The Association

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At the center of the image, teacher Plínio Marcos Tsai (founder of the BUDA Association), teacher venerable Lobsang Chogni (Jonathan Raichart) and students of the Buddha Dharma Association

Our Story



In 2007, there was still no institutional headquarters for our Association. At that time, there were only occasional gatherings in a home of those interested in Buddhism, who formed a very small group in the neighbourhood of Barão Geraldo, in the city of Campinas (countryside of São Paulo state, Brazil). Over time, the number of interested parties increased. This resulted in the creation of legal status for the BUDA Association (which was still called “ITG” at the time) and the establishment of the first headquarters in 2008, in a rented house located in a neighbourhood of Campinas city. The Association was being built gradually and it was always adapting to the growing number of students approaching.

In 2011, the physical location changed to the city of Valinhos. Initially, the headquarters were located in the Vale Verde neighbourhood, in an area of industrial sheds. Due to the increase in the number of interested and associated, there was then a second change to the place we are based currently. The current headquarters is completely dedicated to the service aimed at members: we have a classroom, a library containing a decent catalogue of books, in addition to study areas for students and also a training area for doing physical exercises and for teaching Buddhist-originated martial arts.

In 2019, the members and directors of the so-called “ATG” unanimously decided to change the name of the institution: instead of “Tathagathagarba Association”, we began to identify ourselves as “Buddha Dharma Association” (BUDA), which simplified our identification among the local society.

Social Actions

The Social Actions began to become the central part of the BUDA Association from the moment we moved to the city of Valinhos. Before that, there were social activities focused on humanitarian aid, in some isolated efforts at national and international level. These initial activities were based on aid to an Indian-based Tibetan refugee community; in particular, we devote our efforts to education, care and shelter for orphans in India. Thus, during the period from 2007 to 2014, the following institutions were benefited: Sera Jey Children Monastery Care of House 3, Little Flower Creche and Tibetan Children’s Village.

However, due to the change of the headquarters to the city of Valinhos, a new impetus of social aid arose, and the BUDA Association began to assume social projects next to the public administration entities in Valinhos city.

Then, from 2015 on, the BUDA Association turned to educational projects and to promoting social and human values within the local communities, continuing the development of social actions. This reorientation of focus enabled a partnership with the project “House of Children and Adolescents”, based in Valinhos city. Since then, there has been an increase in participation in partnerships with projects from the local sphere, such as in cultural activities of municipal public schools, in order to promote themes related to Health, Law, Ethics, Music and Art. The purpose of the BUDA Association is to expand its Projects in order to offer our social contribution, such as teaching in schools and, thus, contribute to the cultural development of the entire region. Get to know about our Social Actions: Click Here: Acesse Aqui

Relations with the Municipality of Valinhos city - Public Utility

The BUDA Association, whose purpose is to contribute actively to the development of Education and Culture of the Valinhos citizens, then formally requested to the legislative body of Valinhos city be acknowledged Public Utility Institution, by means of a official declaration. For the purpose of proving our insertion in the local society, we gathered documents that record all our social and educational activities, which are in progress in the city. Thus, the legal representatives of the citizens approved our request and, so, the BUDA Association was recognized as an institution of Public Utility for the Municipality of Valinhos. From this formal acknowledgement on, the BUDA Association has established several partnerships with the Municipal Secretary of Culture and with the NGO “Patrulheiros”. In this way, we had the opportunity to actively collaborate in the “Woman Rights Awareness Week of Valinhos city”, “Festa do Figo” (a traditional annual fruit festival), among other activities that are taking place. To this end, we always count on the help and engagement of our associates.

Get to know about our national and international acknowledgements: Click Here

Acesse Aqui

Teaching Structure: from traditional “Lamrim” Structure to Academic Training in Buddhology

In 2007, we had started classes that were gradually becoming the academic training course in Buddhology (Buddhist Studies) of our Association. Initially, there was still no academic course in Buddhology.


There was, at the beginning of our activities, only a systematic study of some central texts of the Geluk Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, such as the “The Gradual Treatise of the Essence of Refined Gold” (Lamrim Shershoonma), also the “The Great Gradual Treatise of Complete Awakening” Lamrim Chenmo), among others.


The rhythm of these studies followed the degree of interest of the associates: in the beginning, the associates dedicated themselves for only one lesson per week, whose duration was of maximum two hours. A very slow pace. However, over time, new members have joined, wishing to study Buddhism in a more systematic way, similar to the structure of the Eastern monastic universities. By virtue of this new profile of students, teachers organized the subjects the contemporary structure of academic Buddhology. The first group of Buddhist Studies completed their program of studies in the Academic Training Course within ten years. The pace of study was slower and thus there was little commitment of time on the part of the students. In addition, the lectures were offered based on the teachers’ availability of time, who voluntarily dedicated themselves to the teaching exercise, without remuneration.

