Vision & Mission
Banyen Books, as its namesake the Banyan tree, is a living organism. It's an ongoing act of magic; a covenant with the human community and with the earth communities; an information and education service; an oasis of calm and welcome for seekers and pilgrims; and a business—offering right livelihood and convivial companionship for co-workers and their families; creating a safe place for minds and hearts to open and for insight to deepen; and offering products for sale which encourage the values of non-violence, truthfulness, love for all, meditation and spiritual awakening, earthcare and earth wisdom, and healing, holistic & visionary perspectives in arts, sciences, humanities, literature, medicine, philosophy, ecology, and dishwashing.
As a bookstore seeking a balance between the "juicy" experiential and the "dry" scholarly, Banyen stocks the best in world spiritual, mystical, metaphysical, healing and inspirational traditions—recognizing that seekers are unique and find their connections through varying metaphors, levels of depth, and practices. And as contemporary metaphors change, we seek to keep connection with the Sources of Life, the Juice, through whatever current forms it's being expressed, changing or renaming sections as needed—so the public can count on us for:
- friendly, un-hyped, knowledgeable service
- a listening ear for the nuances of their quest, and our best suggestions for them
- a sensibly ordered and organized store with a human touch
- excellent up-to-date communications systems (and a decent e-commerce website)
- a staff that is ready to give full attention, respect and care to this moment and this individual
- a warm, welcoming, well-lit, beautiful oasis-like environment where the public is free to rest, browse, read, listen, meditate, research and buy at their own pace
- a prompt and effective mail order service for our products
- generous open hours
- sensible and workable business policies that make friends wherever feasible
- beautiful, inspirational bookmarks
- newsletters, catalogs, websites, or other media that provide reviews, commentary, evaluation, aids to selection, and means of community-building
In addition to books and author-related events, we offer CDs, DVDs, meditation and healing aids, musical instruments, altar items such as statues, crystals, incense, candles, etc., notecards, magazines, and other items that convey a sense of Beauty, Spirit, Integrity—be they tools, charts, games, card sets, medicine objects, ceremonial clothing, etc. We have an increasing eye toward local crafters and fair trade practices in our sourcing of products for sale.
Our goal is to nurture the wisdom, compassion and healing potentials of the community, insofar as possible for us, through consistently improving our skills and services, and that the result of this shared accomplishment and commitment shall be a staff that is nurtured, protected, and encouraged to develop their own human capacities to the fullest. Our goal is that Banyen co-workers should be well and fairly paid, have excellent extended health and other benefits, and that they be able to thrive with a four-day workweek.
At Banyen, we "reduce, reuse & recycle" as much as possible, utilizing smart green and social criteria in decisions concerning supplies and consumables, heating, ventilation, materials, water and air quality, etc. It is an ongoing challenge to reduce our energy footprint (an energy audit is a sobering reality check!) and we are making progress where we can.
Since 2003 Banyen has owned its own building (once we pay off the mortgage, that is!) This long-cherished goal was achieved with the heaven-sent and very practical help of many, and particularly with a bequest from Jane Hooper, my co-heart, who passed on in 2001. The present store is about 5,500 square feet, including a staff garden area and porch, and my vision of a staff that loves to work together and whose lives flourish as they co-create the systems, services and celebrations of Banyen has come a long, long way. As of this writing, Banyen's staff of 27 offers itself as a vehicle of service, with Kindness, Insight, Fairness, and Beauty ever in our intentions. Great gratitude to all who read this. Thank you for helping us keep on keeping on!
A subtext of Banyen's goals is that Spirit, Human Potentials, and Healing have a non-sectarian, non-religious (in the organizational sense), and no-B.S. safe place to be honoured and celebrated in our society; which by example and activity would empower individuals to live more fully in their own genius or "Original Medicine," their spiritual and healing resources and capacities; with heart, hands, and mind aligned.