|Library of Mind, Sound & Body|
A library contains the world in so far as it contains all information on the world. All libraries, digital or physical, contain information specific to their specialization. The capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu, has over a hundred thousand people and is growing at 12%. Its people are starved by lack of a library. There is a town library with a holding of about a 1000 novels and a Buddhist scriptural archive, with a collection of religious texts in choskad, the classical Tibetan writing, call the National Library. The capital city has otherwise no place for intellectual sustenance.
The title of the library – the Library of Mind, Body and Sound – resonates a typical Himalayan concept of the actions of human beings who express them through their mind, body and sound. Human beings manifest themselves through mental, physical and auditory mediums. But they may not manifest in a way that promotes wellbeing and happiness. That will require an appropriate set of facilities, knowledge and skills among the population and policies of the Bhutanese government and society.
Successive elected governments of Bhutan has demonstrated their commitments to follow GNH in their programmes and policies, as evidenced increasingly in the National Five Year Plans. The findings of GNH survey conducted by the CBS&GNH at regular intervals serve to benchmark its national goals.
Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay has further demonstrated the government’s commitment to GNH, not only for Bhutan but for other nations who wish to emulate GNH, by building the Library of Mind, Body and Sound. But the government has not provided budget for internal equipment and other installations. The construction of six-storied landmark building with a footprint area of 29,000 feet and going up to six floors has reached halfway and will be completed by June 2018. It is one of the largest buildings in Thimphu, and is aimed at becoming the hub of knowledge, practices and training to transform the city’s population and its future generations in acquiring knowledge and skills about mind, body and sound towards happiness and wellbeing.
The Library of Mind, Body and Sound of Bhutan will specialize in digital and book-based library services and regular programs of exhibitions, lectures, research, shows, performances, exercises, singing, liturgy of voice, dance, yoga, tsa lung trulkhor, meditations and other skill building in these three domains for happiness and wellbeing that arises from the interrelation and intersection of body, mind and sound.
Of the six floors, the first floor will be devoted to the body and its improvements for wellbeing. The second floor will house the library of sound and activities centred on the sound and its absence: silence. The role of silence, music, vocalizations, infra and ultra sound in wellbeing and happiness will be experienced as much as noise pollution in undermining human happiness and health. The third and the fourth floor will be housing the general library of mind and the space for running activities in improving mentalization, visualization, imaginations and meditations.
By Dasho Karma Ura, President of the Centre for Bhutan Studies & GNH.