Friday, 19 December 2008

We are still looking for help for January - April 2009

The Treasury of Wisdom will for a second time this winter host a special taskforce in Lodeve near Lerab Ling in order to transform the Treasury of Wisdom database into a well-organized research and archive platform.

We are looking for 6 volunteers to help this project which will be crucial for Rinpoche's work of spreading the teachings in the West. The Treasury of Wisdom is the basis of almost all teaching-related projects in Rigpa like the Homeretreat, courses, Rigpalink.

We already created an extremely successful task force last year with members from France, Australia, and the USA. The participants of last year's task force found it an extremely joyful and valuable experience to come to Lodeve and focus on such an important task while intensifying their practice (Luckily, there are not many distractions in Lodeve.)

If you have some time this Winter and want to join our team in an exciting group effort to make the work of thousands of transcribers, teaching report writers, video and sound people available for research to Rigpa researchers, then please send an email to

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Converting all recordings from 1994 into digital files

Good news from the archive in Lodève: We just managed to successfully enter all the sessions from 1994 into the Treasury of Wisdom database. We now can start to submit the videos which are already completely digitized. Regarding the audios: The summer retreat is completely digitized, too and Alain just started doing the rest of the year.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

10,000 entries on teaching events

A few days ago, our number of database entries for events passed the threshold of 10,000 entries. These entries include information on
-Teaching Event
-Teaching Sessions
-Daily Session Reports
-Recorded Audios
-Recorded Videos
-Teaching Reports
-and now, and that is NEW, the actual event blurbs.

You can see a screen shot of a blurb entry above.

Monday, 24 November 2008

The Taskforce 2009 wants you!

The Treasury of Wisdom will for a second time this winter host a special taskforce in order to transform the Treasury of Wisdom database into a well-organized research and archive platform.

We are looking for 6 volunteers to help this project which will be crucial for Rinpoche's work of spreading the teachings in the West. The Treasury of Wisdom is the basis of almost all teaching-related projects in Rigpa like the Homeretreat, courses, Rigpalinks,

If you have some time this Winter and want to join our team in an exciting group effort to make the work of thousands of transcribers, teaching report writers, video and sound people available for research to Rigpa researchers, then please send an email to

Saturday, 15 November 2008

The Bodhichitta Mengak Studypack is coming


The Mengak Studypack team has done it again!!!!

There is a new Mengak Studypack coming, this time the topic is Bodhichitta. Part 1 of this celebration of the teachings will be available at the beginning of December 2008 for Rigpa Mandala students.

The French and German Translators have already started on the oral and written translations.

The Mengak Studypack will also include a beautifully produced booklet of the Mengak for how to generate bodhichitta.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Teachings for All Seasons

The "Teachings for All Seasons" project is still alive, delivering new, inspiring teaching on audio every month in English, French, German, and Spanish. Please have a look in the "Teachings for All Seasons" sections on the Rigpa Sangha Portal. You need to have an account in the Rigpa Care& Admin system to access this service.

Just to wet your appetite, here one of the inspiring, evocative teaching excerpts that is featured in this download service.

And, we would like to invite you to contribute financially to this service, which is being made available to Rigpa students at no cost. Please click here to get to the donation form (don't forget to specify that you wish to donate for Teachings for All Seasons).

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

A Short History of the Treasury of Wisdom

Before 1997, each national Rigpa was responsible for archiving the recordings of their teaching events (which very often led to rather chaotic archives, all of which where organized according to different principles).

Rigpa International started the international archive in 1995 in London and Berlin with Heidi Lindstedt (texts), Janine (transcripts), and Jeannie (AV)). The project was funded privately until the end of 1996. In the Spring of 1997 the project moved to Lodeve. At that point, the employees were Heidi Lindstedt (for text files) and Andrea Philipp for the physical archive of audio tapes. Video tapes were added to the physical archive in 1998. The photo archive was taken care of by Pete Fry in his spare time.

Heidi has spend a big part of her time with sorting out the messy archive of text files from the first 20 years of Rigpa history (some 300,000 (!) files). Most of Andrea’s time was spent with fulfilling the demands of audio copies that where needed. At this point, there was no Rigpa IT department in existence, and non of the archive staff ever had sufficient time to specify the needs of an archive database, or to supervise its design. As a result, there was no database back then of all audio or video tapes.

The archive continued with a two-person-staff until around 2005. The archive staff always struggled between the different tasks of the library service and the actual building of a proper archive. Due to the pressure of the different clients of the archive, the library service had to be prioritised over building an archive. As a result, the Audio and Video archive never had a chance to be properly systematised. Also, apart from some isolated volunteer efforts, the archive never managed to start the proper digitising of old audio and video recordings.

