Preservation first and foremost, then access.
The Transcription Project is a key initiative of the Chögyam Trungpa Institute at Naropa University, formed in 2017 to support and further the preservation and understanding of his teachings. The Institute is also planning for an online archive (known as “CHELA”) which will provide widespread access to these teachings, including: audio of 2,500 lectures and other events and more than 250 hours of video.
Central to the archive will be the collection of complete, accurate, searchable digital transcripts of those recordings. A surprisingly large percentage of the existing recordings have never been transcribed, including seminars on the battle of ego, working with death and dying, meditation and mindfulness, crazy wisdom, mandala principle, discipline and devotion, self-deception, the ten bhumis, the four maras, karma and the nidanas, and many other topics. Other seminars present material on the Mahamudra Lineage and its forefathers: Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa, Milarepa, and Gampopa, as well as later seminars about great teachers such as the Karmapas and Jamgon Kongtrul.
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The Transcription Project was conceived in late 2016, during an annual gathering at Naropa University of younger editors-in-training, where a group began to consider how the remainder of the collection of recordings of Chogyam Trungpa could be transcribed, and the already-existing transcripts could be conformed to current digital archival standards. During the course of the following year, a small team completed a pilot study, with a focus on developing tools and procedures that would allow the project to be easily scaled-up. The full-scale project began in earnest in the Spring of 2018.
The work is now well underway. The Project is producing a significant collection of transcripts that will be searchable and closely linked to the original recordings. We believe this catalog will prove invaluable to students, teachers and researchers for many decades to come. We are justifiably proud that, as of December 2020, we have transcribed and checked more than 500 individual recordings.
2020 Current Team
Lynn Friedman, Team Lead & Information Systems Architect
Warner Dick, Transcription Lead
Ella Milligan, Matilda Perks, Leandra Ziegler, Travis May, Sophie Perks, Anne Seidlitz, Jessyca Goldstein, Mary Beth Kean, Ruth Veleta, Julia McKaig.
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, my late husband, taught tirelessly during the seventeen years that he was in North America, and there is still a vast amount of material that has not yet been transcribed. These teachings are profound and precious and in the right circumstances will be of enormous benefit to future generations. This project represents both a precious opportunity as well as an enormous responsibility. I wholeheartedly support it.
—- Diana J. Mukpo, widow of Chögyam Trungpa