Meditation Cushions Connect Lancaster to Tibet
Jan 26, 2017 12:14AM
For years, Sangha, which generally means “community” in Sanskrit, was a fair-trade store in Washington, D.C. and Takoma Park, Maryland. After closing in 2007, Project Founder Jennifer Carter continued to collaborate with the sewing cooperative in Tibet on products that inspire peace, taking time to ensure that all artisans were paid at least 500 percent above existing unsustainable wages, and that a small percentage be set aside for often urgent community concerns.
In the case of Llagang, Tibet, trash was dumped into the local river—a river that has no name. Putting together the infrastructure for proper trash-hauling now generates income and cleans up their river, which has the potential of replacing their need to purchase imported water.
Fair-trade initiatives seek to restore indigenous communities through the preservation of cultural arts and a focus on local economies. One of the first products that launched this project was the Sangha Peace Cushion, modeled after the traditional zafu in ancient Indian meditation practice. With Western culture’s ever-increasing interest in a more contemplative lifestyle, the Sangha Peace Project vision expands to include both the makers and the purchasers in the movement toward peace.
The Tibetan Cushions are handmade from brocade, a textile used in Buddhist monasteries, and sourced from the Silk Road. They are stuffed with organic buckwheat hulls from New York State. They are available locally at Radiance and Lemon Street Market, both in Lancaster.