Northern Treasures Text Archival Project

Changling Rinpoche has been steadily working for several years to collect missing and unknown texts from the Northern Treasures tradition. (See Northern Treasures Lineages for a history of this tradition.) A project of this importance is a major undertaking. Word that a volume has been located in a remote area could come without notice or someone could show up unexpectedly with something that has been hidden away for years. Long walks through harsh landscapes in search of texts are not uncommon. But can you imagine what it must be like to find a single missing page from a text of this caliber?

Traditional TextsThis project also comes with its own peculiar obstacles. Books have been held hostage so that even a xerox copy could cost several hundred dollars. For example, 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 for $1,000 US. (The high cost was due to the difficult circumstances of  the seller.) Other books have been given freely.

In 2003, while on a text-finding expedition the texts being sought were found, along with several others that had been lost for decades. In 2004, several volumes of hidden treasure teachings (terma) and commentaries which were unknown were located. It is one thing to find the texts and quite another to preserve them.

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

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 impossible to calculate).

If you would like to participate in this very special project your generous donation will be used to recover, retype or print texts which might otherwise be lost.

Contact us at: for further information and to make a donation.

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