Celebrate 30 years of Fun, Film, Wisdom and Compassion
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30th Anniversary Issue - June 2015

30th Anniversary & Website Launch 

Message from the Director

Dolma Beresford

From preservation to dissemination of Buddhist wisdom we have come a long way towards fulfilling our promise, made to the Dalai Lama more than 30 years ago. In 1981 he asked our founding trustees to help preserve Tibetan Buddhist wisdom on film. Little did we envisage that over 30 years later, the Trust would have created the largest archive of its kind in the world. Little also did anyone imagine the impact that Buddhism would have as it now flourishes in the west  - ‘mindful practice’ is now firmly ‘mainstream’ and has taken root in many everyday disciplines in the west, from education to health and business. 

This year is a major landmark for all at The Meridian Trust: not only are we celebrating our 30th anniversary but we have also, at an official launch in central London, unveiled the ‘beta-test’ version of our new website. 

Sharing the collection online will, in effect, transform it from an archive into a wisdom resource, hugely increasing its potential. Not only will Tibetans have much greater access to their cultural heritage but also anyone interested in learning more about the path of wisdom, peace and compassion can access the content. 

We look forward to the future as, the Dalai Lama succinctly puts it, we become more aware of our ‘universal responsibility’ in a world that needs our change.

It has been a long journey but one we feel is really just beginning …….

Website Unveiled at 30th Anniversary Celebration


Screening at The Meridian Trust's 30th Anniversary Celebrations
On the 30th April, appropriately enough, the Trust launched the beta-test version of its film streaming website, marking 30 years of safeguarding and sharing Buddhist wisdom. 
The serene environment of the A_SPACE venue provided the perfect backdrop; an oasis of calm in the centre of hectic london. It was wonderful to have so many friends who, over the years have have championed our work, come together for the occasion. Seeing everyone in the same place really made us realise the support we have had from so many people and in so many different ways!  It also put into focus just what a journey we have come on from initial filming, through the difficult times as we fought to protect the archive, to the present day where we now have an ever increasing and developing wisdom resource available online.  

Just over 18 months ago we were immersed in storyboards, wireframes and other technical considerations necessary for successful web development. Our heartfelt thanks to all involved, especially our web developers, We Add Motion. They held our hands as we worked through the complex processes involved in building a fully searchable film streaming website. 

The calibre of work achieved has already attracted similar organisations wishing to share their own archives, entrusting them into our care. We will treat them like our own and look forward to sharing more Buddhist thought and wisdom with the world.
Photos clockwise from top left: Dolma Beresford at 30th Anniversary Party. Guests at party. Presentation and launch of NEW website. Trustees Janet Millar, Geoff Jukes and Greta Jensen. © Luke Beresford

Thank you to the Team

 You are Amazing!


Our anniversary event gave us the chance to thank publicly some of those for whom Meridian has become, well,  part of their lives as they have continuously dedicated their time and expertise preserving Buddhist thought and wisdom. They certainly didn’t asked for any recognition but we hope they were not too shy of the accolades given. 

Our first award of the night, a sort of ‘lifetime achievement’ if you will, went to  Dave Barnard, our technical consultant. Dave has given tirelessly for more than 10 years now, ensuring that our ‘IT’  set-up and workflow is…..just right. His latest endeavour was building our digitising facility, not least of which was sourcing some of the equipment needed to ‘read’ some of the more obscure film formats in the archive!  It is no exaggeration to say that bringing everything ‘in-house’ has transformed the work of The Trust. We can now oversee and have full control of every part of the process of film production, saving us enormous amounts of time, money and...worry!  

This brings us nicely to the second heartfelt ‘thank you’, to Kaska Butkiewicz-Phunstok.  Kaska, as digital archive manager has been solely responsible for running the archive through Dave’s technical set-up. To explain, in a nutshell,  why Kaska deserves special mention? Well, when we invited Kaska to join the team, we estimated it would take her over a year to digitise the archive: she completed the task in under 5 months! - Kaska always gives 110%.  On top of this, her expertise and skill as a filmmaker (specialising in the Himalayan region) well, suffice to say, we know how lucky we are to have her on the team.  
Photos clockwise: Meridian Staff: Kaska Phuntsok, Dolma Beresford, Matt Kay & Emma Lewis. Dave Barnard, Emma Lewis, Matt Kay receiving recognition for their work. Trustees: Greta Jensen, (Dolma Beresford), Janet Millar, Svenja Geissmar, Marie Beresford & Geoff Jukes. © Luke Beresford

Thank You 
to all our Supporters and Friends

We, at The Trust, would like to take this opportunity that thank everyone who has supported our work. Special gratitude on our 30th birthday is extended to our long term supporters who have been with us all the way. You have watched as our archive has been extended and have also been there through the difficult times: how many of us remember the flood at Harrow Road - when we almost lost much of our analogue film footage?  Dark days indeed. 

We are incredibly grateful for your belief in our work and hope that you will enjoy the next year, as all your support comes to fruition as our archive of Buddhist wisdom is shared with the world. 

More recent ‘friends’ whom we must mention, include all our wonderful crowdfunders who, via our Kickstarter campaign of April 2014, played a crucial role  in ensuring our archive will endure by helping us to ‘open the vaults’. For those of you not able to make it on the night - we once again say - THANK YOU!  You are great. You made this happen. 

