Who We Are
Dharma Media (formerly Kagyu Media Lab) is a grassroots organization whose mission is to
preserve the Buddhadharma in a non-sectarian spirit and wishes to
preserve all Buddhadharma from authentic Buddhist lineages.
Dharma Media has partnered with Vajra
Publications to provide an online database which has both
private and public sections. All the services are provided free
and all the work done is by volunteers.
Dharma Media's primary work, but not limited to,
is digitizing & collecting audio based dharma talks by various masters from
various Buddhist traditions. Once we have various teachings in a
digital format we can work with volunteers to get the teachings,
translated and transcribed. All non-restricted digital
media is then cataloged published to share the authentic transmission of teachings of the Buddhadharma.
Restricted material is searchable but access is limited to those qualified access.
We also work with various centers to archive their
teachings in private archives. The media from these archives can
then be used in the future by the center for various fundraising
and education efforts.
Dharma Media started as one man's personal archive of audio
recordings from teachings he or Dharma friends had attended and
recorded. Kenny Tham
published these recordings on the early internet using free ISP services. His
became quite large and popular and the ISP eventually deleted his
Kagyu Media Lab
Kenny and Bill O'Brien decided to work together to help publish media realted to dharma. The archive moved to a very modest server setup
in a home behind a ISDN (128k) circuit. In 2001, they formalized their efforts with the website
Kagyu Media Lab (KML). The name Kagyu Media Lab was
inspired by the famous MIT (Massachusetts Institute of
Technology) Media Lab.
In 2002 KML created the domain kagyu-medialab.org
which was hosted out of Bill O'Briens home. Soon the bandwidth
was not able to keep up with demand. In a short time the site was receiving 100's of visits daily from around the world.
Migration of Server and Domain
After about a year we changed our name to Dharma Media (DM) to
emphasize the non-sectarian and service oriented spirit of the archive. Also
in 2003 the archive was moved to a Vajra Publications server. Vajra Publications
provides the primary download server and bandwidth to the Dharma Media
archives. This partnership also allowed us to create a
geographically separate backup location for the archive. There is at least 2 complete copies of the archive in separate locations.
Standards Based Archiving
At this time it became obvious to standardize media formats. Up
to this point DM was making copies of media in several formats.
This was using up storage and complicating the cataloging
Audo recordings would be archived using 128khz CBR MP3
encoding/compression. We're moving away from Microsoft's Windows Media Audio format. Text will be published in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format.
Video content has not been standardized
but will most likely be mpeg/MP4 formats. Images use JPEG
with no compression. Eventually Dharma Media will
re-encode older media to the standards set above.
Everything Dharma Media does is motivated to
benefit sentient beings through the preservation of the Buddha's
teachings and to create a resource for Buddhist practitioners
regardless of their lineage or location. There are really a
relatively small group of people in the world that have the
good fortune of meeting authentic Buddhist teachers and hearing the teachings of their lineage. It is the hope of Dharma Media too extend
that good fortune for free to the countless practitioners throughout the
The public archive currently makes up the majority of media
collected by Dharma Media. The subject matter of this media is
appropriate for the public domain or Buddhist practitioners or
scholars. Subject matter deemed restricted or secret by
definitions consistent with Vajrayana are not made available to
the public via our archive media search engine unless specifically released by the teacher.
The intention of the public archive is to make
available authentic Dharma media presented by recognized lineage
masters or teachers
Subject matter deemed restricted or secret by definitions
consistent with Vajrayana are tagged with a red R or P.
Contact us for more information acessing this material. The private archive is has two catagories. First,
private or restricted materials available to qualified persons
upon request and Second with private organizational archive. The
private organizational archives are archives restricted to those
in the contributing organization.
If you are interested in the private archive,
contributing or accessing media please contact
firstname.lastname@example.org with subject matter your
interested in and qualifications for receiving media. Addition
questions or reply will happen within 5 days.
Its our aspiration to continue to research and utilize
technology to preserve and distribute the Buddhadharma freely. Dharma Media is
collecting in its database volunteers throughout the world with
various talents to help with the collected media.
It is our hopes that we will be able to
distribute media publicly and to qualified individuals to
further the development of authentic practice. We hope to make
the transition from a grass roots organization with a few
individuals piecing together web & storage infrastructure to
publish the Buddha Dharma to a supported on-profit publishing
the Buddha Dharma on commercial class servers and networks all
the while remaining a free service.