Adopt a Teaching – Summarize or Transcribe

Listen — Contemplate — Meditate — and Share.

adopt a teaching When you listen to a teaching a few times, and let it slowly absorb into you, that’s when you really begin to know it. Adopting a teaching is a way to become very close to the dharma, and the teacher, and to share your efforts with others in a meaningful way.

You can help in so many ways to bring a teaching to life. This list roughly prioritizes our needs, and even helping with one item is of immense value.

  • Writing a short SUMMARY will give others a flavor for the uniqueness of the teaching. We rely on these summaries in our introductions to the recordings. Most of the introductions on this site need your help!
  • Giving a CONTEXT for a teaching is immensely helpful. In other words, what general topics are addressed in the teaching? For example, if the teaching was on the Four Reminders, which topics were covered, all or only some of Precious Birth, Impermanence, Karma, Samsara?
  • Selecting AUDIO or VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS (short snippets) of a teaching to post on You Tube or Sound Cloud; this is a wonderful way to share Rinpoche’s teachings with a more general audience. Short snippets on You Tube often provide a first introduction to Rinpoche’s teachings, and a short pithy introduction to his style or some key topic.
  • Providing an OUTLINE or a list of topics helps others who may be looking for commentary on various topics, or perhaps a particular story, or a bit of biography. The outline gets one a little closer to the content.
  • TRANSCRIBING Rinpoche’s spoken word onto the written page is a way to know the teachings more intimately, and to really absorb the nuances of the words Rinpoche uses. Transcriptions are also added to the Teaching Archive, and thus help to preserve the work.
  • The EDITING of Rinpoche’s teachings represents an immersion into a particular teaching, and much contemplation and meditation on its nuances, and, eventually, to perhaps bring the teachings to publication.

Please know that your contributions will serve and be of benefit to yourself and to others.

In the words of Mary Heneghan, who has taken the work of transcribing and editing to heart:

“Transcribing  …. can provide a real link with the teaching, working to put it down into writing, and so be taken very much as a practice.  A transcript should aim to be as close as possible to the original spoken word, taking out only the repeated words and the ‘you know…’ kinds of words.  One should continually listen and re-listen carefully, to the teaching to check the words.  It is amazing how easily we write what we think is said, rather than what is actually said.  So, each time you find a difference between what you wrote down and what you now hear, you are learning – you are seeing yourself and you are hearing the teachings (finally).

There is something to be said for taking a script through ourselves, hearing it and producing it on the written page, whether it is written by hand or typed, there is an element of embodying through writing, through re-producing.  It can go into the cellular layer, if we are awake and aware and concentrating, which we should be for this kind of work.  It really keeps me on my toes, to remember that the words I put down will be taken as Ringu Tulku’s teaching.  Someone might follow them.   The point is for someone to follow them, to bring them into their life and to work over and over with them.  As such, precision is paramount.  Rinpoche chooses his words carefully and specifically on so many occasions, having learned all the nuances of English to do so.  To faithfully reproduce them requires a clarity of mind and a willingness to engage; its an important and a rewarding task.”

We would love to hear from you if you have an interest in this sort of practice – and it is a practice! As is said, one progresses in dharma by listening, contemplating, and meditating on the teachings — this sort of work connects us more closely to the teachings and the teacher, and we can be of service to others in the process.

A list of recordings of various teachings is on the North America Teachings page.

Interested? Please contact us, or see other ways to help.

Already part of the group? See the Editorial Group Page (password-protected).

Image credit: Photo by Alice Popkorn, ‘Welcome a New Light, under a Creative Commons License, downloaded from: