2016 Letter from the Director



December 11, 2016
 
Dear Friends of the Chogyam Trungpa Legacy Project,
 
As 2016 draws to a close, I’m writing to thank all of you for your support and your interest in our work.
 
At this time of extraordinary change and uncertainty, we all are called upon to consider how we can help this world—and in our particular case how we can safeguard the precious teachings that Buddha and his successors have brought into this world. If you see the Legacy Project as one such worthy attempt to preserve the dharma, I hope you will consider a year end gift to support our activities in 2017 and coming years.
 
I thought I would focus this letter on one new project from 2016. It’s a good news story, and heaven knows we can use a few of those:
 
This year the Legacy Project co-sponsored Opening the Dharma Treasury, a workshop that brought together nineteen prospective editors at the Naropa University. For nine days in September, Judy Lief and I worked with this wonderful group of young and young-ish dharma practitioners who are also word lovers interested in the transcription, translation, and editing of Chogyam Trungpa’s vast literary work. David Rome and Derek Kolleeny led several sessions, David on editing poetry and Derek on three-fold logic. Melvin McLeod, Sara Bercholz, Nikko Odisseos, and Charles Lief joined us mid-week for a panel discussion of the future of publishing Chogyam Trungpa’s work.
 
Lady Diana Mukpo, Chogyam Trungpa’s widow, sent this message, giving her blessing to the program:
           
On behalf of the Mukpo family I would like to welcome all the participants to Opening the Dharma Treasury.
           
This workshop offers the rare opportunity to work with the people who were directly trained by the Vidyadhara in the way in which he wanted his work edited and  published. At this point in time, it is of great importance that this knowledge be transmitted to a new generation. The Vidyadhara 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 edited. These teachings are profound and precious and  in the right circumstances will be of enormous benefit to future generations. Having the opportunity to participate in this project is both a precious opportunity as well as an enormous responsibility.

 
The budding editors included twenty-somethings, thirty-somethings, and a smattering of older than thirty-somethings. Canadians, Americans and translators from China and Switzerland were among the group. We had both experienced editors and neophytes, and students from different dharma communities.  
 Workshop Participants Meditating before They Edit!

We spent the entire week working on one talk from the first seminar given by Chogyam Trungpa at Naropa University. Just one! Everyone arrived with their transcript of this talk. We compared our transcriptions and then began editing the talk. At the end of the week, we all left to complete our edits and submit them for review and discussion.
 
By the end of the week, this diverse group became a community, joined in our love for Chogyam Trungpa and his work, and now by our affection and appreciation for one another. One participant called her husband mid-week and gushed into the phone about the fantastic discussion of the em dash that had consumed part of the afternoon. “Honey,” he said, I think you’ve found your people!”

 
Editors at Work

Next year, we plan to reconvene to complete the editing of the entire thirteen talk seminar, with much of the editorial work taking place during the intervening months. We hope to publish the edited version of the seminar in 2018. From there, who knows where we go next?
 
A sub-group from Opening the Dharma Treasury also became inspired to work towards completing the transcription of all of Chogyam Trungpa’s talks. Shockingly, nearly 1,000 have never been transcribed. These volunteers are working with the Legacy Project to create a plan, budget, and a pilot project for the coming year.
 
In 2016, the Legacy Project will also work with Naropa University and others to host a meeting on implementing CHELA, an online repository and archive of Chogyam Trungpa’s work. We also continue our work with the Profound Treasury Retreat and our efforts to support digitization of Chogyam Trungpa’s material at the Shambhala Archives. These are just a few of our activities.

For additional information about our projects, please visit our website.
Please support our work! You can donate at http://chogyamtrungpa.com/donate/

 Or contact me directly about other ways to give at cgimian@suchns.com.
 
Thanks to all of you who are already donors and supporters of our mission—a mission that many of you work to achieve in myriad ways!
 
With wishes for a peaceful year to come,
Yours in the ocean of dharma and in gratitude,
 
 

Carolyn Gimian

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