Shang Shung Publications: working with and for the Words of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu

Shang Shung Publications

Shang Shung Publications, briefly  SSP, founded by Dzogchen Master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu in 1983 and currently an imprint of the Shang Shung  Foundation, is dedicated to the diffusion of the Dzogchen teaching as transmitted by the Master. It also publishes works written by the Master himself and other qualified authors on the traditional sciences of Tibetan culture, ranging from Tibetan history and literature to medicine and astrology.

In the course of more than thirty years, Shang Shung Publications has published close to four hundred books, and also includes in its catalog seventy video and forty-five audio products originally produced by Shang Shung Institute. Many of these books and media products are now available for download as well as in physical form.

A number of these works, originally published in English and/or Italian, have been translated into twenty major languages, resulting in a total of nearly eight hundred translations supervised and authorized by the auditors of the International Publications Committee linked to the publishing house.

This large publishing enterprise, based on the work and tireless leadership of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, was made possible thanks to the commitment of a staff of specialists including translators from Tibetan and other languages, editors, graphic artists, administrators, and logistics coordinators, as well as the collaboration of hundreds of volunteers who have offered their work gratuitously at all stages of production, from the transcription of the teachings to the printing of the completed works.

We wish to express our heartfelt thanks first of all to the Master, source of everything,  and all the collaborators  and thousands of donors, including the fundamental support of the Complete Works of Chögyal Namkhai Norbuand Ka-Ter Projects,which  have helped disseminate his words during these years.

We are also grateful to our readers, who by purchasing our products express their deep interest and generous collaboration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What we have done in the past 6 months:  Working with Atiyoga Foundation (ATIF)  and 

for the reorganization of SSP.

About the implementation of the SSP action plan for 2019.

From the end of 2018, aware of the particular moment of the Dzogchen Community and solicited by the Board of ATIF itself, we started to collaborate with Atiyoga Foundation to try to reorganize our publishing house in a sustainable and more efficient way. To this end, we worked for about a couple of months on the development of a serious business plan to evaluate the real possibility of making the important function carried out by Shang Shung Publications economically sustainable. All personnel contributed in a fundamental and decisive way to the analysis of weaknesses and strengths, to the identification of possible solutions and, subsequently, to the drafting of a shared plan of action for 2019.

Today, after about 6 months of common commitment, we have implemented almost all the plan that we jointly submitted to the ATIF Board and which was approved in December 2018.

Necessarily, like all reorganization and efficiency plans of a structure, the actions implemented were characterized by a reduction in costs (including the salaries of the staff which were already low), an increase in workload and responsibilities for all and, of course, bya series of initiatives to try to increase revenue and sales.

Many of these actions and initiatives are related to operational aspects likelogistic, administration, accounting, printing, storage, web shop, shipmentsand  delivering.

Up to now 80% of the intervention program has been  carried out.

The other main activities being implemented are related to the improvement of our capacity to support the translation and the editing of books.

One of our specific commitmentsrequires the alignment of our activities and plans with indications existing in the new copyright agreement. In compliance with the new contract we have revised all existing contracts, up to now one for each book and therefore not easily manageable, being in total about 250, in a simpler and above all more functional contractual framework for management purposes and compliance with contractual conditions.

Many contractual obligations were requested for the first time and the results processed and subjected to the evaluation of the heirs.

We have not yet completed this work of adjusting all contracts but all publishers are now aware of the existing rules for copyright.

About communication and marketing

Otherongoing initiatives referto communication and marketing. Communication is mostly related to our reference readers who are inthe Dzogchen Community, while marketing initiatives (not yet defined) will be more related to potential readers from the public outside the Dzogchen Community. We are starting to plan these last initiatives in detail in order to realize them in a subsequent phase, probably next autumn, after necessary verification and approval in regard to contractual obligations for copyright.

In particular, to carry out the mission of Shang Shung Publications and to make its activities sustainable over time, it will be very important to acquire new and greater abilities to operate also outside the Dzogchen Community.

What we are doing now: Working to train new editors and to complete the catalogue of the complete works of ChNN as soon as possible.

About the training for new editors:

On the 30th of April we announced that  Shang Shung Publications was looking for English editors and English-to-Italian translators to join the team to ensure that we will continue publishing the teachings of our beloved Master well into the future.

In particular for those who obtain the best results (2 for editing in English and 1 for translations from English into Italian) it will be possible to work on texts to be published shortly, receivingfinancial support (work scholarship) for about six months from the end of the first part of the training.

The training will be supported through a special fundraiser, focused on financing the translation, editing and publication of some specific texts with a well-defined timing. Fundraising will be launched soon thanks to collaboration with theKa-Ter Project.

Needless to say, how important it is to be able to guarantee the continuity of the work carried out by the current Editors (Nancy, Igor and Susan) by offering them the opportunity to have valid collaborators and to be able to transfer their knowledge acquired over decades of work done with care and dedication.

This activity was designed and implemented more as an initiative of the Shang Shung Foundation of which Shang Shung Publication is part.

About the catalogue

The  SSP catalogue will contain all products available for purchase in the web shop (https://shop.shangshungfoundation.com)

The preparation of the catalogue was mainly carried out by practitioners in many hours of work in karmayoga.The biggest work was the subdivision in categories and the book descriptions. The catalogue will allow us to check if some books are missing from ourown collectionand to have an idea of the complete list of ChNN books available and regrouped by categories.

It will be possible to download the catalogue from (https://shop.shangshungfoundation.com) in a couple of weeks.

Books published since November 2018:
Starting the Evolution – A compilation of teachings of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu for the general public.
The Long-Life Practice of Amitayus and the Chülen of the Three Kayas – Chögyal Namkhai Norbu’s oral commentary to the practice of Guru Amitayus and the Chülen of the Three Kayas, including the practice texts and the translation of the root texts discovered by Nyagla Pema Düdul.
Freedom from Attachment – An oral commentary of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu to the ancient Mahayana teaching called “Parting from the Four Attachments” and its written commentary by Jetsün Drakpa Gyaltsen.
Tibetan Calendar for the Year of the Earth Boar 2019-2020 – The annual Tibetan Calendar with astrological indications and special practice days.
Khorwa Yedal: Teachings and Practice – Rinpoche’s oral commentary to the upadesha called The Direct Introduction to the State of Primordial Pervasiveness in Samsara from the Longsal cycle.
Longsal Teachings Volume Ten – The tenth and last volume of Rinpoche’s rediscovered teachings of The Innermost Essence of the Dakinis of the Luminous Clarity of the Universe.

Books to be published this summer:
The King of Space – The fourth volume in the cycle of Longsal Commentaries related to Namkhai Gyalpo, one of the famous scriptures of Dzogchen Semde and the related instructions from the Longsal cycle.
The Teaching of the Birds – A traditional Buddhist teaching presented as a discourse between different kinds of birds.
The Bardo Teachings Sealed with HUM – A transcript of Rinpoche’s teaching from Merigar, 2015, with the instructions related to different kinds of bardos or intermediate states, focusing mainly on the intermediate state of dharmata.
The Tantric Mystics of Ancient India – The biographies of the famous Indian mahasiddhas with illustrations.

 

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