Only in Spring 2005, when ZAM moved premises, the Treasury of Wisdom got a new half-time employee (Alain Bordes) who created a good set-up for audio and video digitising stations. Also, Andrea who had been on maternity leave and then on a 20% position was given a half-time position.

Also, in 2005, we started using our new archive database, DSpace. The first entries were done during the visit of Kyabjé Trulshik Rinpoche in November-December 2005.

Pete Fry found almost no time to work on the photo archive form 1997-2007, so in the summer of 2007 we employed Simon Day on a 60% position on as a photo archivist. He started to establish a procedure for the photo archive and started to create a functional network of Rigpa photographers. It is thanks to his efforts that we have a good photographic record of the visit of His Holiness in 2008.

In an attempt to finally start to deal with the 30-year backlog of AV recordings, the Treasury of Wisdom put a 4-month taskforce into place at the beginning of 2008 which managed to enter events, session information and daily session reports of the events from 2001-2008. Also, we hired a programmer to update DSpace and make it ready for more types of documents.

Finally, as part of the restructuring of Rigpa International, the Teaching Notes Archive Work has been put into the Treasury of Wisdom Department in 2007.

Just for fun, here is a photo of some of the Rigpa International staff from Losar 2003, including Heidi Lindstedt and Claudia Thurn from the Treasury of Wisdom staff back then.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Submitting related items in DSpace is easier now

It is now easier to submit items in DSpace which are related to something like sessions or events (like the transcript of a session or a session of an event).

When you open the page which you want to link a new entry to, e.g. you wish to submit a transcript to a session, you can simply first open the base page (in this case the session), and then you can click on the link "Submit transcript" in the right-hand column. This brings you directly to the transcript submission process with the session already selected.

Many thanks to the transcribers for requesting this feature.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

The Buidling of the Buddha Image in Lerab Ling

On the occassion of the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Lerab Ling in August 2008, the Treasury of Wisdom photo archive helped to produce a photo slideshow that documents the making of the golden Buddha image which is the center of the temple in Lerab Ling.

This slideshow will also be featured in a forthcoming special commemorative DVD edition celebrating the visit of His Holiness to Lerab Ling. We have already it on youtube now for you to enjoy:

Friday, 19 September 2008

Trouver la paix, la compassion et la sagesse dans un monde difficile

Cet enseignement donné lors de la récente visite de Sogyal Rinpoché en Australie rassemble de façon essentielle divers aspects des instructions sur la méditation. Rinpoché explique ici en profondeur comment la méditation nous permet de travailler directement avec les trois consciences, purifiant tous nos obscurcissements et nous conduisant de façon ultime à lEveil. Ce qui détermine le bonheur ou la souffrance est la perception que nous avons de nous-mêmes et du monde. Si nous pouvons ainsi dépasser notre esprit dualiste, nous ne serons plus victimes de linconstance de nos pensées et de nos émotions. Nous découvrirons alors un bonheur durable. Pour cela, il nous faut pratiquer la méditation, la compassion et par dessus tout, transformer notre esprit. La méditation ralentit notre tendance à saisir et à réagir face à ce que nous percevons. En apprenant progressivement à demeurer non-distraits dans laspect de pure connaissance de lesprit, nous dissolvons les concepts et purifions les émotions conflictuelles causées par notre saisie. Nous nous débarrassons ainsi de leur influence nocive et découvrons notre sagesse inhérente. La plupart dentre nous avons besoin dentreprendre cette pratique en commençant par calmer lesprit avec la méditation Shamata. En demeurant vigilants à cet état de présence et spacieux dans la non-distraction, nous nous libérons de nos concepts et regagnons notre nature ultime.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Finding Peace, Compassion and Wisdom in a Complex World

Given during Sogyal Rinpoches recent visit to Australia, this teaching brings together many aspects of Rinpoches instruction on meditation into one essential form. Rinpoche also explains to considerable depth how meditation allows us to work directly with the three mental consciousnesses, purify ourselves of all obscurations and, ultimately, attain enlightenment. What determines whether we are happy or suffering is our perception of ourselves and the world. Therefore, if we can overcome our dualistic mind, we will no longer be subject to the fickleness of momentary thoughts and moods, and find lasting happiness. We achieve this through practising meditation, compassion, and above all, by transforming our mind. Meditation slows down our tendency to grasp and react to what we perceive. By gradually learning to remain undistracted in the pure knowing quality of the mind, we dissolve the concepts and conflicting emotions that are caused by our grasping, purify ourselves of their distorting influence, and discover our inherent wisdom. Most of us need to begin this path of practice by calming our wild minds with shamatha meditation. By developing and staying vigilantly aware of our mindfulness and remaining spaciously in the state of non-distraction, we free ourselves of our concepts and return to the realization of our ultimate nature.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

The Heart Essence of the Teaching of the Buddha

Liberating your mind and emotions, and transforming your life and death through the buddhist wisdom of Tibet. A public talk given in Nottingham during the Dalai Lama's five days of teaching in Nottingham, 24-28 May 2008.

