BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - Oct 10, 2012) - Sager Family Foundation, founded by Boston philanthropist Bobby Sager, today announced the release of Sager's new book, "Beyond the Robe," published by powerHouse Books. "Beyond the Robe" tells the story of the Science for Monks program and what it reveals about the larger role Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns can play in their monasteries, in their communities, and in the world at large. Science for Monks represents the first time in the 1,500 year history of Tibetan Buddhism that Western science is being taught as part of the monastic curriculum. In conjunction with the book launch, Sager Family Foundation has established a new collaborative program, "Science, Monks and Technology," with the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT.
"'Beyond the Robe' has many fascinating dimensions and makes a critical contribution to Tibet, to Buddhism, and to our world today," said Robert Thurman, professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, president of Tibet House U.S., and president of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies. "The space it opens is the world of the Tibetan Buddhist monastic universities, still thriving in Indian exile. Within that world, we encounter, in beautiful and thought provoking ways, the living tradition of Buddhist monastics, their realms of study, debate, prayer, and meditation, and their living intellectual and experiential encounter with the modern worldview, with its discoveries, technologies, and anxieties."
"Bobby Sager has been not only a most generous and dedicated benefactor of the Science for Monks program since it was launched 12 years ago, but also he is a direct witness to its flourishing," said Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk and Ph.D. in cell genetics who has lived, studied and worked in the Himalayan region for over 40 years. "His testimony and insight are key to an in-depth understanding of this unique encounter between two major traditions of knowledge, Buddhist contemplative science and modern Western science."
A special limited-time collector's edition of "Beyond the Robe" will be available for sale at BeyondtheRobe.org starting October 14; a retail edition of the book will be available in December. All of Sager Family Foundation's proceeds from this book are going to support programs that promote teaching Western science to Tibetan monks and nuns.
"Over the past 12 years, I spent time living and studying with monks and scientists while we developed the Science for Monks program," said Bobby Sager, author of "Beyond the Robe." "My greatest wish for this book is that it helps bring more attention to the untapped potential of the monks and nuns to provide leadership in their world and further insight into ours. Instead of simply admiring them from afar, let's get close enough to listen." Bobby's visually arresting portraits help to reveal more about who these men and woman really are and the larger role they can play. His fine-art photography makes it possible for readers to visit their world so they can understand more about their own.
Sager Family Foundation is also pleased to announce the launch of a new collaborative program with The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT, "Science, Monks and Technology." The Science, Monks and Technology initiative will create a platform for Tibetan monks and nuns to collaborate with engineering and business students at MIT in designing and implementing down-to-earth technologies that make an impact on their communities in India.
"Monks have long served as leaders and community organizers in the Tibetan diaspora in India and Nepal; the program will enable them to add an additional dimension to their societal contribution," said the Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi, director of the Dalai Lama Center at MIT. "Monks might work, for example, to bring solar power or clean drinking water to an entire community, or to improve health and hygiene. At the same time, the initiative will explore how notions of humanity and humane service can drive technology projects and bring insight to faculty and students at MIT."
To purchase "Beyond the Robe," go to www.beyondtherobe.org. A preview is available at www.powerhousebooks.com/preview/beyondtherobepreview.pdf. For information about Sager Family Foundation, visit www.teamsager.org, become a fan on Facebook, or join the conversation on Twitter at @SagerFoundation.
About Bobby Sager
Bobby Sager is a tough-minded businessman who made a fortune by seeing opportunity where others have not. In 2000, Bobby and his wife and kids founded the Sager Family Traveling Foundation & Roadshow (teamsager.org). Three-dozen trips later, the Sagers have established their own special brand of hands-on, eyeball-to-eyeball philanthropy. Working together as a family, the Sagers apply their entrepreneurial skills and Rolodex to make an impact in areas of conflict and crisis. With Bobby, there are no handouts, no charity. His philanthropy uses business principles and business accountability whether it's fostering entrepreneurship in Rwanda and Palestine, training teachers in Pakistan, or a leadership program for Tibetan monks.
Using his camera as a way to do his storytelling, Sager's photographs have been featured in numerous publications and have been seen by over 4 million people at concerts and events around the world. He authored "The Power of the Invisible Sun" (Chronicle Books, 2009), which was featured on NBC's "The Today Show" and ABC "World News," and UNICEF selected the book as one of its featured publications.
Bobby has been building a network within the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO) that helps business leaders to maximize their individual ability to make an impact. Sager has been recognized by YPO as its first ever recipient of their Global Humanitarian Award. He is also Honorary Consul General for the governments of both Rwanda and Nepal and has given speeches at venues around the world including the General Assembly Hall of the UN and the Sydney Opera House. His philanthropy was the inspiration for the NBC prime-time drama "The Philanthropist" (2009).