantly scrambling to acquire the necessary business skills and savvy required of a catalog executive.
So much has changed since the early years when I stuffed each zafu myself and faithfully recorded every sale by hand in a red ledger. The dharma has proliferated throughout America. Meditation has now become a household word. And DharmaCrafts has grown from a tiny mind seed into a thriving business. But the original vision of DharmaCrafts has remained the same. We are dedicated to serving as a vehicle for the transmission of the dharma by offering the very best teaching materials related to Buddhist practice.
Top: DharmaCrafts' staff photo, 2009.
Bottom Right: His Holiness the Dalai Lama sitting on very large cushion made by DharmaCrafts! This photo fills us happiness and gratitude. We're so happy and grateful to make cushions for you every day since 1979.
Bottom Left: Flor, DharmaCrafts' amazing production manager and Dyan, DharmaCrafts' beloved founder & president, with the custom-made, 40 lb seat cushion used by His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his 2013 visit to Louisville, Kentucky.
Learn more about his visit http://bit.ly/14o53v1.
Our Commitment to the Environment — Revised, June 2013
DharmaCrafts is committed to being a responsible retailer and a conscious steward of the earth. And, we make every attempt to work with vendors and artisans who share our values.
Although we're just a small company of 6 to 8 people, we feel strongly that we can (and must!) be the difference that we want to make in the world. Read about our "common sense" approach to saving resources and recycling in the office.
We continually look for new ways to recycle, to save energy, and to use environmentally safe products to protect the earth and the health of our employees. For example:
Our print catalog is printed on paper from forests managed for sustainability. And, we use the lightest weight paper (60 lb for the cover and 38 lb for the body) that still allows the catalog to arrive in your home in one piece!
- In our offices we use 30% recycled copy and printer paper.
- We make an effort to use double-sided copies whenever possible.
- We recycle all printer cartridges.
- We only use lights when needed and only in areas where we're working at the time.
- Your orders are packed using recycled brown craft paper and biodegradable cornstarch "peanuts."
- We reuse packing materials (including boxes) that we receive. So, you may find Styrofoam peanuts mixed in with our biodegradable cornstarch "peanuts."
- We use only the necessary amount of packing for each order to insure that it arrives to you in perfect condition, without wasting resources.
- We recycle all paper and corrugated materials (including shipping materials) as well as bottles, cans, plastics.
Meditation Cushion Production
- We donate fabric remnants to local organizations - most recently a technical high school in Lawrence, MA.
- We recycle (via our supplier) the wire, burlap packaging, and scraps from the bales of cotton batting that are used to make your zabutons.
- We now offer a full line of "Eco" and "organic" meditation cushions made on our premises in Lawrence, MA. Learn more about our eco and organic zafus and zabutons.
- The buckwheat hulls and kapok used in our zafus and support cushions are natural and require very little (if any) pesticides when grown and harvested.
- We offer a constantly growing line of products made from sustainable materials like bamboo and kiri wood (fast-growing, highly sustainable, and eco-friendly timber that is cultivated in Southeast Asia).
Our Office Environment
We take a common sense approach:
- Use natural lighting in our offices whenever possible; use energy efficient light-bulbs when artificial lighting is needed as well as motion-detecting lighting
- Set the heat/air conditioning to perform at maximum efficiency
- Caulk our windows
- Use the sun's heat through our windows to warm us whenever possible
- Turn off/use the auto-off function on printers, copiers, monitors
- Recycle toner cartridges
Small Steps Add Up (DharmaCrafts Employees Pitch In)
- I cut scrap paper into fours to use instead of notepads. --Lori (Customer Service)
- We reuse small boxes as organizing bins on our warehouse shelves. --Chris (Warehouse)
- It may seem obvious, but I encourage people to set their thermostats at a reasonable, regulated temperature, so our heating and cooling systems don't have to "catch up" in the morning when we arrive. --John (Warehouse)
Little things really do make a difference!
Learn More About Protecting the Environment — at Work
How You Can Help