Word spreads to the USA 

We have long realised the need to connect  with the vast numbers of  Dharma supporters ‘Stateside’: with so much interest in the Buddhist thought and practice we knew we would find many wanting to know more about the ‘source’ wisdom content held in our vaults.

With that in mind, over the course of a week in March, Dolma Beresford (Director) and Geoff Jukes (a founding trustee) met with representatives from several  groups, foundations and like minded organisations. From Atlanta to New York, via Washington the interest our work received was most welcome. 

These meetings really brought into focus just  how important people feel our archive is: a vast visual document 2,500+ hrs long, charting the development of TIbetan Buddhism as it came out of Tibet to the current day. From an unique unbroken lineage of more than 1000 years, representing one of the world’s most vibrant and sustained of classical cultures, Tibetan Buddhism is now making positive waves across the globe. Here is a key, one which has the potential to inform and guide us through our incredibly complex world. A key that gently reminds us, always, of the true importance of all sentient beings. We truly believe in its is so heartening to see our vision is shared by so many.
Meeting with the Office of Tibet in washington DC. From Left: Mike Wohl, Lobsang Nyandak, Geoff Jukes, Dolma Beresford, Rinchen Dharlo
Dolma Beresford at the Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
Photos clockwise: Meeting with the Office of Tibet in washington DC. From Left: Mike Wohl, Lobsang Nyandak, Geoff Jukes, Dolma Beresford, Rinchen Dharlo. Lincoln Memorial, Director Dolma Beresford.


New Films to Watch

Psychology of Transformation – Ven. Robina Courtin
Finally, may we take a moment of your time to let you know about this years filming work. Our fruitful partnership with Jamyang Buddhist Centre, London continues - where resources and skills are pooled to spread the dharma beyond the immediate space of a retreat. 

Based in Kennington, South London under the guidance of Ven. Geshe Tashi, Jamyang provides a wonderful contemplative oasis in the heart of one of the busiest cities on the planet. A beautiful setting, complete with retreat rooms, a well stocked library, a cosy cafe and an outside walled courtyard give the perfect backdrop to weekend workshops delivered by some of the most respected Buddhist teachers of our time. For those who cannot afford the time or expense, we are working with Jamyang to make sure you can all have access to the entire content of these unique weekend teachings. 

So far this year Kaska has already recorded 4 ‘retreat workshops’ at Jamyang. Starting off early in January, when Ven Amy Miller worked with us, through ‘Conquering Stress and Anxiety’ she went on to film Roy Sutherwood as he took us on a journey examining ‘The Roots of Mindfulness’. At the end of February Tenzing Josh Gluck led a weekend on ‘Types of Mind, Ways of Knowing. Finally, in March, Jamyang was glad to welcome back an old and dear friend: The Ven. Robina Courtin, who gave a  well attended Vajrasattva Retreat. These last two retreats can be viewed, in their entirety, on our website. 
Types of Mind, Ways of Knowing – Tenzin Josh Gluck


The Meridian Summer 2015 Filming Schedule 

(confirmed so far)
  • 29th May - Andy Weber/ Tibetan Art Lecture 'Auspicious Symbols; bringing good fortune into your life/ Jamyang, London
  • 30th-31st May - Andy Weber/ Tibetan Art Workshop; How to draw, paint and create the auspicious symbols of Tibetan Buddhism /Jamyang London.
  • 3rd June - Chamtrul Rinpoche/ Mind Training Through the Seven-Part Cause and Effect Instructions/Kailash House, London, 
  • 4th June - Chamtrul Rinpoche/Transforming Suffering and Happiness into the Path to Enlightenment/ Kailash House, London,
  • 5-13 June - Alan Wallace/ 'The Dharma of an Idiot who Wears Mud and Feathers for Clothing' (an advanced introduction to the teachings and practices of Dzogchen)/Gaunts House, Dorset. 
  • 26th-28th June 2015 - H.H. the Dalai Lama

You can follow us on Facebook or receive an ‘alert’ through our bi-monthly newsletters: as these events happen we will be making them available online. 

Get Involved!

Become a Guardian

Donate Now

It is the small regular donations that keep us at Meridian going. They make it possible for us to plan for the future, knowing we have a regular core income which supports our work. Help us by becoming a Guardian: for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week you can help us build on the vital work of bringing the message of peace and compassion to all. 

Sounds daunting? Two years ago, the thought of getting our archive online felt a bit of challenge but we are now there. With small steps it was possible. 

Perhaps you would prefer to make a direct contribution to the editing and encoding that every piece of archival content has to undergo to prepare it for online viewing. 500 hours of material has already been prepared - there are still more than 2,000 remaining in the vaults, just waiting for the opportunity to be shared. 

Keeping Wisdom Alive

Support Us

Wish for the Future

It is our wish for the future that we can continue to support Dharma development by making filmed content accessible. Our hope is that, once tested, our new website will become a hub of Dharma related activity.

We wish to bring the material from the source together with contemporary content - bringing current teachings online side by side next to original ‘source’ material. Through the engaging medium of film we can help bring the message of peace, compassion and true harmonious living to generations to come. We invite you to continue this journey with us…
Have fun exploring the archive! over 500 hours of precious footage are waiting to be watched and shared...
Explore the Archive on Any Device!
Copyright © 2015 The Meridian Trust, All rights reserved.

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