The eBooks Are Here
article by Terry Rudderham, Co-Director, Shambhala Media
The Collected Vajradhatu Seminary Transcripts eBooks and the three-volume Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma, published by Shambhala Publications, are complementary publications, both based on teachings offered by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche at the thirteen Vajradhatu Seminaries from 1973–1986. Both projects represent many years’ work, as well as the dedication and devotion of many people.
For the Collected Vajradhatu Seminary Transcripts Ms. Barbara Blouin spent three years thoroughly checking the existing seminary transcripts against the original audio of the Vidyadhara’s talks, which were supplied by the Archives’ Audio Recovery Project. As a result of Barbara’s dedication they have been corrected and missing material restored.
To give a few examples of what has been restored: the elocution exercises in two late seminaries were completely left out of the transcripts. They are now available for us. A particular treat was hearing poet Allen Ginsburg reading one of Trungpa Rinpoche’s elocution exercises in the best accent that he could manage in imitation of Rinpoche’s Oxford British pronunciation.
The question periods were always a delight: they show vividly how personally and openly Trungpa Rinpoche worked with his students. One could go so far as to say as they were “intimate.” They often seemed like Rinpoche was giving a transmission, especially in the Vajrayana talks.In addition to the talks, the eBooks will contain all the original questions and answers between the Vidyadhara and his students. Thanks to the Nalanda Translation Committee, they will also include facsimiles and translations of the original notecards that the Vidyadhara used in his talks. As well, a glossary is included in each volume. But most exciting of all, the eBooks will be searchable, and the reader will also be able to annotate them.
While the eBooks present the original seminary transcripts in chronological order, The Profound Treasury is arranged thematically, giving an overview of the three-yana journey in accordance with the Vidyadhara’s wishes to bring these teachings to the broader public. Editor Judith Lief undertook the herculean task of compiling and editing the material, assisted by Ellen Kearney. Ms. Kearney also served as managing editor for the re-editing of the transcripts and played a pivotal role in preparing these manuscripts for publication. Finally, all the talks were lightly re-edited by Kalapa Editor Emily Sell.
The Nalanda Translation Committee reviewed all Tibetan terminology and helped to prepare the glossaries. Derek Kolleeny provided valuable feedback. Carolyn Gimian, through her work with the Chogyam Trungpa Legacy Project and as Lady Diana Mukpo’s literary representative, also helped see these projects to fruition. Shambhala Media, Shambhala Publications, the Mukpo family, the Shambhala Trust, and many donors contributed generous support.