Tuesday, 4 December 2007

The Treasury of Dharma Project

"You receive and study all these instructions and teachings.
They are important, they give you the background, the understanding, some knowledge that is the basic. But then I worry a little bit: is it not too much?
Do we need to simplify? How do you put it into practice? How to practise Bodhicitta essentially, how do you really do it? How to invoke refuge in an instant?
How to have a way of invoking, of making it happen for you, each day?" (Sogyal Rinpoche)

In order to act on Rinpoche’s concern, the RIGPA Treasury of Dharma (formerly known as Teaching Pharmacy) has – and is being – developed. This electronic system is designed to help us to put the teachings into practice, to find a support on all aspects of our spiritual path, and to help us in difficult situations in our life.

The Treasury of Dharma presently consists of two elements:
- the ‘Inspirational-Library’ which contains inspiring and transformative teachings on motivation, bodhichitta, the View, the nature of mind, meditation, devotion, invocation, Guru Yoga, lojong and integration
- the ‘Advice for Life’- Library, that houses short teachings which help us to transform difficult situations in our life regarding relationships, depression, sickness, death and so on.

This structure reflects Rinpoche’s observation that we need ‘different methods for different situations’ that can help us to progress on our spiritual path.

The aim of this project is that we find inspiration, courage and support for our spiritual path, both in our formal practice and in our every day life activities.

The Treasury of Dharma will take on many different forms in which it will be made available for individuals and centers.
For individuals:
— the current ZAM Rigpa- and Dzogchenlinks will continue in their current form and will cover themes that are complimentary to the Teaching Pharmacy
—any other ZAM products produced in 2008 will also function as part of the Teaching Library
— the RIGPA Wiki web page, accessible to all Home Retreatants, already hosts a selection of teachings concerning ‘Advice for Life’, and will be further developed in the future, making teachings available free of charge

To have a look at the "Advice for Life" page on the wiki, you need a valid login for Rigpa's home retreat portal (this login consists of the email that you use to log into the homretreat website and the password that you use to log in). Please use this link to the online part of the Treasury of Dharma system:

Thursday, 13 September 2007

The visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Lerab Ling in September 2000

For this year's all-mandala retreat in Lerab Ling, we revised, updated, and expanded the video on the History of Rigpa. As part of this work, we included a teaching excerpt of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from Lerab Ling, September 2000 into the history. We feel that this excerpt stands on its own, and we are very happy to share this with you.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Two Camera Recording in Rigpa

As many of you have noticed from the last Sangha Day Videos, the Lerab Ling Video Team has started to record the teachings on 2 cameras on Rinpoche's request. Of course, working with 2 camera recordings is much more resource intensive, but we all believe that the result does justify this extra effort.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

His Holiness Sakya Trizin in Lerab Ling, 2007

As many you might have heard, His Holiness Sakya Trizin visited Lerab Ling in June 2007 . A video impression of this visit was produced for a Rigpa Sangha Day. The Treasury of Wisdom team together with Rigpa's Video Editing Department has refined this first edit now for future inclusion in the History of Rigpa Film. But we can already share with you now this 7 minute impression.

This short video also contains a brief teaching of His Holiness on the integration of practice into everyday life. He gave this teaching during a longer, private interview session.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Main Activities of the Treasury of Wisdom in the Year 2006

Supporting Rigpa Teaching Events
In addition to the support of teaching events through the travelling Suitcase harddisk and the electronic Archive Video Edits Library, the year 2006 marked the advent of an entirely new support of teachings events: providing teaching content for events which Sogyal Rinpoche is not being able to attend.
This series of event started with the Clear Lake Retreat 2006, which Sogyal Rinpoche conducted remotely first through telephone, and then via an internet-based video conference. It then continued with a conference of Social Workers in Hong Kong, which received a specially recorded new teaching on video, and then with a teaching weekend in Taipei on Tendrel Nyesel, which was based on edits of teachings given before in Lerab Ling.

Support for Rigpa Publications
During the first half of 2006, a small and very dedicated team finished the book called "The Vision of Enlightenment", the teachings given by His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his visit to Lerab Ling in September 2000. The Treasury of Wisdom team provided this team with audio and video materials of this teachings wherever needed for their work.

Establishment and Support of the Home Retreat Transmission
In September 2006, Rigpa launched the Home Retreat, a programme to follow the Three-Year Retreat at home. This new programme is based on weekly video transmissions, which are available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Chinese. The Treasury of Wisdom team was instrumental in the establishment of a workgroup, based in Lerab Ling, which prepares these transmission. All the know-how that the Treasury of Wisdom team holds in terms of recording the teachings, archiving the teachings, editing the teachings, and packaging the edited teachings for access through the internet were transmitted to the newly formed team in Lerab Ling.