Monday, 23 June 2008

The Ultimate Goal of Meditation—Discovering Who We Really Are

What we really need to do is arrive at a fundamental acceptance of impermanence. Even though they are continually changing and unreliable, we believe that we are thoughts, emotions, and stories. However, the only thing that is constant, unchanging, and reliable, is the clarity of our mind stream. Whether we are happy or sad, the cognizant quality of pure consciousness is with us throughout our lives, and continues until enlightenment. In spite of the fact that the world is so decadent and difficult, and that our lives can be so complex, if we have discovered the inner freedom of the mind, we ourselves can be simple and uncomplicated, and maintain a carefree dignity.

Le but ultime de la meditation—Decouvrir notre vraie nature

Bien que toutes choses soient impermanentes et interdépendantes, nos espoirs nous impliquent dans une poursuite insatiable de ce qui, daprès nous, va faire notre bonheur. Par ailleurs, la peur de perdre ce que nous avons rend le changement terrifiant. Il nous faut parvenir à accepter fondamentalement limpermanence. Même si nos pensées changent constamment, si nous ne pouvons pas nous y fier, nous nous identifions à elles, à nos émotions et à nos histoires. Toutefois, la seule chose qui soit durable, immuable et fiable est la clarté de notre courant de conscience. Que nous soyons heureux ou triste, la qualité connaissante de la conscience pure demeure avec nous tout au long de notre vie et cela jusquà lÉveil. Bien que le monde soit décadent et difficile, et que notre vie soit complexe, si nous avons découvert la liberté intérieure de lesprit, nous pouvons rester simple, sans complications, et maintenir une dignité libre de tout souci. Nous serons à laise et détendu avec tout le monde et dans toutes situations. Nos pensées et nos émotions ne sont que les ombres et les reflets de nous-même. La pratique de la méditation dissout ces leurres et nous permet dêtre authentique. Nous nous ouvrons à la réalité de notre être et nous trouvons le repos dans la bonté fondamentale de la nature de lesprit. Si nous parvenons à faire confiance à cette connaissance claire, tout ce qui nous reste à faire est de prendre plaisir à notre vraie nature et de découvrir le véritable bonheur.

Das letztendliche Ziel der Meditation—Entdecken wer wir wirklich sind

Obgleich alles vergänglich ist und in gegenseitiger Abhängigkeit existiert, treibt uns unsere Hoffnung dazu, unersättlich dem vermeintlichen Glück hinterher zu jagen, und aus Angst, das zu verlieren, was wir haben, fürchten wir uns vor jeglicher Veränderung. Was wir brauchen, ist eine grundlegende Akzeptanz der Vergänglichkeit. Auch wenn sie sich ständig verändern und unzuverlässig sind, identifizieren wir uns mit unseren Gedanken, Emotionen und Geschichten. Doch das einzig Beständige, Unveränderliche und Zuverlässige ist die Klarheit unseres Geistesstroms. Ob wir glücklich oder traurig sind, die erkenntnisfähige Qualität unseres reinen Bewusstseins begleitet uns in all unseren Leben und wird bis zur Erleuchtung fortbestehen. Selbst in einer dekadenten und schwierigen Welt, in der unser Leben so komplex sein kann, können wir, wenn wir die innere Freiheit unseres Geistes entdeckt haben, einfach und unkompliziert sein und eine sorglose Würde besitzen. Dann werden wir gelassen und entspannt mit jedem und in jeder Situation sein. Unsere Gedanken und Emotionen sind nur Schatten und Abbilder unserer selbst. Meditationspraxis löst diese Falschheit auf und gestattet uns, aufrichtig zu sein. Wir öffnen uns gegenüber dem, wer wir wirklich sind, und finden Ruhe in der grundlegenden Gutheit der Natur des Geistes. Wenn wir dieser klaren Erkenntisfähigkeit vertrauen können, bleibt uns nichts anderes zu tun, als uns unserer Natur zu erfreuen und auf authentische Weise glücklich zu sein.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Discovering who we really are

Sogyal Rinpoche has asked us to make some of his best teachings available online, at no cost. The first teaching to be shared on google video is the Rigpalink "Discovering who we really are", which has been previously published as Rigpalink November 2002.

