We are getting over a billion mantras into the Mahabodhi Stupa at LMB by using microfilm, in addition to many cartons and rolls of mantra printed on paper.


Dzambhala mantra as seen under the microscope. Image courtesy of Tai Vautier.

Obtaining the microfilm has become much easier recently because of the work of Tai Vautier and the FPMT Education Office. We can now order rolls of microfilm with exactly the mantras we need from a company called Linco Micro-Image Systems, in Clackamas, Oregon. Linco has set up a special website for this at www.buddhistmicrofilm.com .

Mandala Magazine published a story about Tai and the microfilm evolution earlier this year (by Donna Lynn Brown):


This is a picture of the reliable Datek 16/35 HSD classic used to duplicate the sutra and mantra microfilm master rolls. Linco, http://www.buddhistmicrofilm.com/

Getting as many mantras  as possible on the film, while keeping them legible, was Tai’s aim. At first, using an old Ditto machine, she copied mantras from Lorne Ladner’s book, Wheel of Great Compassion: The Practice of the Prayer Wheel in Tibetan Buddhism, but shrinking made these illegible. She then got the original of one set of Lorne’s mantras, which had come from the office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This she scanned and edited in Photoshop. She managed to get an astonishing 880,000,000 manis onto a 2,000-foot (610-meter) roll of microfilm. But although the mantra remained readable, the master, due to the shape of the Tibetan letters, was too fragile to withstand the constant duplication needed to fill large orders. While this master is still available for small jobs, a sturdier one was needed. Tai worked long hours in Photoshop to thicken some parts of the Tibetan letters and spread others apart, in effect designing her own font in order to create mantras that were readable after reduction, and didn’t cause the film to weaken with heavy use.

Tai’s Photoshopped images turned out well, but the files had too much data to be sent digitally to a microfilm camera. They had to be printed. Even the best printers bleed when letters are that small. And no matter how smooth the paper was, its grain distorted the tiny letters. Tai persevered. She discovered she could send her images digitally to a machine that used a highly sensitive photomultiplier tube. With this, a page of miniature mantras could, like a photo, be developed and printed on completely smooth 11” x 14” (28 cm x 36 cm) paper. This was photographed and printed onto a 5/8” (16 mm) frame of microfilm. Each mantra, at this point, was no larger than the tip of a hair and visible only by microscope.

Just how small could they go? In her passion for numbers, Tai worried that she might be shrinking the mantras too much. She consulted Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Size didn’t matter, he said, as long as the mantras remained perfectly clear under magnification. To improve quality, she upsized the mantras slightly, going from “super high-density” to “high-density.” A 2,000-foot (610-meter) high-density roll of microfilm now holds 685,809,230 mani mantras. Over the years, she made a total of 18 such high-density masters for various mantras requested by different Dharma groups, each one taking months of painstaking labor to complete.

Read the rest of the story…




marti-festivalAfter many years of heart-filled service to Land of Medicine Buddha, our dear friend Marti Waite is going to become a full time mom. We rejoice for Marti and her family that she will be able to focus her remarkable talents and heart to nurturing her beautiful family. Don’t think she is gone for good though! We already have a commitment that she will help with Medicine Buddha Festival next year. She is still only a few miles away and is happy to help our new Center Manager in any way she can.

Land of Medicine Buddha
Center Manager/Assistant to the Director Job Description:

Land of Medicine Buddha is a dynamic and beautiful retreat center set in the coastal mountains of Central California. We are located on 108 acres of gorgeous land. We host teachings and retreats year round. This job is an opportunity to be of great service to others and develop your own heart.

The person in this position works in a busy environment that is similar to the one of a General Manager in a Hotel complex… but with a heart of service. You will work in conjunction with our management team and the Center Director to assure that all of the needs of our guests / students / staff / facility / Dharma program are met.

As with any managerial job, at times it is necessary to jump in and just do what is needed! We need a person who enjoys being in the midst of things and offering from the heart.

lower-campus-300As Center Manager / Assistant to the Director, you will be responsible for the smooth and harmonious running of certain departments of the center including:

  • Kitchen
  • Housekeeping and Grounds
  • Facility
  • Logistics

This job offers wage and both tangible and ultimate benefits.

  • Possible onsite accommodation but offsite living is preferable.
  • Managerial experience is required.
  • US work permit required.

Please send a resume and cover letter to director@medicinebuddha.org to be considered.


You can now watch 2 new courses on our Vimeo site. These are recordings from over 10 years ago, when the Media Lab at LMB was active. These recordings used to be distributed on DVD but with changing technology we made a switch to online streaming last year. There have been 2,553 total plays since we set up our Vimeo account.

New for August 2015: The 14-part series by Venerable George Churinoff on the Wheel of Sharp Weapons is up on Vimeo. Watch here.

Ribur Rinpoche’s teachings – Mastering Meditation, which were uploaded in July, seemed to get a good response, with at least 92 plays in August already.

Dorje is the one who is uploading things to our Vimeo account - video that he recorded and edited years ago.

Dorje is the one who is uploading things to our Vimeo account – video that he recorded and edited years ago.

Dorje is in the process of converting the DVDs of Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche’s Buddha Potential (Uttaratantra) and will upload those next.

Vimeo removed the mechanism for making donations – the Tip Jar – but you are still welcome to donate directly to Land of Medicine Buddha here. You can mention the Media Lab in your comments there.