Establishment of a Multimedia Archive in Lerab Ling
In view of the tremendous amount of work on the teachings that were about to start in Lerab Ling in August 2006, the Treasury of Wisdom team established a functional multimedia archive in Lerab Ling, in coordination with Lerab Ling's IT staff, which now is the backbone of the home retreat transmissions as well as the basis for the work on the teachings which is done to support teaching events with Rinpoche world-wide.
Also, the Treasury of Wisdom appointed a multimedia archivist in Lerab Ling who oversees the proper archiving of the Lerab Ling recordings and productions. This archivist also handles all requests to the Treasury of Wisdom from Lerab Ling.

Digitzing of old Audio and Video Recordings of Teachings of Sogyal Rinpoche and Other Masters
The year 2006 saw the biggest efforts yet to digitize the older teachings of Sogyal Rinpoche. The Treasury of Wisdom invested in three new video digitizing stations which increased the rate at which the older teachings get entered into the electronic archive enormously. the Treasury of Wisdom also employed another helper on a part-time basis to make sure that our newly acquired digitizing capacity was used to its full extent. As a result, within a period of a few weeks, the Treasury of Wisdom team finished digitizing all videos from the year 1994.
There is also progress on digitizing and sorting audio recordings from the past. The team has sorted the recordings from a landmark retreat of the Rigpa History: The Summer Retreat in Brunissard, August 1989, with Kyabjé Dodrupchen Rinpoche, Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, Dzogchen Rinpoche, and Sogyal Rinpoche.

Updating the "History of Rigpa" Video
In anticipation of the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which was planned for July 2006 (and then postponed in June), the Treasury of Wisdom embarked on updating the aging "History of Rigpa" video which was produced on the occasion of the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Lerab Ling in September 2000.
With the help of many volunteers, the Treasury of Wisdom team added an entire new section of the visit of Khenpo Jigphun to Lerab Ling from 1993, as well as footage from visits of Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, Kyabjé Trulshik Rinpoche, Penor Rinpoche, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche, Kamtrul Rinpoche and many others.
Also, for the first time, a translation of the teaching extracts into English has been added to this historic documentary.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

His Holiness the Dalai Lama in San Jose, 1989

One of the major projects of the Treasury of Wisdom Team in the year 2006 was updating the aging "History of Rigpa" Film in anticipation of the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Lerab Ling. Now, of course, we have received an extension of the deadline for this project.

Nevertheless, here is my favorite part of this documentary: Sogyal Rinpoche congratulating His Holiness the Dalai Lama on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Saturday, 26 May 2007

The Stream of New Videos on YouTube Continues

We are currently in the process of preparing a number of extracts of a classic teaching of Sogyal Rinpoche from Adelaide, 2 February 2004, for publication on YouTube. Here is the latest extract:

The entire teaching has been published before as a Rigpalink in April&May 2004 under the title "Finding Peace, Compassion and Wisdom in a Complex World". You can still purchase this teaching from the ZAM Webshop (have a look into the category "Finding Peace, Compassion and Wisdom in a Complex World).

A New Blog for Rigpa Students

There is a new blog out there for all Rigpa students to get the latest information on Rigpa's and Sogyal Rinpoche's activities. It contain news, photos and video material and links to other websites, to help keep you informed of all the most important goings on in Lerab Ling and around the world.

Please visit the Rigpa News Blog

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

1001 Originals and Counting

Yesterday we surpassed the magic number of 1000 entries in our Originals Collection in the Treasury of Wisdom Database. Each entry in this collection contains a complete set of audio or video recordings of a single teaching. Such a set may contain somewhere between 1 and 120 files. That means that we have filed the original recordings of more than 500 sessions from teachings as early as 1987 up to teachings from last month into our database. Files in this database are regularly checked for file corruption and they are of course being backed up.
The total size of all the files of these 1001 entries is 11.4 Tera Bytes.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Another video of Rinpoche teaching on YouTube

We have now posted a second teaching extract of a teaching of Sogyal Rinpoche on YouTube:

This piece is taken from a public video called "Natural Great Peace" which was produced on the occasion of the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Lerab Ling, September 2000. Most of "Natural Great Peace" shows Rinpoche reading out the "Natural Great Peace" text (available from the ZAM Store), but he also asked us to add in two extracts from previous teachings which he selected himself. This YouTube video is the first of these extracts. It is part of a teaching that Sogyal Rinpoche gave in Los Angeles on 9 June 1999. And it is one of my all-time favorites. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Sogyal Rinpoche on YouTube

Today we have uploaded the first teaching of Sogyal Rinpoche onto YouTube.

This is a small extract of a teaching that Sogyal Rinpoche gave in Paris, 21 December 2005 (with a tiny insert from a teaching in Lerab Ling).

We hope that this will be the first in a long series of publicly available videos of Sogyal Rinpoche.

