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Taking the Long View

December 4, 2009

Earlier this week, Peter Turner, President of Shambhala Publications, and Eden Steinberg, a senior editor at Shambhala, were in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where I live. They were here to meet with some of their authors and colleagues. Peter, Eden, and I met for breakfast, joined by the Director of the Nalanda Translation Committee, Larry Mermelstein. We talked about the future of publishing books altogether—a vital topic these days, given the changing landscape in publishing and media communications altogether. Our discussions were linked to the future of publishing the work of Chögyam Trungpa.

To the astonishment of many, the Shambhala Archives houses enough audio material for forty or more volumes by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. If we are able to produce two volumes a year, which is ambitious, that means that a robust program of new publications could continue for twenty years. This does not even include specialty volumes that take material from existing publications and present it in new ways—like the recent publications The Pocket Chögyam Trungpa and Ocean of Dharma: The Everyday Wisdom of Chögyam Trungpa.

Twenty years from now, the editors who were trained directly by Chögyam Trungpa will probably no longer be doing this work. So taking a long view of publishing Trungpa Rinpoche’s work also forces us to think about training new editors, finding a way to pass on the training that we ourselves received. Rinpoche’s editors have been talking about this already. It was stimulating to expand the discussion to include our publishing colleagues.


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