Above, you see a link to an extract of this teaching on YouTube. The full teaching will appear on Google Video shortly. Enjoy!

Monday, 2 June 2008

Dzongsar Ngari Tulku

Dzongsar Ngari Tulku, one of Sogyal Rinpoche's closest childhood friends and an important tulku from Dzongsar Monastery, passed away on 18 May 2008 following a tragic accident in Germany.

Here is an extract from an interview Rigpa students conducted with him several years ago:

Friday, 23 May 2008

DSpace: The New Treasury of Wisdom Database

As announced before, we have been very busy on working on a new interface to our archive database. Finally, we were able to switch to the new interface last night. At the same time, we have also changed the weblink to

If you are already a registered user of DSpace, have a walk around the new interface.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

The new Treasury of Wisdom Interface

The new interface of the Treasury of Wisdom Database is now close to being finished. This new version is based on DSpace 1.5 and has been greatly enhanced by our programmer. In the above screen-shot, you can see the overlay that becomes visible when you put the cursor over the reference to another entry. (In this case you can see the information related to a session from the event which the session belongs to).

Treasury of Wisdom Taskforce 2008 Report

Creating a fully-functional research database is one of Rigpa's highest priorities. In order to reach this goal, from January to March 2008, a special task force has been created to transfer all data available on teachings of Sogyal Rinpoche from the years 1996-2005 into the Treasury of Wisdom Database, and to make this data easily available to researchers.

The task force was formed by 5 volunteers from France, Australia, Germany and the USA. Each one of them worked for around 2 months, around 30 hours per week.

They accomplished the following:
• all data of Rigpa events between 1994 and 2008 has been entered (close to 1800 events)
• all data of Rigpa teaching sessions between 2001 and 2008 have been entered (more than 2800 sessions)
• all Daily Session Reports have been converted into Open-Office documents and PDFs and entered (the writing of Daily Session Reports started in 2001, more than 1400 reports in total)

In order to make the database more easily adaptable to our needs, the Software base of the Treasury of Wisdom database has been moved from an outdated older version to the current version of DSpace. While this move has been very work-intensive, it provides us now with a much better platform that allows us to easily update our software as newer versions of this library system become available. Also, the new systems allows us change the visual appearance of the web-interface, and to make the database more user friendly. The new version is currently in a test phase.

What still needs to be done

Changing to the new version of the Treasury of Wisdom Database
Testing of the new system has started, we expect to change over by the end of May 2008.

Entering all transcripts from 2001-2008
Currently only 200 transcripts have been entered. More than 7000 do exist, but they need to be spell-checked to comply with the current Rigpa spelling, and then converted to Open-Office data format to ensure that we still can read these transcripts in 10 years time. We are currently trying to find a retreat volunteer in Lerab Ling to submit around 2400 transcripts for teachings from 2001-2008. This will take around 400 hours, around 20 weeks of volunteer work.

Design of a good search interface
The Treasury of Wisdom Strategy Team is currently interviewing all key Rigpa researchers to find out what their requirement for a search interface are. This gathering phase will be finished by end of May 2008. We can then propose how the new search interface will look, and start implementing it. A new search interface should then be functional by end of August 2008.

Enter the remaining session information
We plan to put together another task-force for the next practice period (Jan-April 2009) to enter the remaining session information of the years 1994-2000.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

The Data-Entry Taskforce has started their work

During January 2008, a special taskforce which now comprises 5 students has started to enter the backlog of teaching information into the Treasury of Wisdom Database.

By now, they have successfully entered information on all Rigpa teaching events between 1994 and today, a total of 1776 events

Also, there are more than 1200 Daily Session Reports which document day-by-day what happened on these events (they cover teachings from 2000 up to now).

Now, the team has started to enter data on individual teachings of the years 2002-2004.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Losar Tashi Delek from the ZAM building in Lodeve

Happy New Year-Losar Tashi Delek from the ZAM building in Lodeve. The ZAM building now houses teams from ZAM, Treasury of Wisdom, the Home Retreat Multimedia Production team as well as Spiritual Care. Here's a group photo of all the teams together, and there are still 3 people misssing...

The Treasury of Wisdom Taskforce has started

On 15 January 2008, the Treasury of Wisdom taskforce has started to fill the Treasury of Wisdom database with information from various other databases and documents on teaching events from Rigpa's History.

The taskforce has completely entered all teaching events from 1994-2008. As a result, researchers in Rigpa now have a complete list of events available at their disposal.

The taskforce has now started to engage with Daily Session Reports which provide a more detailed look at what happened during any day of a Rigpa teaching event.