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.    

History
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 collection became quite large and popular and the ISP eventually deleted his archive.

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 database.
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 world.

Public Archive
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

Private Archive
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 media@dharma-media.org  with subject matter your interested in and qualifications for receiving media. Addition questions or reply will happen within 5 days.

Future Vision
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. 

 

Support letter from H.H. Drikung Chetsang Rinpoche

 

Copyright Info

 

Founders
Kenny Tham
Malaysia

Bill O'Brien
United States

 

 

 

 

May All Beings Benefit