I am grateful to several granting organizations for supporting the early research that developed into this book, beginning with a Research Assistance Grant from the American Academy of Religion that enabled me to pursue research in the Tibetan communities of India in the spring of 1995. At the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies in Sarnath I am particularly grateful to Samdong Rinpoche for facilitating my research. I am indebted also to the Venerable Rashmi of the Thai Monastery in Sarnath for his enthusiasm, warm hospitality, introductions to learned Theravāda monks, and for arranging my visits to the major Buddhist Indian pilgrimage sites.
In 1997, with the support of the Asian Arts Council, I was able to interview Tibetan scholars and advanced practitioners in Kathmandu. This grant also enabled me to visit major pilgrimage sites in Tibet. Dr. Walter Spinks also granted me a partial fellowship for his Fourteenth Annual Ajanta Site Seminar that enriched my understanding of early Buddhist iconography and archaeology.
The American Institute of Bangladesh Studies (AIBS) provided me with access to important Buddhist sites and museum collections in Bangladesh and provided much needed time for reflection and writing. Special thanks to director Dr. Rahman Shelly and the entire staff at AIBS who were so kind. Special thanks go to Sarwa who facilitated field trips and dealt with innumerable problems with humor and patience. This grant also enabled me to make brief trips to sites in Thailand, Cambodia, and Burma.
A first draft of this book was written at the New York Public Library through a generous fellowship at the Center for Scholars and Writers in 2000-2001. Special thanks go to Dorothy and Lewis Cull-