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Perspective from Fall 2011

In addition to funding our ongoing expenses, we hope to concentrate on several special projects: 1) digitizing, cataloging and re-housing the VCTR photography collection, 2) improving the care of the Vidyadhara’s belongings in the Ladrang, 3) conservation and display of the Surmang Relics, 4) and digitizing our video collection. Photographs We have more than 50,000 images in our VCTR photography collection. We have begun to digitize and catalogue these photographs, but we have completed less than three percent of the collection. This year, we received a direct request from His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa to help select photos of the 16th Karmapa from our archives, for an exhibit in Bodhgaya honoring the 900th anniversary of the Karmapa lineage               


After completing this pilot project we are ready to move forward with other parts of the collection. A generous donor provided funding for a new computer dedicated to the photography collection. As part of the preservation process, we need a scanner that will give us better quality high resolution scans. Eventually many of these photographs will be uploaded to a site that we have already created to be seen and enjoyed by all. You can visit this site by clicking here. It is still in the construction phase so check back often!

Continuing Commitment to Our Vast Audio-Visual Collection The Shambhala Archives has continued the archival migration of audio and video of teachings that are in our vault. We have more than 1,000 hours of analog video that need to be migrated or digitized and stored on secure hard drives and data tapes. Your donations continue to support this necessary work. Last year Gordon Kidd worked on the digital migration of analog videos such as Skillful Means and Wisdom (1976), which was also released as a DVD set this year.(available at http://www.shambhalamedia.org/). The Iconography of Buddhist Tantra (1975), The Dance of Enlightenment Aesthetics seminar, (1975), Visual Dharma, (1978) and Creating Enlightened Society, (1982), were also migrated to digital formats. The Archives also accessioned recent talks of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche of the Scorpion Seal programs and the Vajrayana Seminaries of 2009 and 2010. An important part of our mandate is to archive and preserve both audio and video teachings by the Saykyong.

Audio Recovery Project Honoured with Award

June 11 2010

Carman Carroll, retired NS Provincial Archivist, presented the award to Carolyn Gimian and Gordon Kidd.


On June 11, 2010  the Shambhala Archives received the Carman V. Carroll Award for Outstanding Achievement in Archival Preservation from the Council of Nova Scotia Archives.  The goal of the award is to foster an appreciation of preservation and recognize its place as a vital component within the ongoing daily operations of an archives. The Shambhala Archives received the award for the Audio Recovery Project to preserve and digitize the audio recordings of the Vidyadhara, the Venerable Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. The Archives is honoured to have received this award.  Gordon Kidd, the Technical Director of the Archives, and Carolyn Gimian, Director Emeritus and Past President of the Council of Nova Scotia Archives, represented the Shambhala Archives at the awards ceremony.

The majority of the work was done over four years with a total budget of $250,000. Some initial research and trials were done in 2004 and 2005. The work commenced full time in 2006 and was completed in 2009. We hoped to finish in 2008, but needed an extra year  to finish the project. While $250,000 is a lot of money, it was an extremely economical use of funds.

Gordon Kidd, the technical director of the Shambhala Archives contributed approx. ¼ time to the project. The Digital Engineer who worked with Gordon to design and implement the system was Chris Levy, who worked full time on the project for three years and worked ¼ time to complete the remainder of the project in the fourth year, 2009. The Archives Assistant, Sandra Kipis, worked on duplication and administration of the project. Several summer students also worked on the project through various grant programs. Carolyn Gimian helped to raise the funds for the project and communicated with the centres and sent them newsletters, updates etc. The staff of the Shambhala Archives showed tremendous dedication, tenaciousness and ingenuity in the implementation of this project.


Chögyam Trungpa Photo Exhibit - Parinirvana

April 4 2010

On April 4th Shambhala Archives presented nine framed photographs by Chogyam Trunpa Rinpoche at the Halifax Shambhala Center. "The basic principle of photography is viewing things as they are in their ordinary nature"- Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche



Parinirvana Exhibits- A- Suite and the Surmang Relics

April 4 2009

This year Shambhala Archives was able to present several objects from the Surmang Relics. Great care was taken to ensure their safety during the one day exhibit with the help of a secure display case lent by St. Mary's Art Gallery and the continuous presence of Kasung.

These precious objects were hand carried by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche when he left Tibet in 1959. They were first displayed for many years on the main shrine of the Boulder Shambhala Center . In 1987 they were brought to Halifax at the request of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.

The Archives would like to permanently install the Surmang relics in the shrine room of the Halifax Shambhala Center but must first design the proper climate controlled secure display case.