Monday, 23 April 2007

Sogyal Rinpoche in Haileybury, April 2007

From 6 April to 15 April 2007, Sogyal Rinpoche conducted the Annual Rigpa Easter Retreat in Haileybury, Hertfordshire, England.

Rigpa UK organised a great team which took care of the data entry of teachings and presentations of the retreat into the Treasury of Wisdom Database. The team had all of the teaching sessions entered into the database by the time the retreat ended, and also the team has already filed all Daily Session Reports in the Database.

Also, the Treasury of Wisdom sponsored Dominique Lalonde, a one Three-Year Retreatant, to attend the retreat and to edit the teachings on video as soon as they were given. This quick turnaround allowed us to share these teachings already a few days later at the beginning of the Second Teaching Period of the Three-Year Retreat in Lerab Ling. Furthermore, these video edits form the basis for the Retreat MP3 Compilation which will be made available to students who participated in the Easter Retreat this year.

Sogyal Rinpoche taught on Bodhichitta mostly based on "The Words of my Perfect Teacher" and "A Guide to the Words of a Perfect Teacher" and Chökyi Drakpa's "A Torch to the Path of Omniscience" (contained in Rigpa's "A Guide to the Practice of Ngöndro.") One of the main teachings on Rigpa activity in Haileybury focused on care for Rigpa students.

I have included a picture of Rinpoche teaching in the Main Shrine Room from the last day of the retreat at the beginning of this entry.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Sogyal Rinpoche in Bhutan, March 2007

At the end of March 2007, Sogyal Rinpoche visited the Kingdom of Bhutan. He gave a simple, in-depth introduction and thorough grounding in the teaching and practice of the Buddhadharma in a series of two public talks at the Royal Institute of Management, Thimphu, Bhutan.

Bhutan's public television station recorded his teachings and wants to present them within their English-speaking section of their TV programme. Sogyal Rinpoche asked the Treasury of Wisdom, together with Rigpa's Teaching Services department, to edit these teachings for transmission on TV.

This is actually the first time that we are editing teachings for a TV programme. A lot of care has gone into these edits, and the recorded teaching material has been enriched even further with photos and video footage from the Treasury of Wisdom archive.

We hope that we can make these precious materials available to Rigpa students as well. You can of course always quickly fly to Bhutan and enjoy these teachings on TV.

Thursday, 29 March 2007

All Teachings from the Year 1994 Digitized

Last week, our team finished digitizing all video recordings in the archive from the year 1994. This videos are now being preserved on error-protected RAID units in the Treasury of Wisdom archive, and they are being backed up onto another RAID in another building. And of course, we keep storing the original video tapes in a climate-controlled room.

The videos have been compressed into a high-quality format called H264. The year 1994 uses up 850GB in harddisk storage. So, you might wonder: how much does this cost? Well, the year 1994 takes up around 1,300€ worth of storage in the main archive, and around the same amount in the backup facility.

So, you can say that 2,600€ buy you a year of archived video footage. This of course doesn't include the labour, electricity, rent and so on to create these files and maintain the archive.

And, how much video is there? It seems that Rinpoche taught less in the year 1994 than the last couple of years. There are only around 250 hours of video from 1994, including many teachings on Bodhichitta and 'Turning Suffering and Happiness into Enlightenment', as well as the famous Salle Adyar teachings from the end of 1994. Sogyal Rinpoche gave these teachings during his personal retreat in Paris.

And, just to give a glimpse, there is a video still of Sogyal Rinpoche teaching in Berlin, 27 November 1994 at the beginning of this blog entry.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

The View from the Kitchen Window

As you might know, the Treasury of Wisdom is housed together with ZAM in a newly renovated building at the outskirts of Lodeve. The building doesn't look like much from the outside, so you won't see a photo of its appearance, but the view from the kitchen window is very inspiring as you can see.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

NEW Edits in the Treasury of Wisdom Database

The Treasury of Wisdom Database is now ready to gather information on edits of teachings of Sogyal Rinpoche. This is a very exciting development as it has been extremely difficult up to now to find information on edits in Rigpa. Of course, it will take a while until the list of edits filed in this database will fit no longer on a single page. So, all video editors in Rigpa: start filing your new edits as well as your old edits, and don't forget to stick to the filenaming standard.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Something from the Old Rigpa Programmes

The Treasury of Wisdom is not just about geek stuff and electronic files.

This cartoon has been featured on the poster for the 1979 Rigpa Summer School.

One more Satabeast

The Treasury of Wisdom uses Nexsan Satabeast Raid Units as their electronic backup systems. We have just installed our third Satabeast Unit (with 14 750GB disks) which brings our total backup capaity to 49 TB (that is 49 000 Gigabytes).

Welcome to the Treasury of Wisdom Blog

Welcome to the new Treasury of Wisdom blog, your window to the exciting world of the Rigpa Treasury of Wisdom.