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Beginning of the Northern Treasures


Text Preservation Project


Text Preservation Project

The Northern treasures were the last teachings given by Padmasambhava before he left Tibet. They were hidden for future generations to find; some of the Northern Treasures texts are still being collected today. Some are located in remote areas, some have been hidden away since the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959, and some have remained inadvertently hidden on shrines in private homes. Changling Rinpoche has been quietly working for several years to collect these texts. At any moment, he may receive word that a volume has been located in a remote area. Or it may be that someone will bring their families' treasure and object from their home. In 2004, several volumes of treasures and commentaries which were unknown were located. This involved sending a small group to a remote area to either purchase or borrow the texts, then making sufficient copies to ensure even the loss of the original would not mean total loss of the teaching. While on a text hunting expedition in 2003, the intended texts were found along with several others which had been thought lost for decades.

Currently, these texts are being scanned for distribution on CD and DVD. However, beginning with the 13 volumes of commentaries by Pema Trinley, we are typing them into a Tibetan word processing format. Our goal is to have corrected versions distributed in published form to the monasteries and retreat centers where the Northern Treasures are still practiced. Since many of the Northern Treasures are practiced in monasteries of all lineages, we hope to provide copies to everyone interested, including western academic institutions and dharma centers.

This is a major undertaking. Books have been held hostage so that even a xerox copy may cost several hundred dollars. The last remaining volume of songs by the master Zurchungpa, technically not part of the Northern Treasures but an important part of the Oral Lineage maintained at Dorje Drak and other Northern Treasures monasteries, was recently ransomed from certain loss at a cost of $1,000 US. The high cost was due to the difficult circumstances of the seller. Other books have been freely given. However they come, the texts must be preserved.

The cost of entering the 13 volumes of Pema Trinley is approximately $3,000 US per year. These thirteen volumes will require three years of work. After this, there are perhaps 75 more volumes (since more are being found each year, exact numbers are elusive).

Your generous donation can be used to recover, retype or print texts which might otherwise be lost.