The objects displayed on April 4 were the three sided dagger of meteoric iron and bronze that was used by Padmasambhava (circa 750-800); a 12th century hooked knife of meteoric iron and bronze that belonged to Naropa; the rupa of Milarepa, of bronze ,silver and copper, Tibetan, 12th century, that belonged to Gampopa; the rupa of Chakrasamvara, 11th century shrine object belonging to Naropa; and the four-armed Mahakala, the main protector of the Surmang monastaries. It is this rupa from which the large Mahakala rupa at the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya was based upon.



Parinirvana - A- Suite Exhibit

April 4 2009

 On the same day Jeanne Riordan curated a larger exhibit in the A-Suite of the Halifax Shambhala Center. She created a wonderful personal display of several aspects of the Vidyadhara's life.






VCTR Collection Photography

February 2009

On the weekend of February 7th Archives supporters, staff and volunteers along with photographer Marvin Moore set up a small photo studio in the Tiger Room at the Halifax Shambhala Center to continue documenting the personal belongings of the Vidyadhara. This was the third session and much was accomplished including re-photographing the precious Surmang Relics which the Vidyadhara brought with him when he escaped from Tibet. To our pleasant surprise Carolyn Gimian discovered markings on the back of what was believed to be Naropa's scull, markings that very much resembled the AH symbol.




                                                                                              Marvin Moore Photography



                        Marvin Moore Photography                                Marvin Moore Photography



The Speech Empowerment of the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya

July 20 2008

On Sunday July 20, 2008, 3000 CDs containing all of the talks that Trungpa Rinpoche gave during his 17 years in North America were installed in the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya. Please visit Carolyn Gimian's blog for the full story.

                                                                                                      Sandra Kipis Photography



                                                                                                 Sandra Kipis Photography


Digital Migration Project  2009

Video technology has moved on – to digital formats, DVD authoring, and the need to migrate all early analog video to digital video. Digital preservation of all early analog video is a critical priority at this point.  This fall the Archives submitted a proposal to the Shambhala Trust to carry out digital preservation of 500 hours of video recordings of the Vidyadhara the Venerable Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.  The Archives has the equipment to play back and convert the video signal, all that is missing is the storage capacity.  The request is to purchase hard drive storage capacity on a Raid 5 storage device.  Once digitized, access to these teachings will increase, and the cost for future preservation migrations will be significantly lessened.  "RAID" is an umbrella term for computer data storage schemes that can divide and replicate data among multiple hard disk drives. Once data is on a Raid, security is assured as it can repair itself by rebuiding a failed drive from the data on the other drives  The type of raid we are seeking is a Raid 5 device, a very stable, industrial strength configuration. 



Brush and Sword Exhibit

April 4 2007

An exhibit "Brush and Sword"commemorating the 2oth Aniversary of the Parinirvana of Chögyam Trungpa took place in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the Halifax Shambhala Center April 4, 2007. Three themes were selected for this exhibit: Calligraphy, Ikebana and the Sakyong Empowerment. The Shambhala Shrine, which had been incorporated into the exhibit, resides permanently in the Snow Lion Room ,where the display took place.



Chögyam Trungpa 's interest in art began in Tibet. In India he completed several powerful paintings in the tradition of Tibetan thangka painting, and he also began to create small dharma art arrangements of objects. In England, he began to do some paintings with brush and ink. However, it was in North America that this activity blossomed. Trungpa Rinpoche created several thousand calligraphies using Japanese sumi ink, on white paper, but occassionally on gold paper or other backgrounds.Several of his calligraphies were included in this exhibit, and several others are still on display in other rooms in the center.



Chögyam Trungpa studied ikebana in England with Stella Coe, with whom he maintained a close relationship for many years. He received certification in the Sogestsu School and an enlargement of this certificate along with some of his tools were displayed in this exhibit.The one large ikebana arrangement pictured here was created by senior students of his, who still continue to train in the discippline of ikebana, ispired by his example. In the 1980's a group of students practicing ikebana formed Kalapa Ikebana to study and practice the art of flower arrangement.




A DVD of parts of the abhisheka were shown as part of the exhibit. It showed the very ceremonial way in which clothing and medals were presented to Trugpa Rinpoche. Many of the actual medals and ceremonial awards were displayed in this exhibit.



A smaller exibit was later installed in "A" suite for guests to view following the weekend Parinirvana events held at the Center.



Learn more about meditation and buddhism at shambhala.org

Read more about meditation and buddhism at shambhalatimes.org

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