Wisdom Publications is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization, and all profits are reinvested into the creation of new works. Our titles are distributed worldwide and have been translated into more than thirty foreign languages. We have a backlist of over two hundred titles in print, with over twenty new titles appearing each year.
Wisdom's beginnings were inspired in the late 1970s by Tibetan Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935-84), a teacher renowned for his warm-hearted humor and his grasp of the idiom and mindset of the Western seeker. Lama Yeshe, along with Lama Zopa Rinpoche, founded the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an international network of affiliated teaching centers, hospices, and other Dharma organizations. Wisdom's earliest titles included Wisdom Energy: Basic Buddhist Teachings and Advice from a Spiritual Friend. With a formalization of publishing operations in London in 1983, the press soon demonstrated its commitment to publishing important works from all the Buddhist traditions, and developed a reputation for high production values. In 1987, Wisdom published its first translation of the Pali scriptures with Maurice Walshe's translation of the Digha Nikaya.
Operations moved from London to Boston in late 1988 when Tim McNeill, the current Publisher, was appointed. Wisdom spent several years renting space on the corner of Newbury Street and Massachusetts Avenue in Boston, where it ran a successful mail-order business with a comprehensive catalog of Buddhist literature. In 1997, with the growing success of its own publishing activities, Wisdom decided to focus on publishing full-time, and purchased its current headquarters at 199 Elm Street in Somerville, near the city of Boston.
Wisdom reached out to scholars in 1998 with the advent of its peer-reviewed academic series, Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism. In 2004, it inaugurated its relationship with Thupten Jinpa's Institute of Tibetan Classics with the first volume in the Library of Tibetan Classics. In 2005, Wisdom's worldwide trade distribution was picked up by Publisher's Group West (PGW), the largest exclusive distributor of independent publishers in North America. Also in 2005, Wisdom began serving its direct-mail customers through PSSC, a warehousing and order fulfillment company not far from our offices.
Affiliated with Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), Wisdom's editorial mission is thoroughly ecumenical. We at Wisdom are grateful to be able to work with the Dharma on a daily basis and to play a role in the introduction of Buddhist ideas to the English-speaking world.
Wisdom Publications has made a commitment to producing books with environmental mindfulness. Whenever possible, we are using a paper called Glatfelter Natures Book that is made from 50% post-consumer recycled material. Our main partners in the printing business have also been awarded a combined total of seven environmental awards since 1998. In our Somerville office we use office paper with a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled material, and employ an in-house paper recycling program as well. We strongly encourage recycling.
Since committing to this program we have saved the following resources:
We have also chosen to offset 100% of our offices electricity consumption with Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). These credits, purchased from Blue Canyon Wind Farm, help to make investment in green energy programs more cost-effective. By being mindful of our carbon footprint, Wisdom hopes to demonstrate the efforts that businesses can make to help keep our planet livable and healthy. To learn more about these efforts, please visit the EPA Green Power Partnership, and download the press release: Wind Power Generates Good Karma for Buddhist Publisher.
Our environmental impact estimates were made using the Environmental Defense Paper Calculator.
Blue Canyon Wind Farm, Oklahoma