Academic Training in Buddhology

In general terms, we can affirm that with the development of the initial courses of the Geluk Tradition, it was verified, through a constant dialogue with the students, the need to change the record of the Buddhist tradition to the academic record of Buddhology. This change was due to the distance between the two registers.

The preference and adoption of the academic language as well as the dialogue with Western Philosophy and Christianity had already occurred since 2007. However, it was only in 2016 that the “Institute of Studies of Buddhist and Christian Traditions” (ITBC) was finally established, namely: an institution oriented to the promotion of technical and scientific language as well as academic methods for a rigorous and systematic study of Buddhism. In this way, the current setting of the course was officially created as an academic training in Buddhology. Once the distance learning system had been consolidated, we modified the classes settings (in terms of language and visual production) in order to adapt to a virtual platform. From this measure, we were able to reach more and more students in more locations. In addition, our first graduated became teachers and, as a result, we began to offer more disciplines, which were aligned with the respective expertise areas of each one of them.

Get to know ITBC Institute: Click Here

Conheça o ITBC: Acesse Aqui.

ATG Publishing: Books and Schoolbooks

Buddhist knowledge usually comes from reading traditional texts, written by Indian, Chinese, and Tibetan authors, which are continually reinterpreted. These writers wrote as well as translated the fundamental Indian Buddhist texts into their respective native languages, a period between the 1stcentury and the 13thcentury CE. In fact, there is not any considerable volume of translations of these fundamental texts into the Portuguese language yet. So, in order to bring this knowledge into our linguistic register, we had to establish a translation committee, which came into existence even before the creation of the Association, around 2005. This work was carried out by the founder of the Association, Plínio Marcos Tsai, who continues the work of philosophical translations and commentaries, giving unreservedly all copyrights to our Association. When we began publishing these works in 2017, the BUDA Association started to work on what would become what is nowadays is called ATG Publishing. Currently, ATG Publishing has a large collection of books and schoolbooks, duly published and recorded.

Get to know about our ATG Publishing: Access Here

Conheça nossa editora: Acesse Aqui

Monastic Life

The arrival of the venerable monk Lobsang Chogni (Jonathan Raichart), who holds the highest degree within the Tibetan monastic order (a title that identifies him as a “Gelong”) brought the possibility for those interested in joining the monastic life, according to the ethical precepts of the Buddhist tradition. Monk Chogni, since then, has granted the ordination vows to Brazilian novice monks and novice nuns. Throughout these years, up to the present time, some of the students have remained as monks. However, even those who have abandoned the monastic life still continue to actively take part in the activities of the Association.

In 2012, there was a trip of Association members to India, which enabled the nuns to enter the highest degree within the monastic order of the Geluk tradition of Tibetan Buddhism (the level of “Getsunma”), under the guidance of the monastic body of the Sera Jey Monastery, in India. Monastic life remains one of the central aspects of the BUDA Association, which encompasses the systematic study and constant cultivation of the Normative Ethical Code (“Vinaya”) of the monastic tradition called Mulasarvastivada.

There is also a systematic study of another Normative Code of Ethics (“Vinaya”), which stems from the “Dharmagupta” tradition; it is currently more present in China and Japan and it places a great deal of emphasis on equality between monks and nuns.

Learn more about our monks and the Buddhist tradition Geluk: Click Here

Saiba mais sobre nossos monges e a tradição Geluk: Acesse Aqui

Academic and Interfaith Dialogues

One of the fundamental characteristics of the BUDA Association and the Institute of Studies of Buddhist and Christian Traditions (ITBC) is the continuous effort to promote academic dialogue, especially in Philosophy, Social Sciences, History, Law, Quantum Physics, Linguistics, Psychoanalysis, Psychology and Sport. Moreover, we also do not overlook the importance of inter-religious dialogue, particularly between Buddhism, the various denominations of Christianity (Roman Catholicism, Methodist Church, Kardecist Spiritism and Umbanda) and Islam, among others. Get to Know.

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A missão da Associação Buda é promover a construção do conhecimento e ensino do budismo e da budologia, bem como do cristianismo, enquanto estudo religioso e acadêmico, através da teologia, com atuação em projetos voltados à educação, tanto em solo nacional, quanto internacional de modo a permitir o engajamento em parcerias que visem a promoção do estudo, ensino e debate acadêmicos, bem como ajuda humanitária nacional e internacional.



Ser um centro de educação e convivência nacional e internacional, a partir de uma compreensão dos textos canônicos no budismo, na budologia e no cristianismo, em um modelo estrutural de excelência em educação e trabalho social.



Pautados em valores da moral budista com raízes na compaixão e altruísmo, trabalhamos com dedicação, eficiência, honestidade, amizade, lealdade, responsabilidade social e ambiental, respeito e prontidão, mesmo nos momentos mais adversos. Esses valores representam e orientam nossa conduta, tanto individualmente como socialmente.

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